Social Studies 5: Notable Americans Promoting American History
Diversity is the bomb. So are all these old, dead people who said a lot of profound stuff.
|5th Grade||Social Studies|
|Elementary and Middle School||5th Grade|
We’re so diverse, in fact, that author Herman Melville…that guy you hate who wrote Moby-Dick…once
said, “You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole [Melville pointing to his quote on a blackboard]
We are not a nation, so much as a world.”
Hermie had a flare for the dramatic. [Melville stood in a boat pointing]
But…he might have been onto something.
On the subject of people with all sorts of different backgrounds…take a look at what
Thomas Jefferson, writer of that Declaration of Independence thingy…had to say:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they [Jefferson stood next to his quote]
are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life,
Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
You could say that “we” might be one of the most important words in American history. [Washington handing a football to Jefferson]
After all, the Constitution starts with “We the People,” not “I the Person.” [We and people is crossed out and replaced with I and person]
Senator…and Forehead of the Year winner…
Daniel Webster doubled down on the idea when he said that our government was: [Webster with an advert written on his forehead]
“the people’s government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable
to the people.
The people of the United States have declared that this Constitution shall be the supreme
He was a super serious dude.
But he was all about not leaving any leeway.
The Constitution was the law of the land. [Person being arrested by the constitution wearing a police hat]
Period, end of story.
“We the people” means everybody.
Even that guy. [Guy wearing a joker hat]
As President Teddy Roosevelt said, “This country will not be a good place for any of
us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”
In other words, we can't in good conscience call America a great place to live
if we're ignoring the needs of countless groups currently living here. [Two men in suits look disgusted by a man that appears in a window]
Of course, for a lot of people, this country wasn’t always a great place to live in. [Old slave shop]
But even as a slave, another great American, Harriet Tubman, was idealistic:
“I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to: liberty [Tubman next to her quote]
If I could not have one, I would have the other.”
Tubman ran to freedom and became one of the most famous “conductors” of the Underground [Tubman running away]
America sometimes seems like it’s made for feel-good stories. [Rocky punches Darth Vader]
That’s what President Woodrow Wilson believed.
He said “Sometimes people call me an idealist.
Well, that is the way I know I am an American.
America is the only idealistic nation in the world.”
He…probably didn’t poll all the other countries, but…we’ll take his word for it. [Wilson doing a questionnaire with french people]
Every time America becomes more inclusive, the country becomes an even better place to [Differnt people together looking happy]
This is what Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis meant when he said:
“America has believed that in differentiation, not in uniformity, lies the path of progress.
It acted on this belief, it has advanced human happiness, and it has prospered.”
Because of our first amendment right to free speech, Americans can express that diversity [People protesting]
however they see fit.
And boy do we often see fit.
Americans definitely like to talk.
But it’s an important freedom, one on which our democracy hinges.
As Abolitionist Frederick Douglas once declared, “To suppress free speech is a double wrong. [Douglas next to his quote]
It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.”
But “we the people” isn’t just something to live up to. [People appear looking happy]
It’s also a responsibility.
Benjamin Franklin, noted statesman, scientist, library founder, and O.G.
Post Master, said something to that effect shortly after he signed the Constitution. [Franklin on a horse]
A woman asked old Ben, “Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
To which he cleverly replied, “A republic, if we can keep it.”
Then he probably said about three-hundred-and-eighty other clever things. [Franklin quotes appear]
’Cause that’s how Benny Boy rolled.