Plan Ideas for Teachers
Students will think about the significance of place and the role of place
in studying history.
Students will use critical thinking skills to compare the present to Truman's
Begin with students
brainstorming about places that are significant to them.
Are 'everyday' places such as homes and schools overlooked in favor of
more exciting places like the mall and amusement parks? How does asking
students to rank their places based on necessity change their thoughts
students will examine Truman's places.
What do you
notice about Truman's childhood? How do you think the frequent
changing of homes and schools he experienced affected him? What
sort of traits might he have acquired by having to constantly move
to new places and meet new people?
Do you think
that all the places listed on the map are significant?
Do we really need to know about the Kansas City Star building where
Truman spent only two weeks or the places where Truman got his hair
cut? How can one justify the inclusion or removal of these places
from the map? Is it better when studying history to know every single
detail about a person or event or to understand the significance
of that person or event?
is it that Truman's places be preserved? As long we know the
role a particular place played in Truman's life, is their any benefit
to the place being preserved long after Truman's death?
How do the
students' places compare with Truman's significant places? What
accounts for the similarities and differences? What role do things
like geography, technology, and societal values play in shaping
these similarities and differences?
examining Truman's places make the students reevaluate their own
significant places in any way?
will become tour guides. Each student will be assigned one or
more place(s) and be asked to describe the place(s) and their significance.
Take a closer
look at one specific category of Truman places, such as work
places. Do some of Truman's places of employment seem more "presidential"
than others? What skills would Truman have learned from his various
jobs? What sort of employee traits did the various employers probably
look for? Keeping those traits in mind, how well suited was Truman
for his various jobs? Students could create a "Truman Resume" that
would list Truman's various jobs and the skills he learned in those
jobs that would later help him to lead the United States.
situation: only five or ten of Truman's places can remain due
to the pressures of modern-day growth and the high cost of preserving
these old buildings. Which places should be saved and why? Students
can prepare arguments as to why a particular place should or should
not be preserved and then the entire class can vote on which will
Truman's values as President of the United States. In what
ways might the places where he spent his time helped shape these
about modern day cities: are the modern-day urban and suburban
areas students are familiar with ideal? Students will draw a map
of their ideal city/town, and then evaluate whether or not such
a plan is feasible in the present day. This could be tied in with
a lesson about the urbanization and suburbanization movements in
the United States.
about transportation: what modes of transportation are mentioned
in Truman's places? How did the modes of transportation available
at different points during Truman's lifetime influence his lifestyle?
In general, how has transportation influenced history? Students
could research different modes of transportation, such as the railroad,
automobile, and airplane and find out how their introduction changed
the way cities were structured, the way government operated, etc.
Using a world
map, ask students to indicate any other places where they have
lived as well as the places their parents and grandparents are from,
and mark those places on the map. Students could then each research
one or two of these other places to learn significant things such
as population, climate, landmarks, etc. Their reports could then
be compiled into a "tour guide" booklet.
to Truman Places Home