Perhaps the biggest hit of the Forgotten Presidents mini-unit was making paper hats, inspired by this piece of McKinley campaign paraphernalia. As silly as this may seems (and there’s nothing wrong with some silliness, mind you), the neat thing was that students seemed to really latch on to the presidents they chose to make hats for. A number of students decided to wear their hats for the rest of the day, which sparked some great conversation with other students.
Today was the final day of the mini-unit, and we revisited the list of the reasons we/the American public remembers or forgets presidents that students brainstormed on the first day. Some of the reasons that students listed, they still thought rang true, but others seemed less true. For example, dying in office is actually more common in “forgotten” presidents, rather than remembered ones. Students discussed that maybe the things in the remember list were true, but that you needed a combination of them or to be a relatively recent president to be remembered by most Americans.