Who Was William Taft?

Contributor: Nichole Brooker. Lesson ID: 11300

Ever get stuck in a bathtub? Do you experience stress in life? Mr. Taft did both! Learn some odd facts about the 27th president, how to handle stress, and make a Word Cloud to show what you learned!


United States

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

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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William Taft loved milk so much that he had a dairy cow, Pauline Wayne, who roamed the White House grounds and produced eight gallons of milk each day for the First Family.

Because Pauline drew a huge crowd, the Dairymen's Exposition had her transported by train from Washington, DC, to Milwaukee for their conference. Her train somehow got lost, and she was hours away from being slaughtered at a Chicago stockyard!

Discover what other contributions Taft made to the nation!

William Taft was a large man who struggled with his weight his whole life.

He even got stuck in the White House bathtub, and it took six men to get him out! After the incident, the White House was equipped with a tub big enough to fit four grown men, and this problem never happened again. Historians believe his weight problem was a coping mechanism because of the stress his family put on him to accomplish great things.

  • Have you ever been under stress?
  • Has your heart ever raced because you were excited or worried about something?
  • What do you like to do to get through stressful situations?
  • Do you eat? Do you exercise? Do you cry? Do you stay quiet and shut down?

Everyone handles stressful situations differently, and sometimes people do it in an unhealthy way.

  1. Make a list of healthy ways to handle stress. Talk to your teacher or parent about ways they deal with stress. See if they have methods that you didn't think to add to your list.
  1. For help with this, read Stress by D'Arcy Lyness, PhD for Nemours KidsHealth.

William Taft was more proud of his accomplishment of becoming a Supreme Court Justice (to which he was appointed after serving as president) than he was of being president of the United States.

Write down at least five more facts about Taft as you watch this William Taft video by American Presidents (below), and check out the article William Taft: Life in Brief by Peri E. Arnold at Miller Center of Public Affairs:

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In the Got It? section, you will find an extensive list of William Taft's accomplishments and contributions to the United States.

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