Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Tales of Truman's Travels Fifty Years Ago

The design of this unit is based on Show Me Learning Goals

Title: Tales of Truman's Travels Fifty Years Ago
Teacher: Evalyn Long
School: Lucy Franklin Elementary School --Blue Springs, MO
Grade Focus: 3rd Grade
Time Frame: Two weeks


Show Me Standards Covered:

This project relates to Missouri Show-Me Standards:

SS 2,5; CA 4,5; S4-- l.l; l.2; l.5; l.7; 2.1; 2.7; 4.5; 4.6

Unit Introduction:

In connection with our Project WhistleStop goal of having a project related to the 1948 campaign, our third grade class decided to develop an e-mail project to find information about the 1948 campaign at various locations where Truman visited and to gather personal stories from people in those areas as to what life was like then and what they remembered about Truman's visit to their home town. The information would be compiled for a presentation at a display at the Truman Library and for the Project WhistleStop web site Truman Trivia project. Our class was responsible for providing the content for 14 days.

Goals or objectives leading toward results:

To complete a product, process, or recommendation
  1. The student will learn how our country has changed in the last fifty years.
  2. The student will learn the changes in ecosystems in the different areas of the United States, and the organisms that live in different ecosystems.
  3. The students will be writing and evaluating communication with different areas of the United States using the United States Mail and computers.

Preparation for the Learning Adventure: (Underlined words are links to other locations)

We had used Truman's Trunk for several weeks as background preparation to learn about Truman's life. We had done a KWL, and studied about President Truman using the WhistleStop Site on the computers and other material.

Scope of Student Work:

Each student wrote several letters to different newspapers in the United States where President Truman visited on his WhistleStop Campaign. (See list of campaign speeches and sites visited) The students stated they were interested in knowing if anyone in their area had met President Truman and his family, also what life was like in the forties, and they wanted to know about the animals, land, and climate of their area.

The students stated they wanted to learn about history through real people, not just from history books. They asked them to E-mail us, phone, or write us a letter.

The response was great!!! We got all three types of communications. and we would locate on the map where the communication was from and the students kept a journal of interesting information they received. They used this information received for the two weeks that our class was featured with the Trivia on the WhistleStop Site.

Resources and Technology Used:

e-mail, Project WhistleStop web site, wordprocessing

Assessment and Reflection:

Students prepared a backboard presentation for a major display at the Truman Library focusing on the 1948 Campaign. The opportunity to showcase at this event was a special experience. We also have included the project in electronic file form. Students also published on the web daily for two weeks the information they had received. You can view information our project entries at the Truman Trivia classroom site.