About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration files, "Herbert Hoover National Historic Site" (with photographs) and "West Branch Commercial Historic District," and materials from Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. It was written by Pat Wheeler, former Chief of Resource Education and Public Use Management at Herbert Hoover 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 could be used in connection with studies of World War I, as an introduction to Hoover's presidency and the Great Depression, or in a unit devoted to citizenship.
Time period: 1870s-1930s
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 relate the events of Herbert Hoover's childhood in West Branch, Iowa, that may have motivated his concern for children around the world.
2) To understand the daily life of a rural community in the 1870s and 1880s.
3) To describe and evaluate the activities that led to Hoover's recognition as a good citizen of the world.
4) To discuss and give examples of ways they can act as good citizens in their own community.
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 photos, drawing, posters, and cartoons appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) a map of Iowa;
2) readings compiled from contemporary writings and quotations;
3) a copy of Cedar County Clerk Records;
4) images of Hoover's birthplace;
5) posters from World War I;
6) political cartoons.
Visiting the site
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, administered by the National Park Service, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except January 1, Thanksgiving, and December 25. For more information, write to the Superintendent, Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, P.O. Box 607, West Branch, IA 52358 or visit the park web pages.