Topic: Jefferson's Public Life & Politics

Lesson Plan

Personal Morals vs. Political Moves

Because he wrote that “all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence in 1776, should Thomas Jefferson be thought of as a hypocrite for owning slaves?
Lesson Plan

The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom DBQ

Students will explore primary sources to gain a full understanding of the context, content, and lasting impact of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Students will evaluate primary...
Lesson Plan

Empire of Liberty or Empire of Slavery?

This three-stage lesson explores Thomas Jefferson’s plans to create an “Empire of Liberty” and the problems he faced in realizing his goals. In so doing, it considers the...
Lesson Plan

Jefferson and Expansion: Scaffolding Student Understanding of Cause and Effect

This lesson focuses on the following prompt: “Analyze the causes of and the resulting issues from the Louisiana Purchase. Concentrate your answer between the years 1790-1820.” The lesson...
Lesson Plan

The Election of 1800: Revolutionary Stability

This lesson is a combination of a few different approaches: students will study primary writings of Jefferson and Adams, examine a range of online documents and images in...
Lesson Plan

Unalienable Rights – Who Says?

How would different people (from different times) interpret an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence?
Lesson Plan

Lewis and Clark: Explorers or Conquerors?

When Jefferson purchased the Louisiana territory from France, he commissioned Lewis and Clark to explore the new territory. What was the purpose behind this mission? Were they sent...
Lesson Plan

Monticello: Thomas Jefferson’s Autobiography

What was Thomas Jefferson’s public persona and private personality? In this lesson students will use Monticello, Jefferson’s meticulously designed home, as a primary source in their analysis and...
Lesson Plan

Unconventional Enemies: Should the United States negotiate with terrorists?

This lesson plan helps students make connections between Thomas Jefferson’s handling of the Barbary Pirates and contemporary presidential actions toward unconventional enemies of the United States, including Jimmy...