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Inquiry Question

Historical Context

Maps

Readings

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Activities

Table of
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About This Lesson

This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file for the William Howard Taft National Historic Site (with photographs). It was written by E. Ray Henderson, Park Ranger, William Howard Taft National Historic Site. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.

Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson can be used with units on early 20th-century presidents. It will help students understand the role that education, family values, and respect for civic duty played in forming the leadership skills of the Taft family.
Time period: 1850s to 1920s
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12

Objectives for students
1) To explain the role the Taft family played in our history during the 19th and 20th centuries and the effect their civic participation had on the country.
2) To describe how William Howard Taft's family background influenced his success in achieving the posts of president of the United States and chief justice of the Supreme Court.
3) To list jobs held by William Howard Taft before he became president and examine how those occupations prepared him for his most prominent positions.
4) To compare the leadership qualities of current local and national figures with members of the Taft family.

Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps, images, and documents appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) two maps of Cincinnati and Taft's neighborhood;
2) three readings that describe Taft's family and upbringing;
3) a copy of the Taft household census report;
4) a copy of Taft's high school admission test;
5) four photographs that include the Taft family and William Howard Taft with friends.

Visiting the site
The Taft house is located at 2038 Auburn Avenue in the Mount Auburn section of Cincinnati. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except for New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Visitor parking is available. For additional information write to the Superintendent, William Howard Taft National Historic Site, 2038 Auburn Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45219 or visit the park web pages.

 

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