Curriculum Materials

Modern Colossus

A political cartoon from the 1848 presidential campaign.  Van Buren ran as the candidate of the Free Soil Party.  The cartoon depicts Van Buren trying to bridge the differences between Whigs and Democrats.

Library of Congress

Lesson Plans & Handouts

Field trips, curriculum materials, professional development opportunities, and suggested reading can help teachers and their classes make Martin Van Buren National Historic Site an extension of their classrooms. Please explore the resources below and to the left for current lesson plans, worksheets and activities.

For more information contact ranger/educator Dawn Olson with questions about curriculum for your classroom or to arrange a visit to your school. She can be phoned at 518-758-9689 extension 2006 or you can e-mail her at e-mail us.

Our fourth grade classroom program "What's So Funny About Political Cartoons?" are found here:

"What's So Funny About Political Cartoons?" lesson plan and handouts (1.24 MB pdf file)

Whig Campaign Token

Here President Van Buren enjoys some champagne, but if you complete this activity you'll discover his opponents in the Whig Party planned for him to drink another beverage.

National Park Service

1840 Presidential Campaign Activity

This activity recreates a Whig campaign token. Mechanical cards such as this were a novelty item that became increasing popular in the second half of the nineteenth century for promoting sales. Click the link to retrieve the document. Print out the document and follow the instructions to make one of the campaign innovations the Whig Party used to help William Henry Harrison defeat Martin Van Buren in the presidential election of 1840.

Whig Campaign Token

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