TEKS/Standards: 8) History. The student understands the impact of significant national and international decisions and conflicts in the Cold War on the United States.
(D) explain the significance of the following years as turning points: 1957 (Sputnik launch ignites U.S.-Soviet space race)
Understand the Kennedy family history and the factors that propelled and inspired JFK’s success.
What was the Kennedy Family like?
How did his family rise from rags to riches?
What were the expectations of the Kennedy children?
What happened to the eldest son Joseph Kennedy?
Students will read an article about the eldest Kennedy son who had his plane shot down over Normandy during WWII. They will read the quote from Kennedy where he assumes the responsibilities of the first born, and states that Bobby would do the same if he died.
Teacher will show a picture of the Kennedy family when JFK was a child, and ask for adjectives describing the family. (Big, rich, Irish/white)
Explain how JFK’s grandfather made his money from liquor distribution.
Joseph Kennedy Sr. (JFK’s father) was president of a bank and first Irishman to achieve the title of Ambassador to Great Britain. This was an example of overcoming adversity because there was still racism towards the Irish in both England and the U.S. (Explain what countries are apart of Great Britain)
Identify John F. Kennedy’s political appeal.
What experiences did JFK have to raise his popularity?
What was unique about JFK as a politician?
What were JFK’s first political accomplishments? (explain to students that politicians don’t just decide to run for president.. ask them to recall what President Bush did before he ran for president)
Read JFK war hero article about why he won so many medals.
Show list of president’s information including ethnicity, age, and religion to show that JFK was the youngest and only Catholic.
Explain the difference between old money and new money. Ask the students to identify examples. Explain that Kennedy married a Bouvier and why that helped his chances.
Identify the reasoning behind the choices JFK made during his presidential run.
What is a balanced ticket?
Why did JFK pick Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) as a vice presidential running mate?
How might this work in his advantage?
Explain that even though a political party has similar values and views, there is still diversity within those political parties. Look at balanced tickets from the past and explain how the individuals complemented each other. LBJ from the southwest while JFK is from northeast. LBJ is protestant while JFK is Catholic. LBJ is older and more conservative while JFK is younger and progressive. Etc.
A balanced ticket appeals to more than one group (Expanding the support base).
Identify the importance of the televised presidential debate and how it helped JFK win the race. (first televised presidential debate)
Students will watch a segment of the first debate.
What do you see?
Who do you think won the televised debate and why?
Do you think people listening to the radio version of the debate agreed with the television viewers? Why?
How did the candidates look different?
Have students compete to find how close the election was for a lollipop. (use technology for 60 seconds)
Less than 150,000 vote difference. About the size of South Austin. Make up, hair, and charisma probably count for at least that many votes, so these factors mattered in this race.
After answering the questions explain to students that Nixon refused make up, a hairstylist, and progressive clothes. Kennedy had make up, Salvador Ferragamo, etc.
It was also rumored that Nixon’s mother called him after the debate and asked him if he was sick.
People thought JFK won televised and Nixon won radio (or at least the radio listeners considered it much closer).
Characterize and define JFK’s agenda while in office as well as the opposition he faced.
Have students listen to section of inaugural address, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” How do you think this made Americans feel? What does it mean?
What were some of Kennedy’s goals as president?
What was some opposition he faced?
What affairs did JFK have during his presidency? (Play a little “Happy birthday Mr. president by Marilyn Monroe… How do you think this made Jackie feel, verbal response)
What role did Robert Kennedy serve under JFK’s Administration?
What opposition did they face, and how did JFK respond?
Was Robert effective?
How did JFK pass up the Soviets?
He put a man on the moon.
Kennedy wants to contain communism.
He wants to advance in math and science education.
He wants to advance civil rights to all groups.
He wants to put a man on the moon.
Robert Kennedy was the Attorney General and he stopped the school integration riots in the south by force.
People said that JFK picked his brother instead of best possible fit for job. JFK responded with humor, “thought we’d give Bobby some practice before he goes to be a lawyer”
Why does anybody climb the tallest mountains in the world? Why does Rice play Texas?