Introduce the topic of visionary leaders by showing the videoReform at All Costs . Briefly discuss the accomplishments of Ahkenaten and Peter the Great.
Based on what students saw in the video, ask them to define the qualities of a visionary or inspired leader. Note that the definition of "visionary" has changed over time from someone who may be considered a dreamer with impractical ideas to someone who is seen as an inspired leader with a clear sense of purpose. The students' list of qualities may include
Ask students to pick an individual whom they admire as a visionary. The individual can be a political leader, social activist, inventor, scientist, or any type of artist from the past or living in the present. Students will research their selection to develop a presentation including the following:
If students are having trouble selecting an individual, the following list offers suggestions and related Web sites:
Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
Give students time in class to complete their research. For homework, have them develop a presentation to share as a PowerPoint, slide show, or transparencies viewed on an overhead projector.
During the next class period, ask students to share their presentations, and then discuss the individuals selected. What makes them visionaries? How did they change their world?
Definition: Changes made in the hope of correcting wrongs or abuses or as a way to bring new ideas to a culture
Context: Akhenaton's suggestion that Egyptians worship only one god was a reform that most people were not ready to accept.
Definition: An individual with a clear idea of how to achieve a particular goal
Context: What made Martin Luther King, Jr., a visionary leader was his belief that blacks and whites could live and work together, rather than in two separate and unequal worlds.
This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:
The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
NCSS has developed national guidelines for teaching social studies. To become a member of NCSS, or to view the standards online, go tohttp://www.socialstudies.org/standards/strands/.
This lesson plan addresses the following thematic standards:
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