Great Cities of the World: New Orleans

Great Cities of the World: New Orleans
Rachel Jackson: First Ladies' Lives

Skill: High School/College
Time Required: One week


Although Rachel Jackson died before her husband Andrew Jackson was inaugurated as the seventh United States President, she was married to him in 1794 and certainly helped to celebrate his victory as the hero of the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. It was this battle and this city that gave Jackson the popularity as the candidate of the “common man,” that probably won him the Presidency.  New Orleans has been an important city in the history our nation for many reasons, not least of which is its location at the mouth of the Mississippi River. 


Students will use a variety of sources to research topics relating to the city of New Orleans; students will create a presentations to be judged by the class; students will be prepared to answer questions regarding their presentations, and generally be able to discuss their research and its significance. 

Materials Required:

Computers with internet access; Microsoft PowerPoint or another comparable presentation software; Rubric


1)      Students will asked what they know about the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. A list will be compiled of prior knowledge regarding New Orleans.

2)      The class will be divided into small groups the size of which will be determined by the teacher. Each group will select or be assigned a topic regarding New Orleans. Each group will be required to research their specific topic and prepare a presentation to share with the class.

3)      Topics may include:

-          The History of New Orleans; Control during the Colonial Period

-          Geography of New Orleans; How geography has affected life in New Orleans

-          The Economy and Industry of New Orleans

-          The French Quarter

-          The Cuisine of New Orleans

-          Entertainment and Tourism of New Orleans

-          Trade and Commerce

-          Katrina and its Aftermath

Any other topics relating to New Orleans that are introduced during the initial discussion may be added to the list above. Below are some websites with which to begin the research.

 4)      When research is completed and all presentations are ready, each student or group of students will present his or her research to the class.  Using the rubric attached to this lesson, students will judge each presentation and award points to the presenter.  The student or group of students with the most points will be acclaimed as “Researcher of the Term.”



Extending the Lesson:


This lesson could be extended by having the students delve deeper into a specific aspect of something discovered during their research. Several examples might be the development of Jazz, which would stem from the Entertainment and Tourism topic, or the failure of FEMA in the aftermath of Huricane Katrina.


Sources & Resources:


A Short History of New Orleans

A History of New Orleans

Geography of New Orleans

More Geography of New Orleans

New Orleans Economy

More on the Economy of New Orleans

The French Quarter

New Orleans French Quarter

The Cuisine of New Orleans

Louisiana Creole Cuisine

Entertainment and Tourism of New Orleans 

Trade and Commerce

New Orleans Business

The Port of New Orleans

Katrina and Its Aftermath

Effects of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans

Disaster Capitalism and Charter Schools: Revisiting New Orleans Post-Katrina



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