About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file "Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site" (with photographs) and other source materials. It was written by Todd Stoeberl, former Park Ranger, Eleanor Roosevelt 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
The lesson could be used in American history courses in units on efforts to achieve world peace during the Cold War in the 1950s, or on human rights and civil rights issues. Students will learn about Eleanor Roosevelt's contributions as a humanitarian.
Time Period: Modern America
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 describe the general setting at Val-Kill and explain how it nurtured Eleanor Roosevelt's spirit, personal style, and humanitarian efforts.
2) To describe some of the people Roosevelt invited to her home and indicate how these visitors reflected her interests.
3) To examine the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights and explain Roosevelt's involvement in its creation.
4) To investigate their own community for volunteer organizations dedicated to helping others.
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 photographs appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) Two maps of the area;
2) Three readings about Roosevelt's life at Val-Kill, her humanitarian causes, and some of the activities that took place at her home;
3) A copy of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
4) Five photos of Val-Kill and some of the guests Roosevelt hosted there.
Visiting the site
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site is located on Route 9G in Hyde Park, New York. All organized groups must make reservations in order to visit the site. For more information, contact the Superintendent, Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites, 519 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park, NY 12538 or visit the park web pages.