Lesson Plans Madison, Dolley


Madison, Dolley
From Colonies to States
The story of how the 13 colonies became the 13 original states of the Union is, perhaps, a familiar one for students.  However, it bears repeating.  There were patriots in every colony willing to risk their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.  But the battles did not end with the defeat of the British.  There were numerous fights in state legislatures and state constitutional conventions as the Constitution for the new republic was debated.  Dolley was a very young child at the time of the American Revolution.  During her life span, she saw the United States begin with the original 13 and then reach to the Mississippi and beyond. 
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Law, Politics and Govt

Madison, Dolley
Communicating by Wire: The Invention of the Telegraph
The 19th century was an exciting time in the history of inventions – the steam locomotive, the first electric light, the stethoscope, the typewriter, and, perhaps most exciting of all because it enabled people to communicate with one another very quickly, long before the telephone was developed.  Dolley Madison was the first private citizen to transmit a message by telegraph, an honor given her by its inventor, Samuel F. B. Morse.
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Science, Medicine, Inventions and tech

Madison, Dolley
"And the lesson of this story is...": Learning from Folk Tales and Fairy Tales
Many popular American fairy tales were written and widely published during Dolley Madison’s lifetime, often in Europe.  Usually these stories had an educational purpose as well as an entertaining one, because they all “taught” lessons about life – the difference between good and evil, proper respect for one’s elders, and the value of ideas like honesty, hard work, and sympathy for those who are treated badly. One would expect that as a young girl, Dolley heard such stories, read to her by her mother.  In turn, then, Dolley undoubtedly read some of these tales to her son.
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Education, Arts, Letters and Ideas

Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison: Courage in Time of War
The War of 1812 brought much destruction to our nation’s capital.  The White House was burned: only the sandstone walls remained.  Dolley Madison knew of the impending British invasion and potential destruction, so she quickly selected and packed items of significance.  One of the items she chose was a full-length portrait of our country’s founding father, George Washington.
Skill: Elementary School     Category: First Ladies' Lives

Madison, Dolley
Designing the Common School: The First Educational Reform
Few students or teachers realize the challenges teachers had to overcome as schools became more commonplace in early American society.  During Dolley Madison’s life,  the transition from family-provided, or private education, to the creation of a public education system was underway.
Skill: Middle School     Category: Education, Arts, Letters and Ideas

Madison, Dolley
The Hostess with the Mostest
Dolley Madison has been written down in history as one of the most hospitable first ladies.  She entertained like no other—her style of dress, methods of entertaining, dinner menu, etc.  It is suggested that she influenced many government leaders with severely differing viewpoints to come together for the good of the country.
Skill: Middle School     Category: First Ladies' Lives

Madison, Dolley
A Free Press for a Free People: Newspapers in America
Dolley Madison was one of the most popular First Ladies of the 19th century; she was noted for her ability to welcome people from various backgrounds and with various beliefs to the White House, and to participate elegantly and energetically in the Washington social scene.  Much of this “public” life – as well as the political life of her husband – were chronicled in newspapers, which exerted  growing influence on the popular culture of the time.
Skill: Middle School     Category: Sports and Popular Culture

Madison, Dolley
Freedom of Religion: The Plain People: Quakers in America
Dolley Madison was reared as a Quaker.  She grew up in a strict religious society that was set apart from other members of the community.  When Dolley married James Madison, who was not a Quaker, the reaction of church leaders was one of utter rejection.
Skill: Middle School     Category: Religion, Social Issues and Reform

Madison, Dolley
Were There Two Wars for American Independence?
One of the major events in Dolley Madison’s life was the War of 1812.  Among other things, she managed to save the major American historic documents, as well as the famous portrait of George Washington, all of which were in the White House, before the British burned Washington, D.C.
Skill: High School/College     Category: Law, Politics and Govt

Madison, Dolley
A Fascination with Mystery and Horror: Edgar Aallen Poe and Mary Shelley
During Dolley Madison’s lifetime, two early authors of American horror stories/poems produced their most well known works.  These two authors are Edgar Allen Poe (The Raven) and Mary Shelley (Frankenstein).
Skill: High School/College     Category: Education, Arts, Letters and Ideas

Madison, Dolley
"To Labour for Another." Economics and Democracy in Plantation Life
In the 18th century and into the 19th, during the lifetime of Dolley Madison, the colonies (and some states) were based on an agricultural economy, supported in large part—mostly but not entirely in the south—by the “peculiar” institution of slavery.  But with or without slaves, plantations were nearly always self-contained communities, with an economic identity, and economic motives, like any community.  Furthermore, they were a part of a larger, agrarian economy in the colonies, which depended in large measure on trade with England and other European countries.
Skill: High School/College     Category: Economics, Discovery and Daily Life

Madison, Dolley
The Debate on Slavery
The foundation for the Civil War was laid in the Declaration of Independence when southern colonies refused to allow Jefferson’s language on the elimination of slavery in to the Declaration.  In order to get the Declaration passed, northern colonies accepted its elimination.  For the rest of Dolley Madison’s life, the debate over slavery continued, until finally erupting in the Civil War twelve years after her death.
Skill: High School/College     Category: Religion, Social Issues and Reform

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