DeVos Learning Center

2017-2018 School Programs
Grades 3-5

AV82-216A 600 8.7mb

Citizens in Action: Learning from the Example of President Ford to Become an Engaged Citizen

Students will learn about the responsibilities of citizenship through the example of President Ford: from his early days as a Boy Scout and teammate to his service in the Navy, the United States Congress, and President of the United States. During an interactive Museum tour, students will create an eBook to illustrate what being an active citizen means to them. Students will discover ways in which they can positively engage in their communities and will put this into practice by participating in a special service project. (The length of this program varies from 3-4 depending on which activities are included – please indicate your preferred length when scheduling your program)

Standards Addressed:

  • Explain responsibilities of citizenship
  • Give examples of ways the Constitution limits the powers of the federal government (e.g. election of public officers, etc.)
  • Describe ways citizens can work together to promote the values and principles of American democracy
  • Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text
  • Use text features and search tools to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently
  • Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently

Click here for pre– and post–visit activities

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Planting Seeds of Character: How Perseverance Shaped a Future President

In this two and a half hour program, students will learn about President Ford’s early years from childhood through college. Through exploring the museum and many primary sources, students will examine how pivotal events and choices early on helped shape President Ford’s character and led him to success. Participants will learn the importance of perseverance when seeking to overcome obstacles. The experience will culminate with students creating a unique “perseverance timeline” to highlight important events in President Ford’s life and in history.

Standards Addressed:

  • Draw upon stories, photos, artifacts, and other primary sources to compare the life of people in cities in Michigan during a variety of time periods
  • Create timelines to sequence and describe important events in history
  • Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text
  • Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization
  • Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension

Click here for pre- and post-visit activities

Taking a Stand: Making Choices with Integrity

In this three and a half-hour program, students will explore how the concept of integrity relates to making decisions when faced with a dilemma and using one’s voice to help solve the problem. This three and a half-hour class uses the story of a 1934 football game in which Georgia Tech refused to play the University of Michigan unless Willis Ward, an African American player for U of M, was benched during the game. The future 38th president of the United States, Gerald Ford, was a teammate and friend of Ward’s. Students will examine how Ford faced a dilemma that he later described as a personal crisis as he decided whether or not to play in a football game that excluded a player based solely on race. Students will discuss the responsibility we all have when faced with injustice and the ways by which we can create change. They will learn that they, too, can create change through policy by learning to communicate with their elected officials.

Standards Addressed:

  • Understand social problems, social structure, institutions, class, groups, and interaction
  • Examine policy issues in group discussions to make reasoned and informed decisions
  • Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension
  • Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure

Click here for pre- and post-visit activities

Ford and Willis Ward

Unlocking the Character Code: the Gerald R. Ford BREAKOUT Game

After a guided tour of the Museum, students work together in teams to solve character-related clues throughout the exhibits in order to unlock a secret code and reap the reward! This activity is great for team-building and developing critical thinking skills. “Unlocking the Character Code” can be added onto one of our other programs, or can serve as a stand-alone experience. Please allow at least 2.5 hours for both the guided tour and breakout game.

Click here for pre- and post-visit activities

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