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How to
Use the Activities


Inquiry Question

Historical Context




Table of

Putting It All Together

Hard work, a good education, and an interest in civic duty are attributes that made the Taft family outstanding leaders over the years. The contributions made by these individuals continue to enrich our lives today. Their leadership skills were carefully cultivated through the example set by their parents and by the activities in which they chose to participate.

Activity 1: Leadership Characteristics
Using the Taft family as an example, ask students to define characteristics associated with leadership. Then ask students to identify someone in their community who fits those characteristics. If possible, have them interview this person, using a set of questions they have developed. Then, have students write a profile of the interviewee and submit it to the school or local newspaper.

Next, have students write their governor, congress person, or senator and ask the same questions they developed for the local leader. Ask students to compare the responses and discuss the types of character traits and leadership skills they found in common among local and national leaders, and the Tafts.

Activity 2: Practicing Leadership Skills
Have students define the term "neighborhood." Ask what feelings they have about their own neighborhood? Have them compare their neighborhood to the one in which William Howard Taft grew up.

Have students work in small groups to develop a list of activities they could undertake that would benefit their neighborhood (i.e., volunteer for a community action agency, help clean up an area, become a mentor to younger children, plant trees and shrubbery, etc.). Have them assess whether such experiences would be helpful for developing leadership skills. If possible, have the class undertake some of these projects.




Comments or Questions

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