Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Harry S. Truman Week
Heidi Waddock Piatchek
American History
Time Frame:
Ten 45 minute class periods

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
  • The students will:

    1. Watch slide show and listen to lecture about Harry S. Truman
    2. Students will play Truman Jeopardy
    3. Students will read letters that Truman wrote.
    4. Students will use web to read famous quotes of Harry S. Truman.
    5. Students will use an Inspiration Software template to describe Truman and his achievements
    6. Students will choose favorite quote, explain its' meaning and display a computer generated copy of it.

  • Cross curricular ideas for Math: calculate using the road mileage, Language Arts: journal after reading his letters, Science: Nuclear Power

  • I have been teaching in St. Louis for 26 years, and have heard minimal mention of Harry S. Truman. He is from Missouri and we should be giving him extra emphasis in our schools.
  • District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:

    • Archdiocese of St. Louis, American History as determined by staff at St. Frances Cabrini Academy


     2. Continuity and change in the history of Missouri, the United States and the world

    6. Relationships of the individual and groups to institutions and cultural traditions

    7. The use of tools of social science inquiry (such as surveys, statistics, maps, documents)



    Benchmark 3: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of individuals, groups, ideas, developments, and turning points in the era of the Cold War (1945-1990).

    1. (K) explains why the United States emerged as a superpower as the result of World War II.

    2.(A) analyzes the origins of the Cold War (e.g., establishment of the Soviet Bloc, Mao’s victory in China, Marshall Plan, Berlin Blockade, Iron Curtain).

    3. (A) evaluates the foreign policies of Truman and Eisenhower during the Cold War (e.g., establishment of the United Nations, containment, NATO, Truman Doctrine, Berlin Blockade, Korean War, Iron Curtain, U-2 incident).

    5. (A) analyzes domestic life in the United States during the Cold War era (e.g., McCarthyism, federal aid to education, interstate highway system, space as the New Frontier, Johnson’s Great Society).

    Benchmark 5: The student engages in historical thinking skills.

    1. (A) analyzes a theme in United States history to explain patterns of continuity and change over time.

    2. (A) develops historical questions on a specific topic in United States history and analyzes the evidence in primary source documents to speculate on the answers.

    3. (A) uses primary and secondary sources about an event in U.S. history to develop a credible interpretation of the event, evaluating on its meaning (e.g., uses provided primary and secondary sources to interpret a historical-based conclusion).

    Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
    • Letters in the "Between the Wars" booklet
    • Teacher generated slide show
    • Truman Library Jeopardy Game
    • Truman Letters on line - Truman Library website
    • Presidential Quotes website @ Famous Quotes By Harry Truman

    Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
    • Online photographs of Truman: Truman Library Website
    • Letters from "Between the Wars booklet"

    Technology Required:

    Internet Access

    Full description of activity or assignment.
    • Teacher will present the slide show and talk to students about Harry S. Truman.
    • Ask various questions about His life
    • Display the Jeopardy game on screen and play as a whole class in two teams.
    • Give a short quiz based on student interests shown in the previous classes.
    • Pass out Truman letters and read to them to students as they read along.
    • Discuss various aspects of his personality, his concerns, his desires for his family and his nation
    • In pod groups ask questions about the nuclear bomb decision and report back to the class.
    • In computer lab, give the directions for the Inspiration software template. The outline is:
    • A. Truman
    • 1. Relationships (student will identify 3)
    • 2. Personality traits (3)
    • 3. Occupations (3)
    • 4. Presidential Achievements (3)
    • 5. Repeat of Presidential Achievements (3)
    • 6. Family (3)
    • 7. Important Dates in Truman's life (3)


    Research the web site for famous quotes and choose one to generate and explain to the class.

    Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
    • test over Truman using multiple choice and short answer
    • Grade for Inspiration template

      Archdiocese of St. Louis grading scale:

    • 94% - 100% A
    • 85% - 93% B
    • 78% - 84 C
    • 70% -77% D