Great States: Exploring Tennessee

Great States: Exploring Tennessee
Rachel Jackson: Law, Politics and Govt

Skill: Middle School
Time Required: Three to four class periods.

Required Documents
Tennessee History
Poster Project Rubric


Rachel Donelson, who would later become Rachel Jackson, moved to Tennessee with her family and 600 other settlers from Pittsylvania County, Virginia when she was twelve years old. Her second husband, Andrew Jackson, who would eventually become the 7th President of the United States, practiced law in Tennessee and was in fact a member of the convention that created the Tennessee Constitution. He was elected in 1796 as Tennessee's first US Representative and then as US Senator in 1797. The Jackson’s had deep ties to the state of Tennessee and Jackson was the first president elected from a state outside of the original thirteen. Tennesee became the 16th state in 1796 and has played a major role in US History from the American Revolution to the present day.


  1. The student will demonstrate a basic knowledge of the history of Tennessee.
  2. The student will be able to identify important landmarks and attractions of Tennessee.
  3. The students will use the Internet to locate facts about famous Tennessee landmarks.
  4. The students will create an advertisement for a Tennessee tourist destination which will include graphics, facts and important information regarding this location.

Materials Required:

1) Computers and internet access; 2) Tennessee History Worksheet; 3) Poster board and markers or crayons; 4) A color printer for graphics for final advertisement project. (Optional)


1) The teacher will begin the lesson by having the students give any information they know about the state of Tennessee. This information can include major cities, industries, tourist attractions, or anything else they may seem relevant. These facts can be listed on the board and briefly discussed.

2) The teacher will then assign the students a brief reading assignment from the Tennessee History Web Page. This may be printed if computer access for the whole class is not available. The students will also complete the brief Tennessee History Worksheet that is included in this lesson.

3) The students will be asked to browse the Tennessee Tourism Website listed below. This site lists and describes various tourist locations in Tennessee. The students will be placed in pairs or small groups and asked to create a poster-sized advertisement for one specific tourist location in Tennessee. The directions and a scoring rubric are included with this lesson plan.

Extending the Lesson:

Having the students investigate other US states using the same process could extend this lesson. US states all have tourism sites that will aid in these investigations.

Sources & Resources:


Carpenter, William. The History of Tennessee. University of Michigan Libraries, 2011.


Tennessee State History

Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the U.S.

Tennessee Beautiful


Credits: This lesson was developed by Robert McClelland, Cleveland Metropolitan School District.