Present-Day Parlor Portrait Pix

Lesson Plan


Grade Level

Elementary School

Author Info

jgates226,, hhstrickland

Type of Lesson


Type of Project (Individual/Group/Both)



30-60 minutes

Challenge Question

Monticello, Jefferson’s home, is a reflection and a metaphor of Thomas Jefferson’s life. Throughout his home, Jefferson displays numerous portraits of influential and inspiring people. In his parlor, he displays the “Trinity” whom he considers to be the 3 greatest men: Bacon, Isaac Newton, John Locke. He also displays other important people such as Magellan, the Marquis de la Fayette, and the first 3 presidents. If you were Jefferson decorating the parlor in your present-day Monticello, what inspiring and influential people would you would display on your wall today?


This activity will help check a student’s understanding of Jefferson’s values and the people who embody his vision. Students will also use this framework to identify people whom they find influential and inspiring.


  1. 1. Identify what makes a person great and why they believe Jefferson chose each of them men displayed in his parlor.
    2. List 5 character traits which you find inspiring in a person, therefore making them great.
    3. Identify 3 people from the 20th-21st century whom embody these traits.
    4. Create your own “Trinity” display by choosing 3 images from “My Collection.” Include one textbox below each portrait to explain why you consider each of these figures to be worthy.