Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You

Ask not what the lesson here can do for you, but what you can do with the lesson. The answer is quite a lot! Young scholars revisit JFK's famous inaugural address with a focus on his plea for civic engagement. There's a letter to JFK from a young listener from 1961, discussion questions about the speech and letter, and a final journal entry writing assignment.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Have historians choose former presidents and examine their inaugural addresses, looking for quotes or ideas that resonate with them
  • Plenty of supplementary sources to explore on the JFK Library website
Classroom Considerations
  • If you choose to listen to or watch a video of the speech, Internet with projection and speakers are required
  • Ample extension activities provide creative ways to dive deeper
  • A great introduction to what can be a difficult speech for elementary students
  • None