Student Activities

Building Character: Eisenhower's Story and My Story

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Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Social Studies
State Standards:
PA Education Standards:
History/Social Sciences - 8.1.6
English/Language Arts - 1.2.5 A, 1.5.5 B, 1.6.5 D
Character Education - recognize, identify, exhibit good character


In this activity, students will construct and examine a timeline that encompasses the period from the Civil War through the Eisenhower years. The students will use the timeline to choose events they feel gave President Eisenhower and their own family members opportunities to develop the character traits of Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Accountability, Caring and Citizenship


Students will examine the timeline of Dwight David Eisenhower's life and identify events in Ike's life that would help build good character traits, or times that Ike displayed good character or leadership traits.

Students will create their own timeline of events during their life and the lives of other family members that have helped them develop positive character traits.


In this lesson, students will examine the timeline of Dwight David Eisenhower's life. As they read and discuss His Story with the teacher, students should begin to identify events in Ike's life that would help build good character traits, or times that Ike displayed good character or leadership traits. The poster naming Character Traits should be displayed in the front of the room. Traits should be explained and discussed BEFORE doing this lesson.

One such event would be the command of Camp Colt in Gettysburg. Eisenhower needed to beresponsible and trustworthy to lead this new command. Another example would be when General Eisenhower had to make the decision to invade France on June 6, 1944. He had to be responsible and accountable for the decision he finally made.

After several events are discussed in class, the students will be assigned My Story, the timeline that will show events in the student's life and the lives of one or more family members that have helped them build good character.

For example, under the year 1982 the student might list: My grandmother become a mother for the first time and was now responsible for raising a family. Or under the 2010 - 2011 space: I was trustworthy when my brother asked me to keep his Game Boy in a safe place while he went to camp.

The timeline, My Story, should be completed at home. The letter explaining the assignment and goal of the unit should accompany the timeline. The letter and timeline follow this page. Teacher discretion should be used on the time needed for students to complete this assignment.

Children will bring in their own timelines and present their stories to the rest of the class. This could be done in a cooperative group environment or as a whole class project. Timelines will then be displayed in the classroom during the rest of the unit.

Note: Please refer to the introduction background information on President Eisenhower to aid you in discussion.

Suggestion for a follow up assignment: Write a set of rules that your family has designed to help you develop into a responsible citizen. You may present your rules as a poem, a drawing, a mobile or with photographs.


Download Eisenhower-My Story Timeline materials

Last updated: July 21, 2015