1. Introduce the lesson with a discussion of the contemporary role of the First Lady of the U.S. Have students explore the first website, below, to gain an understanding of the origin of the term, and a list of all the First Ladies.
2, Using the rest of the websites below, ask students to select one First Lady, research her life as the President’s wife, and come to a conclusion about her “take” on the role of the First Lady. The final website, “The Role of the First Lady,” gives some of the current debate about the role of contemporary First Ladies.
3. When the research is finished, assign individual students to write a short essay on the topic of the Role of the First Lady—what it should be, can be, might be.
4. Conclude the lesson by providing students with time to share their ideas and insights. Evaluation of the papers should be based on standard grading norms and/or state content standards for writing.
Brady, Patricia. Martha Washington: An American Life. New York: Viking, 2005.
First Lady of the United States
Mrs. President: From Martha to Laura
The Role of the First Lady
This lesson was developed by Averil McClelland, Kent State University.