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Dolley Madison’s Respect for Washington

45 min

Walk-In-The-Shoes Questions
As you read, imagine you are the protagonist.

  • What challenges are you facing?
  • What fears or concerns might you have?
  • What may prevent you from acting in the way you ought?

Observation Questions

  • What is Dolley Madison’s identity as First Lady? How would that role be different than other roles she may have held?
  • Why was Dolley Madison so respectful of George Washington and the symbolism of his portrait?
  • Why did Dolley invite strangers into her home? Why did she believe it was her duty to save important artifacts and documents from the British?

Discussion Questions
Discuss the following questions with your students.

  • What is the historical context of the narrative?
  • What historical circumstances presented a challenge to the protagonist?
  • How and why did the individual exhibit a moral and/or civic virtue in facing and overcoming the challenge?
  • How did the exercise of the virtue benefit civil society?
  • How might exercise of the virtue benefit the protagonist?
  • What might the exercise of the virtue cost the protagonist?
  • Would you react the same under similar circumstances? Why or why not?
  • How can you act similarly in your own life? What obstacles must you overcome in order to do so?
  • Students will analyze Dolley Madison’s respectful actions while she served as First Lady.
  • Students will evaluate how Dolley Madison displayed respect for other people, even if they had opposing opinions.
  • Students will apply their knowledge of respectful behaviors to their own lives.

Student Handouts