Presidential Writings Project

Utah’s secondary educators have designed well scaffolded lessons that support the increased cognitive rigor of the Utah literacy standards. The focus of this project is presidential writings. Speech writing is a rhetorical art and provides the content for the Open Education Resources we have developed, including visual documents and video.

Criteria used by teachers as they design this digital resource for colleagues in Utah and across the country:

  1. Develop OER (Open Educational Resource) text sets with well scaffolded and skillfully designed student learning tasks (Vella’s four);
  2. Use readability and/or lexile scoring to determine text complexity;
  3. Use Cognitive Rigor Matrix to determine well scaffolded DoK (Depth of Knowledge) levels for student learning tasks;
  4. Use all the elements of rhetoric (reader, writer, context, topic, purpose) in the learning tasks;
  5. Align all learning tasks to the core standards, ensuring that text-dependent writing is supported.

Selection of Presidents:

Historians have made lists about what constitutes greatness. The only criteria we will use are TWO:

  • During the president’s term there were significant world events, and policy decisions that represented pivotal moments in the history of humanity; and,
  • No judgments of good, bad; worst or best presidents.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
PART ONE: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"

PART TWO: "A Day that will live in Infamy"

PART THREE: "Japanese Internment"

Non Commercial LicenseCopyright(s) for this material will be held by the Utah State Board of Education, retaining all rights of ownership of the online textbook and any product(s) or derivative(s) of the textbook. Employees, consultants or independent contractors who provide services for curriculum projects should assume that they are developing or writing works for hire and that they have no personal ownership or copyright in the final product or materials. This work will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA). This license lets others remix, reuse, and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as they credit USBE and license their new creations under the identical terms.