Lesson 9: The Vice Presidency


Activity 1: Corresponding with Thomas Jefferson

We are often influenced by the role models in our lives, our friendships, our experiences, and the culture in which we live, and historical figures are no exception to that. Abigail Adams had many powerful and important friends with whom she maintained a lively correspondence. In this activity, you'll read one or more letters between Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson and write a diary entry from Abigail Adams's point of view about the influence of this important friend on her life.
Web Link
As you read, think about these questions:
  • What do Thomas Jefferson and Abigail Adams write to each other about?
  • What impression do you get of each letter writer? Polite? Funny? Smart? Rude? Intellectual? Political?
  • How do you think Thomas Jefferson might have influenced Abigail Adams and how might she have influenced him?
  • What was the value of their friendship in Abigail Adams's life?
Then complete the "Corresponding with Thomas Jefferson" activity page based on your deeper understanding of their friendship.
In this activity your child will read two or more original letters between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail Adams and write a diary entry from the point of view of Abigail Adams indicating what influence that friendship has on her.

Activity 2: Choosing Genres

When authors choose a genre, it influences their decisions and the resulting work. An author who sets out to write a nonfiction biography will make very different choices than an author trying to write science fiction or a mystery, even if the two authors choose some of the same characters, settings, and events to write about.

In Lesson 8 you rewrote a scene from Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution in another genre. In this activity, you'll imagine the whole book written in a different genre. For example, a horror story about Abigail Adams might imagine her fighting off werewolves on the streets of Boston and be described, on the back of the book, like this:
While John Adams fights for independence in the Continental Congress, Abigail has a very different fight on her hands — the Redcoats stationed in Boston have several werewolves among them. These British soldiers are bad enough on an average day, but when the full moon rises, it's a "hair-raising" terror! Abigail Adams pulls together a band of monster-fighting colonists to defeat the werewolf menace and save the town!

Follow the instructions on the "Choosing Genre" page.
Student Activity Page
In this activity, your child will write a "blurb" for a book about Abigail Adams written in different genres.