Lesson Plans Roosevelt, Eleanor

 

Roosevelt, Eleanor
Flopsy, Mopsy, Eleanor, and Beatrix
Eleanor Roosevelt and Beatrix Potter were contemporaries.  Both were born to privilege; both had a non-traditional education.  Potter was a farmer; Roosevelt a farmer’s advocate.  Potter was committed to the cause of conservation; Roosevelt argued that the conservation of land and people go hand in hand.  The most striking similarity, however, was that they were both writers who paved the way for all women writers and are often referred to as two of the most influential women of the twentieth century.
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Education, Arts, Letters and Ideas

Roosevelt, Eleanor
Ugly Duckling: Definitions of Beauty
When she was a very young child Eleanor Roosevelt’s mother called her “granny" because she saw the child as plain and awkward, rather than as beautiful and socially graceful as herself.   Eleanor is described by many biographers as having a life long struggle with shyness and insecurity which can partially be tied back to her mother’s harsh criticism.  Nonetheless, in her autobiography, This is My Story (1937), Eleanor Roosevelt wrote “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” 
Skill: Elementary School     Category: First Ladies' Lives

Roosevelt, Eleanor
Rosie the Riveter
A topic of great interest to Eleanor Roosevelt was the plight of working women.  World War II change the world of working women through the image of Rosie the Riveter and the idea of women supporting the war effort through industry.  Eleanor Roosevelt was engaged in this topic before the rest of the nation even thought about the topic.  In 1934 she traveled to Puerto Rico and upon her return called for a boycott of needlework created by women in sweatshops; in 1942 she traveled to Britain to observe the role of women in the war effort.
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Economics, Discovery and Daily Life

Roosevelt, Eleanor
Where's Amelia?
One of Eleanor Roosevelt’s friends was Amelia Earhart.  On one occasion Amelia Earhart invited Eleanor Roosevelt to take a flight over the capital.  Eleanor accepted and to mark the occasion Amelia wore an evening gown while flying the plane. Amelia promised to teach Eleanor Roosevelt how to fly and for that reason the first lady obtained her students’ permit.  However, because of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, Eleanor Roosevelt never got her flying lessons.
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Sports and Popular Culture

Roosevelt, Eleanor
Political Party History
Eleanor Roosevelt was a ground breaker for the role of First Ladies.  In July of 1940, she became the first president’s wife to speak at a political convention. The delegates at the Democratic Convention were angry over FDR’s selection for vice president, Henry A. Wallace, who was considered an “ultra-New Dealer.”  A member of the cabinet, Harry Ickles telegraphed the president to inform him that, “The convention is bleeding to death.  Your reputation and prestige may bleed to death.” To end the turmoil, President Roosevelt sent his wife, stating, “You know Eleanor always makes people feel right.  She has a fine way with her.”   The next day newspapers reported “MRS ROOSEVELT STILLS THE TUMULT OF 50,000.”*
Skill: Middle School     Category: Law, Politics and Govt

Roosevelt, Eleanor
Arthurdale: Example of a Planned Community
As part of his New Deal program, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Subsistence Homesteads division of the Department of the Interior under the National Industrial Recovery Act.  The purpose of this division was to build communities for people in need of help as a result of the Great Depression.  Eleanor Roosevelt took particular interest in a community by the name of Arthurdale and served in the capacity of micro-manager.  She worked with Harold Ickes, Interior Secretary, to make sure the homes had insulation and indoor plumbing; persuaded companies such as GE to establish plants in the community so that community members would have jobs; and attended graduations, dances and other community events.
Skill: Middle School     Category: Science, Medicine, Inventions and tech

Roosevelt, Eleanor
The Great Depression
After Franklin Roosevelt contracted polio, Eleanor Roosevelt became his inspector of the nation.  In 1933, she traveled 40,000 miles and examined projects of the Presidents’ New Deal; projects established to reverse the grip of the Great Depression. Upon returning from each inspection, Franklin Roosevelt would ask her detailed questions.  On one of her first inspections she returned with a menu from an insane asylum and Franklin Roosevelt asked her if she looked in the pot to see if they were being served what was on the menu.  Questions such as this helped Eleanor Roosevelt become an expert inspector.
Skill: Middle School     Category: Economics, Discovery and Daily Life

Roosevelt, Eleanor
Scandals, Gossip, and the American Presidency
Today, one can clearly see that Eleanor Roosevelt was a woman of many accomplishments including a role model and an agent for change . Though viewed positively today, Eleanor Roosevelt was considered scandalous by many.  Scandal surrounded her when she went into a coal mind to inspect it; such behavior was not considered ladylike.  Scandal surrounded her when she supported friends in positions of public employ; such behavior was not considered proper behavior on the part of a president’s wife.  Scandal surrounded her friendships with Lorena Hickok and Joseph Lash; the relationships were viewed suspiciously by opponents and considered improper for a First Lady.
Skill: Middle School     Category: Sports and Popular Culture

Roosevelt, Eleanor
My Day: A Window Into Women's History
Eleanor Roosevelt was quoted to have said, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”  One way that she chose to bring light to this world was through the written word.  As an author, she wrote a daily newspaper column, articles for many magazines and four books: This is My Story (1937); This I Remember (1950); On My Own (1958); and Tomorrow Is Now (published in 1963 after her death).
Skill: High School/College     Category: Education, Arts, Letters and Ideas

Roosevelt, Eleanor
History of Mysteries
In 1936, six mystery writers collaborated on a screenplay entitled, The President’s Mystery.  The idea for this collaboration came from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, an avid fan of mystery novels.  Elliot Roosevelt, son of Franklin and Eleanor, was an author of sixteen mysteries, each with the subtitle, An Eleanor Roosevelt Mystery.  In these books, the first lady plays a detective solving murders that occurred in the capital. 
Skill: High School/College     Category: Sports and Popular Culture

Roosevelt, Eleanor
Marian Anderson
In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) denied Marian Anderson permission to sing at Constitutional Hall in Washington D.C. because she was a “singer of color.”  Upon hearing this, Eleanor Roosevelt renounced her membership in the DAR and arranged for this world distinguished singer to sing in front of the Lincoln Memorial.  On April 9, 1939, Marian Anderson bravely accepted this invitation and drew a crowd of 75,000 to the Memorial and an audience of millions through the broadcast of her performance.  In July 1939, Anderson received the Spingarn Medal of the NAACP, presented by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Skill: High School/College     Category: Religion, Social Issues and Reform

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