Type of Lesson
Type of Project (Individual/Group/Both)
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. In your small group discuss what makes a person great and why you believe Jefferson chose each of the men displayed in his parlor.
2. Make a list of character traits which you find inspiring in a person, therefore making them great.
3. Use your list of character traits to create a word cloud.
4. Identify 3 people from the 20th-21st century whom embody these traits. You may want to consider individuals from the fields of science, technology, medicine, human rights, politics, business/industry, the arts, etc.
4. Create your own “Trinity” display either online by choosing 3 images from “My Collection, ” or on paper in a brochure, booklet or poster. Include one textbox below each portrait with a biographical sketch which includes his/her contributions and character traits. Be sure to explain why you consider each of these figures to be worthy.