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January 24, 2017

President Trump’s First 100 Days Lesson Plan

Subjects

U.S. Government, civics, social studies

Estimated Time

40-minutes

Grade Level

Middle and high school

Essential Questions

Why is it important to be politically engaged? How can we assess a president’s policies and actions?

Objective

To discuss, debate and consider President Donald Trump’s goals for the United States. To focus on assessing concrete policies, rather than ideology or notion.

Overview

Many young people followed the 2016 presidential campaign closely. This lesson will help continue that engagement as President Trump’s administration begins to put its campaign promises into action. 

Procedure

  • Ask each student to share aloud:
  1. A plan that they agree with
  2. A plan that they disagree with
  • Pair students up randomly (Consider keeping students with similar political views apart — the goal is to learn to negotiate and compromise) and assign to each pair a proposal from the document that they read. Ask each pair to:
  1. Research anything in the proposal that they do not understand (For example: One point in the document says, “cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities.” Students might use Google to find out what a sanctuary city is and what federal funding is at stake.)
  2. Spend five minutes coming up with a detailed, concrete plan for achieving what the proposal wants, even if they don’t personally agree with the goal. (For example: One point in the document says, “Cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure.” Students should figure out what specific climate change programs this refers to. How, specifically, should the money be used for improving U.S. infrastructure?)
  • Ask each pair to share an overview of their plan with the class. Ask them to share what they researched and if they were unsure of anything in the proposal.

Extension activity:

  • Have students watch this PBS NewsHour report from 2009 on the town hall meeting President Barack Obama held in St. Louis on his 100th day in office, then ask the following questions:
    1. Based on this video, what were some of the issues President Obama focused on at the beginning of his presidency?
    2. What economic event was taking place at the time Obama first took office? How much do you think it influenced Obama’s policy making at the time?
    3. Do you think every president is able to address everything they hope to in their first 100 days in office? Why or why not?
  • The first 100 days of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s were perhaps the most historic in U.S. history. It was the height of the Great Depression and FDR’s New Deal provided hope for many Americans. Watch PBS’s American Experience video clip from “FDR” here.
    • Ask students to write down the similarities and differences in FDR’s actions with that of President Trump’s 100 days, including the tone of both presidents, their proposals for economic and social programs, and what each believes the relationship of the government and its people should be.

By Laura Rockefeller, a junior at Roland Park Country School in Baltimore, Maryland and NewsHour Extra intern. 

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  • Standards

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    Relevant National Standards:
      CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

      CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.1 Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

      CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

      CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

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