Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Harry Truman - 1920s Road Building
Author:
Sheila Engel
Course:
American History
Time Frame:
2 or 3 classes.
Subjects:
Road Building
,

Grade Levels:
8

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
  • Students will work in pairs, using primary documents and readings from secondary sources to discover how Harry Truman was a forward thinking individual as shown in road building for Jackson County.
  • Rationale:
    • I am combining the ideas of the changes that the automobile brought to America in the 1920s, with an opportunity to give more time to Harry Truman's life as the only president from Missouri. The students study the Missouri Constitution and some history about the state, so this will enhance their understanding of Truman.

    District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:


  • State of Missouri, The Show-Me Standards, Strand I.A "Why Have People Established Governance Systems? (Civic-Political Perspective), grades 5-8. What all students should be able to do: c. interpret information from sources (such as, documents, newspapers, videotapes, books and direct observations) (1.5) and d. organize information into useful forms for analysis or presentation (1.8)
  • Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
    • Textbook: The American Journey, Chapter 24, "The Jazz Age", Section 3, p. 698-701.
    • Harry S. Truman, Caroline Evensen Lazo, 2003. p. 46-49. (excerpts)
    • Harry S. Truman, Robert H. Ferrell, 1994. p. 110-112 (excerpts)

    Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
    • Pictures from the Booklet "Results of County Planning: Jackson County , Missouri" (from archives at Truman Library)
    • Two photographs from MVSC, Kansas City Public Library, Titles:" Little Blue Tank Road at the Missouri Pacific Railroad Crossing" and "Jackson County Highway Engineers".
    • Two photographs from Truman Library, Titles: "Truman with fellow judges at Jackson County barbeque" and "Harry S. Truman and two unidentified men in front of a new Ford Model A".
    • Document from Truman Library. Truman's 9 page speech from Kansas City's Regional Plan Association and Jackson County's Road System, dated June 16, 1932. (selected parts will be used)

    Full description of activity or assignment.
  • The students will be placed into pairs for a pair and share. One student will receive the written documents and the other the photographs. Each will have time to read and/or look over the materials. The students will then write down what they have discovered about Harry Truman and the road building process during the 1920s (and into the 30s, too). They will be guided in this process with a worksheet that asks for specific answers. (Below) Each one will then share with his/her partner what they have discovered. Together they will select a method to share this information with the class. (news article or broadcast simulation, story, poem or comic strip) They will begin the work in class, but will need to complete the assignment at home. (If more time is needed, they will continue into the next class.) The next day, the students will share with the class what they have discovered. Each pair will have 3-5 minutes to share. When all pairs have had the opportunity to share, I will lead the class on a discussion of 1) what it means to use the primary source resources to find answers and 2) how Harry Truman used his position as County Judge, to execute and complete the project that contributed to his successes later in life.
  • Harry Truman - 1920s Road Building Worksheet Teacher Name: Sheila Engel
    Grade level(s):8th
    Course: American History

    Briefly describe the materials, but be specific.

    1) ____________________________________ 2) ______________________________

    3) ____________________________________ 4) ______________________________

    5) ____________________________________ 6) ______________________________

    7) ____________________________________ 8) ______________________________

    9) ____________________________________10) ______________________________

    What story do the pictures tell?

    How are they related?

    How can you tell?

    OR

    How did the portions from Truman's biographies help you understand about government and its role in helping people?

    How was the "Foreword" and "The Jackson County Plan" from the County Planning booklet helpful in understanding the situation of the 1920s?


    Put your ideas into three areas:

    Beginning:

    Middle:

    End:

    Then share with your partner and work together to devise a way to present your findings to the class. (News article or broadcast simulation, story, poem or comic strip)

    Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:

    Scoring Guide:

      4 3 2 1 Score
    Structure Has an effective beginning, middle, and end Has a beginning, middle, and end Has evidence of a beginning, middle, and end May lack evidence of beginning, middle and/or end  
    Content Clearly addresses the topic and provides specific and relevant details/examples Addresses the topic and uses relevant details/examples Generally addresses the topic, but may contain some details that are not relevant Attempts to address the topic, but lacks development  
    Audience Clearly shows an awareness of audience and purpose Shows an awareness of audience and purpose Shows some awareness of audience and purpose Shows little or no awareness of audience and purpose  
    Mechanics Contains few errors in grammar/usage, punctuation, capitalization and /or spelling May contain some errors in grammar/usage, punctuation, capitalization and/or spelling that are not significantly distracting to the reader/audience Contains errors in grammar/usage, punctuation, capitalization and/or spelling that may be distracting to the reader/audience Contains repeated errors in grammar/usage, punctuation, capitalization and/or spelling that may be distracting to the reader/audience