Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Presidential Powers, Executive Orders, and Civil Rights
Author:
Ann Mischler
Course:
Social Studies/Technology
Time Frame:
Two 40-minute periods; one 35-minute period (This lesson is being taught as part of a unit on the United States Constitution.)
Subjects:
Civil Rights
,
United States Constitution
,
Civil Rights

Grade Levels:
4

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

As part of a unit on the United States Government, students will examine the powers of the President.  They will examine Executive Order 9981 and Executive Order 8802 in relation to implicit powers and civil rights.  Students with a historical background related to Japanese internment may also be given Executive Order 9066.  In cooperative learning groups, students will utilize Videolicious and produce a video on the powers of the Presidency – explicit and implicit – and the effects on civil rights.  This lesson can be taught as part of a unit on Presidential powers, civil rights, or the Constitution. 

Rationale:

As part of New York State Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship, and Government 

  • Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the necessity for establishing governments; the governmental systems of the United States and other nations; the United States Constitution; the basic civic values of American constitutional democracy; and the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation.

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


  • New York State Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship, and Government:  Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the necessity for establishing governments; the governmental systems of the United States and other nations; the United States Constitution; the basic civic values of American constitutional democracy; and the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation.
  • KEY IDEA 4.4 GOVERNMENT: There are different levels of government within the United States and New York State. The purpose of government is to protect the rights of citizens and to promote the common good. The government of New York State establishes rights, freedoms, and responsibilities for its citizens.

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

Technology Required:

IPads

Internet

Computers

Full description of activity or assignment.
  • Students will be broken into groups of 3.  For young students with limited understanding of the executive branch or as use as part of an anticipatory set, you may wish to show the video - http://www.brainpop.com/socialstudies/usgovernmentandlaw/presidentialpower/
  • Students will be given sections of Article II the United States Constitution.  Each group will be responsible for reading and analyzing a specific section of the United States Constitution. Utilize the Jigsaw cooperative learning technique, and then list powers of the President.  For young students with limited understanding of the executive branch or ELL students, they may make their list from the video - http://www.brainpop.com/socialstudies/usgovernmentandlaw/presidentialpower/
  • Students will read and analyze Executive Order 9981 and complete the constructed response, which is attached.
  • Students will read and analyze Executive Order 8802 and complete the constructed response, which is attached.
    • Optional Extension:  For students with a historical background regarding WWII and Japanese internment camps, you may wish to have the students read and analyze Executive Order 9066.
  • Students will complete a draft of a Videolicious activity explaining Article II of the Constitution highlighting the power of Executive Orders and how they can influence the Civil Rights of individuals and groups. Students should remain in their groups of three.  This will assist students in each group performing one third of the draft for their project.  Student directions are attached.
  • Videolicious is used to create a brief video explaining Article II, executive orders, and the effects on civil rights. Specific project directions are attached.  If your students have not used Videolicious before, directions can be found at:  https://videolicious.com/how-it-works

 

 

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
  • Students will complete a Videolicious presentation explaining Article II of the Constitution highlighting the power of Executive Orders and how they can influence the civil rights of individuals and groups.  Student directions are attached.

A Videolicious assessment rubric is attached.  If Videolicious is new to your students, a set of directions can be found at: https://videolicious.com/how-it-works

 

 

Name_______________________

Title of Document:  Excerpt of Executive Order 8802

 

Executive orders are documents which the President of the United States manages the operations of the Federal Government.  The President does not need the approval of Congress.  This was written a year before the United States joined WWII.

 

Executive Order 8802   Reaffirming Policy Of Full Participation In The Defense Program By All Persons, Regardless Of Race, Creed, Color, Or National Origin, And Directing Certain Action In Furtherance Of Said Policy

    WHEREAS it is the policy of the United States to encourage full participation in the national defense program by all citizens of the United States, regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin, in the firm belief that the democratic way of life . . . can be defended . . . with the help and support of all groups within its borders; and

    WHEREAS there is evidence that available and needed workers have been barred from employment in industries engaged in defense production solely because of  . . . race, creed, color, or national origin, to the detriment of workers' morale and of national unity:

    NOW, THEREFORE,  . . .  I [say] . . . there shall be no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries or government because of race, creed, color, or national origin,  . . . it is the duty of employers and of labor organizations,  . . . to provide for the full and equitable participation of all workers in defense industries, without discrimination because of race, creed, color, or national origin; . . .

Franklin D. Roosevelt
The White House,
June 25, 1941.

 

When was the document signed?  ________

 

Why was the document written?  

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

Explain what is happening to the civil rights of the individuals or group(s) that is/are the focus of this executive order.

