Eleanor Roosevelt

Contributor: Sarah Lerdal. Lesson ID: 10989

If you're a U.S. citizen, you know about the president. Most presidents have been married men, whose wife is known as First Lady. We don't vote for them, but they're influential. Write to one today!

categories

Civics, United States

subject
History
learning style
Visual
personality style
Lion
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

Do you know who these women are?

Image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3c08091 and is in the public domain. Image is an Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy and is in the public domain.

 

If you know the second but not the first, then here's a hint: they have something in common that few women share.

  • Can you now guess who the first might be?

The women in the pictures are former First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt and Michelle Obama. Have you ever written to the president or first lady? Do you think they would answer? Only one way to find out: give it a try!

  • If you were to write to the president or First Lady, what would you say to them?

Jot down some of the things you might address, then discuss those items with your parent or teacher.

  • Do your reasons have to do with any environmental, health care, or education issues?
  • If they do, why might it make more sense to write to the First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) and not to the president of the United States (POTUS)?

The answer lies in Eleanor Roosevelt. Prior to 1933, the First Lady of the United States was often doing work behind the scenes. During the Great Depression, when Franklin D. Roosevelt became president, his wife Eleanor became an important public figure. She set forth with certain initiatives. One of her huge concerns included the welfare of children.

  1. In one minute, write down everything you already know about Eleanor Roosevelt.
  2. Click the link and read the Eleanor Roosevelt Biography (bio.com).
  3. Watch this student-made video. It gives some background to the Great Depression, and shows what life was like for the children who lived it:

Children of the Great Depression, by Joslyn Johnson and Saylor Martin:

 

Eleanor Roosevelt was very conflicted by what she saw on the streets of the nation, especially when it came to the young. During her twelve years as first lady, she set many new precedents, and one of them involved dealing directly with the public and press. Never before had the wife of the president reached a hand directly to the people as did Mrs. Roosevelt.

Next, in the Got It? section, you will look at the response from the people.

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