President Truman's Acceptance Speech

Lesson Author
Required Time Frame
1-2 classes
Grade Level(s)
Lesson Abstract
Students will listen to a speech by President Truman and will fill out a work sheet based on the speech that they heard.

Students will listen to a speech by President Truman and will fill out a work sheet based on the speech that they heard.

Rationale (why are you doing this?)

This activity will help students become familar with primary sources other than documents

Lesson Objectives - the student will

The Student will be able to analysis a speech from Harry Truman.

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met

Missouri Standards

2. Continuity and change in the history of Missouri, the United States and the world

3. Principles and processes of governance systems

7. The use of tools of social science inquiry (such as surveys, statistics, maps, documents)



Kansas Standards

Benchmark 3: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of individuals, groups, ideas, developments, and turning points in the era of the Cold War (1945-1990).

1. (K) explains why the United States emerged as a superpower as the result of World War II.

Benchmark 5: The student engages in historical thinking skills.

1. (A) analyzes a theme in United States history to explain patterns of continuity and change over time.

Benchmark 2: The student understands the shared ideals and diversity of American society and political culture.

2. (K) understands core civic values inherent in the United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence that have been the foundation for unity in American society (e.g., right to free speech, religion, press, assembly; equality; human dignity; civic responsibility, sovereignty of the people).

Primary sources needed (document, photograph, artifact, diary or letter, audio or visual recording, etc.) needed
Fully describe the activity or assignment in detail. What will both the teacher and the students do?

A. As you listen to the radio announcer:

1) Describe the convention hall surroundings:

2) Why does the announcer give the listeners this much detail?


B. As you listen to President Truman’s speech, answer the following:

1. To what audiences do you think President Truman is directing his message?

2. Truman states what major difference exists between the Democrats and Republicans

3. Under Democrat presidents these past 16 years, Truman states these groups have benefited how?

Farmers ____________________________
City workers ____________________________

4. True or False: Truman labels the 80th Congress as being the worst in US history.

5. In our foreign relations with other nations, Truman believes that our nation must do what?


6. Truman attacks the Republican Party as the party for whom? ______________________

7. President Truman attacks Congress in what ways?


8. Truman refers to the Republican 1948 platform as "____________________" What does this mean?

9. Truman ends his speech by forcing Congress to do what?

10. He wants Congress to tackle what major concerns?

11. Truman associates the Republican Party with what recent American crisis?



Student Activities:

1) Evaluate his speech and state your reasons: Was it interesting? Convincing? To the Point? Did he project a good delivery style? Is it easy to understand his major points? Circle one: (high) 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 (low)

Explain your reasoning____________________________________________________________________

2) Your opinion. Could a presidential candidate give such a hard-hitting, aggressive speech today? Why (not)?

3) You are a Republican who is opposed to the charges made by President Truman toward your party. Create a short two-minute reply to his speech, which will be delivered over the radio the following evening.

Assessment: fully explain the assessment method in detail or create and attach a scoring guide

Assessment will be based on completion of worksheet