Eleanor Roosevelt Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Eleanor Roosevelt was more than just a first lady. Teach students about her live and accomplishments with this text lesson that uses a mentor text to guide learning and applies concepts with hands-on activities.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • retell the biography of Eleanor Roosevelt
  • discuss Eleanor Roosevelt's accomplishments and their impact
  • identify and discuss character traits of Eleanor Roosevelt
  • define 'human rights' and discuss Eleanor Roosevelt's work in relation to them


1 - 1.5 hours


Key Vocabulary

  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • My Day

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.3

Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


  • Set the stage for learning by asking students to define 'human rights' in detail. When finished, break them into small groups and have them share answers, deriving a new, common definition, and writing it on chart paper.
  • Have groups share their definitions and work together to define the term as a whole class.
  • Explain that Eleanor Roosevelt was a strong advocate for human rights for women, minorities and other marginalized groups. Ask students to consider what character traits Eleanor Roosevelt may have had to do this type of work. Have them discuss in their groups and record on chart paper, then share as a whole class.
  • Now distribute copies of the lesson Who Was Eleanor Roosevelt? - Biography, Facts & Accomplishments and instruct students to read together in their small groups.
  • Ask:
    • What human rights did Eleanor Roosevelt fight for? (List on the board for later).
    • How did she use her life to help others?
    • What about her background made her an advocate?
  • Next have students revisit their list of character traits and add or delete, discussing and advocating for each. Have them share revisions as a whole group.
  • Have each small group choose one of the human rights categories brainstormed earlier and research Roosevelt's work in this area, or have specific documents prepared for students to analyze, focusing research on the following criteria:
    • What change did Roosevelt make in this area?
    • How were her ideas different and progressive?
    • What evidence of change do we have in this area?
  • Have students record work on chart paper and present to classmates.
  • Finally have students reflect on Roosevelt's work in human rights and write an exit slip on one thing they can do to advocate for human rights in their own lives.
  • Give students the lesson quiz to check understanding.

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