George Washington, Benito Juarez, and Simon Bolivar: an in-depth look into why we remember them

byElisha Burns

This curriculum unit looks at the position of president from its establishment then focuses on three of the most notable presidents in American and Latin American history: George Washington, Simon Bolivar and Benito Juarez. The unit was created for 7th grade, however, it is suitable for 6th and 8th grade. The curriculum unit places an emphasis on Latin American leaders because most California school are seeing an increase in the number of students from this ethnic background. The students buy into the lessons because they enjoy hearing familiar Spanish words and about obstacles that people have faced in history that mirror their own challenges. The connection that students feel between themselves and the historical figures helps them to become intrigued and inquisitive about the topic, which increases the effectiveness of teaching. Throughout this curriculum unit students are inspired to ask questions and discover information an essential component of the new Common Core Standards. Throughout this curriculum unit students will explore the three historical figures and the concept of hierarchy using various teaching strategies such as gradual release, small groups, learning stations, philosophical chairs and structured writing. Ultimately students will complete a hierarchy diagram and a persuasive essay for learning assessment.

(Developed for Language Arts and World History CORE, grade 7; recommended for Language Arts and World History CORE, grades 6-7, and U. S. History, grade 8)

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