Students answer thought provoking questions about presidents

logoSpecial from Dennis Jenkins

Yesterday morning students responded to different thought provokers as they shared their opinions on such questions as: “If you could go back in history and advise presidents to make a certain decision, what would you tell them?” Students also answered: “If you could be a fly on a wall, which presidential decision would you have liked to have been listening to?”

Students also explained who their favorite president was. After sharing with their peers their opinions to those questions, students went on a brief tour around WKU’s campus to see the fort that was manned during the Civil War by a future president named Benjamin Harrison. Students were taken to the highest point of the fort where they posed for a picture where they looked out over part of Bowling Green.

After our morning break, students learned about the 1976 presidential election and each student was assigned a political party to support while they made a group campaign poster for their candidate. Our class watched a lively debate between President Gerald Ford and Governor Jimmy Carter that was role-played by Will and Bryce. The students did a great job during the debate!

After lunch, students discussed and read a handout that dealt with Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy. We went to the library where students researched the court case that dealt with the Indian Removal Act and Andrew Jackson’s response to how the Supreme Court ruled. Students researched Jimmy Carter’s greatest accomplishments and failures during his presidency. Before the students left, they also examined a variety of the best political cartoons that were made during the Andrew Jackson presidency and Jimmy Carter presidency.

After we returned from our afternoon break, students shared with the class what they learned from their research about Andrew Jackson and Jimmy Carter. We watched some of the best commercials from the 1976 election as we contrasted the ads from the campaigns of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Students also watched part of the actual debate between Ford and Carter.

We completed our study of Carter’s presidency as we examined his domestic policies, watched a short clip over his administration and evaluated historians’ rankings of his presidency. Near the end of class we discussed and read about a court case during the Carter years that dealt with Affirmative Action.

During study hall, students contrasted the backgrounds and personalities of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.