Henry Clay Lesson Plan

Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

Have your students heard of Henry Clay? They may be learning about his important roles in the American System. Check out this lesson plan to engage your students as they learn about the impact Henry Clay has left on America.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify the goals of the American System
  • explain how Henry Clay impacted America during 1816 and beyond
  • determine the pros and cons of the American System


1 hour

Common Core Standard


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.


  • Writing paper and/or computers for typing
  • Notebooks
  • Colored paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape and/or glue
  • Quiz
    • Handouts or completed online

Lesson Instructions

  • Ask students if they know who Henry Clay is?
  • Explain that students will get to see the major impact Henry Clay has made to our country through this lesson.
  • Students will create interactive notebooks before watching the video. Each student will take a colored piece of paper and make a four door foldable. Check out the picture to get a visual of what the foldable should resemble.

Foldable for notes on the American System

  • When the foldable is finished, they will glue or tape in into their notebooks.
  • Show the video lesson, Henry Clay and the American System.
  • Pause the video at 1:46 to discuss and take notes in the section of their foldable titled 'Protective Tariffs'.
  • Continue the video, pausing at 2:43. Students will take notes and discuss the 'National Bank'.
  • Continue the video and pause at 3:27 so students can take notes on 'Infrastructure'.
  • Finally, finish the video before discussing and taking notes on drawbacks.
  • Clarify any questions students may still have.

Partner Up

  • Students will talk about the positives and negatives of the American System with a partner.
  • They will make a 'T' chart in their notebooks to list the pros and cons.
  • Compile a final list as a class.

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