Thank you for your interest in educational resources about James K. Polk. This page is divided into several segments: Lesson plans, Related Activities, and For Further Reading… These segments are intended to be fun and educational and may be used in the classroom or by those who wish to continue learning about the 11th President of the United States.
Lesson plans have been categorized by grade level. The lessons may or may not be directly related to information on the rest of the website. Other resources should be consulted. To see a list of suggested resources see For Further Reading…
Lesson Plan 1: General Quiz (9-12)
To test and expand the students’ knowledge of James K. Polk. The quiz questions are phrased in the negative to spur discussion and provide more information. This lesson can be assigned as homework or completed in the classroom and should be used in the middle or end of a unit on James K. Polk.
- The teacher will explain the purpose of the exercise.
- Students will select “ONLINE QUIZ” on this page, and will answer the questions.
- The teacher will discuss the answers and lead discussion.
Lesson Plan 2: Journal Writing (4-12)
President Polk saw the importance of keeping a journal to record history and to explain important decisions made during his administration.
Make a direct connection between James K. Polk and students through a mutual activity—journal writing.
To create a more historical feel, the teacher could provide quill pens and ink for the students. Quill pens can be purchased from the James K. Polk Museum Shop.
- The students will read Quotes from the Diary of James K. Polk in the classroom or as homework.
- The teacher will lead a discussion on the significance of keeping a journal, and will encourage the students to do so for a semester.
For further reading…
- Bergeron, Paul H. The Presidency of James K. Polk. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1987.
- Borneman, Walter R. Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America. New York: Random House, 2008.
- Bumgarner, John Reed. Sarah Childress Polk: A Biography of the Remarkable First Lady. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 1997.
- Byrnes, Mark E. James K. Polk: A Biographical Companion. Denver, CO: ABC-CLIO, 2001.
- Haynes, Sam W. James K. Polk and the Expansionist Impulse. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc., 2002.
- Lillegard, Dee. Encyclopedia of Presidents: James K. Polk. Chicago: Children’s Press, 1988.
- Merry, Robert W. A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, The Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009.
- Nelson, Anson and Fanny. Memorials of Sarah Childress Polk. New York: A. D. F. Randolph, 1892.
- Pinheiro, John C. Manifest Ambition: James K. Polk and Civil-Military Relations During the Mexican War. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Security International, 2007.
- Quaife, Milo Milton, ed. The Diary of James K. Polk During His Presidency. Chicago: Chicago Historical Society, 1910.
- Seigenthaler, John. James K. Polk. New York: Times Books, 2003.
- Sellers, Charles. James K. Polk Jacksonian. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957.
- Sellers, Charles. James K. Polk Continentalist. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1966.
- Sinnott, Susan. Encyclopedia of First Ladies: Sarah Childress Polk. New York: Children’s Press, 1998.
See links page for related materials.