Lesson Plan

SUBJECT: Government
TOPIC: The Many Powers of the President
CREATORS: Danielle Bin, Sharon Morton-Cousin, Delena A. Roberts, Vanessa Strickland


Students will become familiar with the many roles (hats) of the president



When given a set of scenarios, students will be able to identify what powers are being executed by the president (what hat is being worn by the president) with 90% accuracy.





  1. Read a story to students.
  2. Discuss the roles of the president while filling in the web on the chalkboard.
  3. Divide the class into six groups.
  4. Pass out the scenarios to students and explain the task.
  5. Give students time to discuss their scenarios and decide which hat the president is wearing for their scenario.
  6. Have students choose the correct hat and bring it to their group.
  7. Allow students to discuss why they thought their hat fit the scenario.



The teacher will evaluate students by observing them in their groups and their responses to the scenarios.

The Many Hats of the President

Chief Legislator Commander In Chief Chief of State Chief Diplomat Chief Executive Miscellaneous Powers


The Many Hats of the President

Read each scenario and determine which hat the President wore when he executed his power.
  1. President Clinton oversaw the signing of a new accord in September, 1993 between Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Clinton and his administration hosted this historic compromise at the White House. Which hat did Clinton wear while hosting?
  2. President Grover Cleveland in his first term (1885-1889) received a controversial bill approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate, he chose to "reject" the bill. IN fact, Cleveland "rejected" more bills in this first term than all preceding presidents combined. Which hat was Cleveland sporting?
  3. Once in office, Clinton quickly set about starting the reforms he had promised during his campaign. To achieve his vision of change, Clinton put together the most racially diverse and gender-balanced cabinet in U.S. history. Those hand picked by Clinton were Henry Cisneros as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ron Brown Secretary of Commerce, Jocelyn Elders as Surgeon General, and Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers. Which hat was Clinton wearing while making these official changes?
  4. North Korean people are starving. They are in desperate need of food and other supplies. They have asked the United States for help. They also have several weapons that could be used against us if they fell into the wrong hands. If Clinton decides to send food and aid in the interest of keeping North Korea on our side, which hat would he be wearing?
  5. Richard Nixon was part of the Watergate Affair which involved such criminal acts as burglary, illegal wiretapping, perjury, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and misuse of campaign funds. Gerald Ford, Nixon's successor, "excused" him which allowed him to be immune from prosecution. Which hat did Ford have on?
  6. George Bush's experiences during WWII contributed to his strong interest in foreign affairs. During his presidency, terrible memories about WWII resurfaced when he felt it necessary to send troops to Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. When he executed this plan to aid Kuwait and bombard Saddam Hussein, which hat was he wearing?



Bernstein, R.B., & Agel, J. (1956) The Presidency Into The Third Century. New York, New York: Walker Publishing Co.

Elting, M. (1967) We Are The Government. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co.

Filtner, D. (1973) Those People In Washington. United States: Regensteiner Publishing Enterprises, Inc.

McCague, J. #40;1975) The Office of The President. Champaign, IL: Garrard Publishing Co.

Schlesinger, Jr., A.M. (1990 ) The Federal Government: How It Works. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.

Seuling, B. (1978) The Last Cow On The White House Lawn & Other Little-Known Facts About The Presidency. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co.

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