The Era of Thomas Jefferson
Grade Levels: 3 - 5
Students explore an online resource to learn about Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.
- Students will learn about 19th-century lifestyles.
- Students will learn about the contributions of a U.S. president.
- Books about Thomas Jefferson and his home, Monticello
- A copy of a KWL Chart for each student
- Before you begin the lesson, preview the homepage of the website Monticello: The Home of Thomas
- Have students form pairs.
- Distribute copies of the KWL Chart to each student.
- Have each student complete the first section on their
worksheet, "What You Know About Thomas Jefferson," and then discuss their
ideas with their partner.
- Discuss with the class some of these ideas and help
students recall others from the text by asking questions such as: "What role
did Thomas Jefferson play in the development of the Declaration of
Independence?" (He wrote it.) "What were some of Jefferson's accomplishments
as president?" (He made the Louisiana Purchase, thereby doubling the size of
the United States; and he authorized the Lewis and Clark Expedition.) "Where
was Jefferson when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was held?" (He was in
France.) Draw into the discussion any other information students may have
about Jefferson and his times. Talk about Jefferson's home, Monticello, and
ask, "What might a day in the life of Mr. Jefferson at Monticello have been
- Have students think about a particular time of day
and what Jefferson might have done at that time. Have students complete the
section "What You Want to Know" on their worksheets.
Go to Monticello: The
Home of Thomas Jefferson, and navigate to the section with information on the daily life of Jefferson during his retirement at Monticello.
Have each pair of students choose a time of day, and then have them find out about that time of
the day. (You can also assign, or let students choose, different
time periods after viewing the list.) Allow students time to look through the
books you brought in. Have them complete the third section on their worksheet,
"What You Learned from Your Reading."
- Have each pair of students tell the class what they learned.
- Have students visit The
Letters of Thomas Jefferson website. Tell them to
click on the directions to alphabetize the letters, then scroll through them
and choose several of Jefferson's letters to read.
- Children may want to read all of the letters
Jefferson wrote to one person, such as Abigail Adams.
- As they read, have them think about how they would
have replied if they had received Jefferson's letter.
- Print several of the letters, then have students write a response to the letters.
If you need to teach it, we have it covered.
Start your free trial to gain instant access to thousands of expertly curated worksheets, activities, and lessons created by educational publishers and teachers.Start Your Free Trial