With many people thinking and talking about JFK, this time surrounding the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination is a strong incentive for students to learn about his legacy. PBS LearningMedia has a collection of videos and primary sources that will help to engage students in valuable lessons. Here’s a sample:
The Presidents’ Photographer (Grades 3-13+): Students can see that White House photographers serve as archivists for our democracy, capturing the day to day aspects of presidents’ lives, as well as history-changing moments.
The Governor (Grades 6-12): This video segment adapted from American Experience: “Freedom Riders” describes Alabama Governor John Patterson’s refusal to ensure the safety of the Freedom Riders, despite the efforts of President Kennedy and other federal officials. Support materials include Democracy in Action Study Guide.
Cuban Missile Crisis: Three Men Go to War: Communications with Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy (Grades 9-12): This video segment, which includes a background essay and discussion questions, describes the communications among Khrushchev and Castro and Khrushchev and Kennedy in an effort to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis.