James Madison

James Madison, a Virginian, was the fourth president of the United States and is known as the “father of the Constitution.” James Madison University, located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, is named after him. The resources listed below would be helpful for students and teachers when studying the life and contributions of James Madison, which is part of VA SOL VS.6 (b).

Book Sources:

Below are some good books that can either be read to children, or that students can read on their own. These would be useful for supplemental information about James Madison. 

James Madison father Father of the Constitution: A Story about James Madison, by Barbara Mitchell.This book is part of the Creative Minds Biography collection, and follows James Madison’s life. It discusses his politics and beliefs in easy-to-read chapters. The book follows James Madison’s journey from the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and finally his terms as the fourth president of the United States.

Dolley Madison Saves History, by Roger Smalley. This book focuses on Dolley Madison and her relationship with husband James Madison, as well as her contributions to history. It is presented in a comic book type format, making it interesting and easy to follow for children. The illustrations are engaging and present an exciting story.

Fourth Pres James Madison: Our Fourth President, by Ann Graham Gaines.  This book discusses James Madison’s leadership and involvement in the writing of the Constitution. The information is presented in chapters with many illustrations and photographs, as well as a time line of events and a glossary.

Childhoods of the Presidents: James Madison, by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. This book describes the early life of James Madison, including his family background, schooling, and life in Virginia. The story ends with his rise to become President. The book includes a glossary and a chronological outline of events.

James and Dolly A Picture Book   of Dolley and James Madison, by David A. Adler and Michael S. Adler. Illustrated by Ronald Himler.  This beautifully illustrated book describes James and Dolley Madison, both of their lives before meeting, their life together, and James Madison’s presidency. The end of the book includes a list of important dates, author’s notes, and source notes.

Web Sources for Students:

Below is a list of web sources that children can use to enhance their information and learning experience about James Madison. 

James Madison Timeline: This link, from Apples For the Teacher, allows students to quickly reference important dates relating to James Madison and his presidency. This could be useful if a student is working on a project or research paper about James Madison.

James Madison Coloring Pages: This link, also from Apples for the Teacher, includes several coloring and activity pages relating to James Madison.  There are also ideas on how to use these coloring pages for a literacy activity.

Montpelier: This is the website for Montpelier, which was James and Dolley Madison’s home. Students can go to this site to look at images and  learn about Madison’s home. This could provide great supplemental information for students wanting to explore deeper into the history of James Madison.

Liberty Archive on James Madison: This website, from Liberty Kids, allows children to select a president and view additional information. In addition to Presidents, there are a wide variety of topics students can select under the “who, what, and where” section of the website.

Encyclopedia Britannica:  From Encyclopedia Britannica’s website, this link offers a great deal of information about James Madison, including images. There is also an outline of Madison’s presidential cabinet, and suggestions for further reading.

Resources for Teachers: 

Below is a list of resources for teachers, which include lesson ideas and resources for additional information regarding James Madison. 

American Presidents Life Portraits: Here is a lesson idea about American Presidents.  This lesson allows students to learn about any U.S. President, and view video clips from C-SPAN’s American Presidents website. Students will learn about the duties of the President and his cabinet, and learn about current and past events of significance.

President Bingo: This lesson, from teach-nology.com, would be great for a review of the U.S. Presidents.  Students play a game of Bingo, matching facts to the correct president.

Constitution Day Lesson Ideas: Here are several lesson plan ideas to discuss the Constitution.  Constitution Day is September 17, but these lessons would also be useful when discussing James Madison and his role in the creation of the Constitution. Included ideas are a read-aloud, creating a classroom Constitution, and a Reader’s Theater activity.

James Madison Lesson Idea: From Instructorweb. com, here is a lesson plan idea about James Madison.  This lesson focuses on reading comprehension, and offers a downloadable passage about James Madison for students to read, and then answer questions about. This would be a good way to integrate information about James Madison into a literacy activity.