Founding Daughter: Commemorating the Life & Leadership of Martha Jefferson Randolph
Lesson Description and Objectives: Students will formulate questions, interpret primary sources and construct evidence to support an argument. Students will be able to answer essential questions, discuss their assumptions and predictions, comment on comparisons and agree amiably. Mastery may be demonstrated through art, literature analysis or object lessons. Further mastery may be demonstrated through analyzing an enslaved woman, granddaughter, tutor or mother.
Grade level: High School (9-‐12)
Topic: Jefferson’s Family Life, People Profiles, Primary Documents & Jefferson’s Writings
Subject: Art, U.S. History
Tags: Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, Women of Monticello, Family
Lesson Type: Group and Individual
What comparisons could you draw?
Prior Knowledge: Martha “Patsy” Jefferson was the oldest daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson. There is more information that will follow about her. It is important to know that this “Founding Daughter” was the heir to our Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson. He was the 3rd president of the United States, founded the University of Virginia, wrote the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom and the Declaration of Independence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy RH.9-10.9 (National Common Core)
Compare and contrast treatment of a primary document.
Clarifying Standards/Standards Alignment: (North Carolina standard)
♣ Formulate questions.
♣ Interpret a primary source.
♣ Construct evidence to support an argument.
♣ Interpret period attire.
Estimated Time to Complete Lesson(s): 120 minutes
Materials Needed: objects/artifacts from home (example: spoon, bowl, writing instrument), giant poster size sticky note, sticky dots, markers, crayons, art paper, feather pens, ink, period clothing, computer with internet access and /or calligraphy paper
Brainstorm with your table group the answer to the following, “ I assume Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph was related to Thomas Jefferson because
After I look at Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph portrait, I predict
that she ____________________. After analyzing her name and studying her portrait, I wonder if Patsy _________________________________.
1.Virtually visit the office of Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph. Go to explorer.monticello.org and link to the South Square Room.
2.Click on the camera icon to view the furnishings. Compare what you see in her office to a modern equivalent. (example: writing desk to laptop )
3.Glance below the virtual room to the bar below. Click on one of the related materials in the South Square room that served as an office for Martha “Patsy”Jefferson Randolph.
4.Why do you think she choose to house these specific artifacts at her disposal? How might the object have made her job easier for planning, caregiving or daily life at Monticello?
5.To jumpstart your thinking, consider why the mother of eleven children would have a children’s game on the floor beside her desk.
Mini-‐Lecture: The teacher will share a mini lecture to provide background knowledge on Martha Jefferson Randolph, also called “Patsy.” The notes below may prove helpful
1.What is one of Martha “Patsy”Jefferson Randolph’s many talents?
2.Why would she be considered a Founding Daughter?
3.What do you think is Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph greatest accomplishment?
4.What did you learn that surprised you about Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph?
Points to ponder: classes, advice and admonishments
Double your understanding: Combine your group of two with another pair and compare your observations. Add answers you agree with to both charts. This will increase your bank of answers.
Assessment/ Reflective Strategies: (Show what you know.)
Allow students to choose the medium that they feel will best demonstrate their mastery of this lesson:
Literature: Read another primary document written by “Patsy.” Write discussion question stems about that document that begin with the 5 W’s (who, what, where, when and why)
Object Lesson: Research an object/ artifact that Patsy may have used in her office or daily life. Bring a modern version of that object to class and “show what you know” holding the object. (example: flower basket, journal, log, teacup, etc.)
Extension: Create comparisons.
2. After you create your map, find a partner and discuss the following using phrases such as “Tell me more.”
Theresa P. Pierce
Rowan County Early College High School
Salisbury, North Carolina 28145
Interesting point about images: Some people act surprised that no paintings exist of someone. The actual surprise would be if one did. Images rarely exist because portraits were expensive.
Image source: monticello.org