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Name_______________________

Title of Document:  Excerpt of Executive Order 9981

 

Executive Order 9981

 

Establishing the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services

WHEREAS it is essential that there be maintained in the armed services of the United States the highest standards of democracy, with equality of treatment and opportunity for all those who serve in our country's defense:

NOW, THEREFORE, by . . . the authority . . . as President of the United States, by the Constitution and the statutes of the United States, and as Commander in Chief of the armed services, it is hereby ordered as follows:

1. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin…

2. There shall be created in the National Military Establishment an advisory committee to be known as the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, which shall be composed of seven members to be designated by the President…

HARRY S. TRUMAN
THE WHITE HOUSE,
July 26, 1948.

­

 

When was the document signed?  ________

 

Why was the document written?  

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

Explain what is happening to the civil rights of the individuals or group(s) that is/are the focus of this executive order.

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Name of Members in Group:          _______________________________  Videolicious Project

                                                            _______________________________                                                                                                  _______________________________                                                 

Videolicious - Presidential Powers, Executive Orders, and Civil Rights 

 

Task:  Your task is to produce a Videolicious presentation on the powers of the President.

 

Purpose:  Your purpose will be to inform people about the powers of the President using evidence.

 

Audience:  Your audience will be 4th to 8th grade students.

 

In your project, you must:

 

  • Describe in detail the powers of the President identified in Article II of the United States Constitution.

 

  • Describe an additional power of the President that is not explicitly stated in the Constitution and is found in the documents you were provided.

 

  • Provide at least two examples of the effects of the implicitly stated power.  Describe the effects on the civil rights of United States citizens.

 

  • Organize your presentation.  Remember to keep in mind how to connect ideas together.

 

  • Use content-specific language.  Provide explanations for words that might be unfamiliar.

 

  • Images and graphics should be selected to enhance the understanding of your project.

 

Review your Videolicious assessment rubric to make sure all key traits have been incorporated successfully into your presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

Key Traits

Score 4

Score 3

Score 2

Score 1

CONTENT AND

ANALYSIS:

— clearly introduce a topic in a manner that

follows logically from the task and purpose

—demonstrate insightful comprehension and analysis of the text(s) and resources

— clearly introduce a topic in a manner that

follows from the

task and purpose

—demonstrate

grade-appropriate

comprehension

and analysis of the

text(s) and resources

 

—introduce a topic in a manner that follows

generally from the task and purpose

—demonstrate a literal comprehension of the text(s) and resources

 

—introduce a topic in a manner that does not logically follow

from the task and purpose

—demonstrate

little understanding of

the text(s) and resources

 

COMMAND OF

EVIDENCE:

--develop the

topic with relevant

well-chosen facts, definitions, details,

quotations, or

other information

and examples from the text(s)

—sustain the use of varied, relevant

evidence

 

--develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, details,

quotations, or other information and examples from the text(s)

—sustain the use

of relevant evidence, with some lack of

variety

—partially develop the topic of the essay with the use of some

textual evidence,

some of which may be irrelevant

—use relevant evidence with

inconsistency

—demonstrate an attempt to use

evidence, but only

develop ideas

with minimal,

occasional

evidence which is

generally invalid

or irrelevant

 

COHERENCE,

ORGANIZATION,

AND STYLE:

--exhibit clear, purposeful organization

--skillfully link ideas using grade-appropriate words and phrases

--use grade- appropriate, stylistically sophisticated language and domain-specific vocabulary

--provide a concluding statement that follows clearly from the topic and information presented

 

--exhibit clear organization

--link ideas using grade-appropriate words and phrases

--use grade appropriate, precise language and domain-specific vocabulary

--provide a concluding statement that follows clearly from the topic and information presented

—exhibit some attempt at organization

—inconsistently link ideas using words and phrases

—inconsistently use

appropriate language and domain-specific

vocabulary

—provide a concluding statement that follows generally

from the topic and information presented

 .

—exhibit little attempt at organization, or

attempts to organize are irrelevant to the

task

—lack the use of

linking words and

phrases

—use language that

is imprecise or inappropriate for

the task

—provide a concluding

statement that is illogical or unrelated to the topic and

information presented

LAYOUT, GRAPHICS, NARRATION

--layout, graphics, and narration significantly enhance the understanding of the topic

--presentation is of an exceedingly high quality

--visually pleasing and support topic

--narration flows at a good pace most of the time

--at times, appears choppy

--at times, graphics are unrelated to the topic

--at times, the sound speed, or tones disturb the listener’s concentration

--extremely difficulty to follow

--disturbing or distracting graphics

--narrations is too slow or too fast

Name _______________________________                                                        Videolicious Assessment Rubric

Adapted from NYS Grades 4-5 Expository Writing Rubric