"Few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle."
The subject of the quote above, spoken by Ronald Reagan at his inauguration in 1981, is the focus of this lesson on transition of power. This lesson also serves as an excellent opportunity to connect an event in American history with modern-day world events.
The lesson begins with a power point presentation that showcases three modern-day examples of brutal transition of power. Students are actively taking notes while the examples are presented. Student engagement in this opening activity is very high because most of them are not aware of these cruel leaders.
The power point then shifts focus to the transition of power here in the U.S. The Election of 2008 is presented to tap into students’ prior knowledge. Then we shift to our curriculum focus: the Election of 1800. Students truly begin to see how unique we are as a nation in terms of our peaceful transition of leadership over the past 200+ years!
Included in the lesson is a 14 slide powerpoint and two sided student handout to be completed in one class period. Suggestions for homework assignment and extension/enrichment activities are included.