Evaluating Leadership

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SWBAT evaluate leaders based on criteria.

Big Idea

What makes a good leader?

What makes a good leader?

25 minutes

In yesterday's lesson, the students created a checklist that they could use to evaluate a good leader.  Today we will attempt to create a rating system that can be used for our whole class.

First, I'll have groups share out their ideas, and I'll list them on the Smart Board.  

We'll look at commonalities among the groups for criteria.  Then, I'll ask my students to decide if they want to make a checklist, assign a point system, create a rubric, or something else. Together we'll plan a system that we'll use to evaluate some leaders of the past and present.

Once the form has been created, I'll print a copy for each group.  I'll also display it on the board for reference.   

Evaluation of Leaders

45 minutes

Next each group will be assigned a leader. I chose some people that the students would recognize and some that were obscure.  I also chose some people who were famous or heroic but not necessarily leaders.  

Here is my list:

Abraham Lincoln

Michelle Obama

Harriet Tubman

Michael Phelps

Nelson Mandela

Anne Frank

Eleanor Roosevelt

Jackie Robinson

George Washington

Aung San Suu Kyi


I found most of the biography information on  biography online.  Because I could not get into the computer lab (story of my life...), I made packets for each group.  

I did not let the students choose their leader, but I did let them choose their groups.  Once they got into the groups, students came up with a plan for sifting through the information and looking for the criteria decided upon in the previous section.  I assigned leaders at random...sort of.  I tried to give leaders that would be interesting to each individual group. In other words, I assigned Jackie Robinson to a group of boys who were into sports, and Eleanor Roosevelt to several girls who leaders in our class. 

 Student Example

One More


Writing Time

20 minutes

Now that students have gathered evidence, I'll have them reflect on their leaders by answering the following questions:

1.  Is your person a good leader?  Explain with evidence?

2.  How does your person compare with Ernest Shackleton?  Explain with evidence.  

I'll ask students to record this information on large posters and use markers so that it can be seen for tomorrow's gallery walk and presentations.  

I expect my students to support each and every claim with evidence.  For example, if someone feels that Abraham Lincoln is brave, he or she will need to provide the proof.  I want them to be as detailed as possible in their assessment.  As a guide I'll ask them to discuss 3 to 5 of the criteria.  It is also just fine if groups realize that their particular person was not really a leader.  I just want them to support that opinion using evidence.