Like Father, Like Son: Presidential Families

No man who ever held the office of President would congratulate a friend on obtaining it.

These do not sound like the words of the father of one of our nation's Presidents. In fact, these words were spoken by John Adams — our nation's second President and the father of John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States. How unusual is it for a father and son to become President of the United States? It has now happened twice in our nation's history: first with the Adamses and, more recently, with the Bushes.

The lessons in this unit provide an opportunity for students to learn about and discuss two U.S. families in which both the father and son became President. Students will address questions such as: What types of people might become President of the United States? What type of training as a child do you think these father/son pairs had to enable them to become President? Students will explore how these Presidential sons were like their fathers, and will personally explore how they think they are like their own parents.

Guiding Questions

How unusual is it that a father and son become President of the United States?

How often has this happened?

Who were the families?

Learning Objectives

After completing the lessons in this unit, students will be able to: understand that in U.S. history, there are two sets of father and son who have been President.

The family units are John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and George Bush and George W. Bush.

Understand the role of the President of the United States and symbols of the presidency in the present.

These lessons employ visual (pictures/books/photos) as well as auditory (listening) and aural (discussion) skills.

Fine motor skills are utilized in drawings, though ability to use detail will be determined by grade levels and skill levels within each grade.

Multi-modal lessons encourage students with special needs to be able to use their skill strengths in responding within the lesson format.