From Hero to Politician

From Hero to Politician
Rosalynn Carter: Law, Politics and Govt

Skill: Elementary School
Time Required: Two class periods

Standards Compliance
NCSS Strand 2
Time, Continuity, and Change
NCSS Strand 4
Individual Development and Identity
NCSS Strand 5
Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
NCSS Strand 6
Power, Authority, and Governance
NCSS Strand 10
Civic Ideals and Practices
NCTE Standard 1
Students read fiction, nonfiction, classic, and contemporary works to acquire information for various purposes.
NCTE Standard 3
Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.
NCTE Standard 4
Students adjust the use of spoken, written, and visual language to communicate with different audiences and purposes.
NCTE Standard 5
Students use a wide range of strategies and elements to write to communicate with different audiences and for purposes.
NCTE Standard 12
Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes.
ISTE Standard 5
Technology research tools


Jimmy Carter is not the only military man who has sought the Presidency.  In the late 20th century alone, a number of men have successfully moved from military service to public service, either as President of the United States or as a Member of Congress.


The purpose of this lesson is to acquaint students with the lives of modern politicians who also served their country in the military.    

Materials Required:

Access to the Internet; access to print reference materials.


1.  Divide class into 5 groups and allow each group to choose one of the following 5 men:

  • Jimmy Carter
  • John Glenn
  • Dwight David Eisenhower
  • John Kerry
  • John McCain

2.  The groups are writing teams charged with the selection of outstanding American heroes who became active politically after their discharge from military service.  Students can use the Internet or books from the school or community library.
3.  Each group has the responsibility of writing a 2- to 3-page biography of their hero politician in which they describe the family, childhood, education, military career, and later political career of their hero.  Emphasis should be placed on their contributions to the greater common good of the American people.

Extending the Lesson:

This lesson can include heroes from any time period.  For example, a number of leaders emerged from the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and from World War I.

Sources & Resources:

This lesson was developed by Bette Brooks, Kent State University.