Ken Burns Classroom

Timeline: The Roosevelts’ Lives and Times

Ken Burns Film: The Roosevelts

Collections: Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930)

Subject: Government

Grade Level: 7-12

Run Time: 1 class period

Vice Presidential hopeful Theodore Roosevelt campaigns in New York, 1900
Vice Presidential hopeful Theodore Roosevelt campaigns in New York, 1900. Credit: Brown Brothers, Sterling, PA.

Background:

The assassination of a president. American expansion into imperialism. The building of the Panama Canal. The Progressive Era. World War I. The Roaring ’20s. The Great Depression. World War II. The United Nations. This is but a small list of the events that the Roosevelts lived in and influenced. When stacked together, it is quite an impressive array of accomplishments.

Activity:

Have students create a timeline of Roosevelt accomplishments for all three individuals. They can use their video notes from the lessons in The Roosevelts series. If your class hasn’t conducted any of the lessons yet, students can watch selections from any of the episodes and take notes to gather facts. Students can also research information from any number of Roosevelt websites found in the resource sections in the lessons. Assign one event to each student and have them research a brief timeline entry with the individual’s name, the date, and a brief description of what happened. They should also explain the impact the event had on the United States at the time and any impact that may still exist today. Use the student interactive timeline tool at http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/timeline-30007.html to create the timeline online, or create a traditional classroom timeline on long sheets of butcher paper.

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