Activity Overview

Nixon's resignation speech is one of few presidential resignation speeches in American history. It provides great insight into his beliefs, his policies, and how he still cared about his public image even in the wake of scandal. Using a grid, students should select several quotes from the speech and explain their meaning and rationale as well as how they think the American public responded. By inferring how the public may have responded or how the student interprets Nixon's words, students will gain a better understanding of how deeply the scandal affected the country and the beliefs the nation held.

Extended Activity

Have students create a grid on Bill Clinton’s speech in regards to his affair with Monica Lewinsky. This will allow students to create a comparison of two presidents and their responses to scandal. Students will also be able to see how the public responded to such a scandal and speech, and any ripple effects that still exist today. In addition, it will better serve students as practice in analyzing, synthesizing, and understanding primary source documents and presidential speeches.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard analyzing quotes from Nixon's resignation speech, focusing on what he was saying and how it was received by the American public.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Label the titles with "Quote", "Meaning/Rationale", and "How Should Citizens Respond?"
  3. In the first row, enter the quote of your choice and explain the meaning and response in the appropriate description boxes.
  4. Do the same for three additional quotes in rows 2-4.
  5. Create an illustration for each cell using appropriate scenes, characters, items, or photos from Photos for Class.
  6. Save and submit your storyboard.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group

Type of Activity: Primary and Secondary Sources

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/2] Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/9-10/5] Analyze in detail how an author's ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter).
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/9-10/6] Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

More Storyboard That Activities

Presidency of Richard Nixon

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