Who Was James Madison?

Contributor: Nichole Brooker. Lesson ID: 11074

James Madison may have been short in stature, but he was long in accomplishments! Thank him for the Bill of Rights, Indiana, and Congress. Get inspired by this two-term president!


United States

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio: Image - Button Play
Image - Lession Started Image - Button Start

James Madison was the shortest president to date (2023) at five feet, four inches.

For reference, Napoleon was five feet, seven inches, and his height was criticized. President Madison was three inches shorter!

Good thing the presidency doesn’t have a height restriction because President Madison is responsible for many amazing things!

James Madison’s Life and Contributions to U.S. History

As the fourth president of the United States, James Madison was an important member of the country’s history.

  • What do you already know about him?

Download, print, and fill in the Graphic Organizer - KWL Chart found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. The K portion is what you already know. The W portion is what you want to know, and the L portion is what you learn (when you are done with this lesson).

As a third, fourth, or fifth grader, you may already know a lot about the fourth president of the United States.

  • What do you WANT to know about him?
  • Do you want to explore his personal story or his education?
  • Do you want to know about his contributions to the Constitution and Bill of Rights?
  • Do you want to know more about his service to the government before he became president?

James Madison was a great contributor to the history of the United States, and after this lesson, you will be able to name three of those contributions.

List three areas you want to study about President Madison. Put that in the W column of your KWL chart.

Learn about James Madison as you watch this video.

Image - Video

James Madison was often sick as a child.

  • What effect do you think that may have had on his childhood and adulthood?
  • Is your health important to your future aspirations and abilities?

Make a list of the complications that could come from not being healthy.

  • Could it hinder your chances for opportunities?

When you are ready to learn more about America's fourth president, move on to the Got It? section!

Image - Button Next