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THE ARTICLE

James Knox Polk was America’s eleventh President. He was born in North Carolina, in 1795. He was the eldest of ten children. His father traded in slaves and was a farmer. Studious and industrious, Polk graduated with honors in 1818 from the University of North Carolina. As a young lawyer he entered politics, served in the Tennessee legislature, and became a friend of Andrew Jackson.

In the House of Representatives, Polk was a chief lieutenant of Jackson in his Bank war. He served as Speaker between 1835 and 1839, leaving to become Governor of Tennessee. Polk became the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 1844 after arguing for the annexation of Texas and Oregon. He won the 1844 presidential election to become the first “dark horse” president.

As President, Polk threatened war with Britain over annexing Oregon. A treaty was signed in 1846 after the British settled for land north of the 49th parallel, which today is the Canada border. Polk fought a war with Mexico between 1846 and 1848. American forces won repeated victories and gained New Mexico and California for the USA. Polk also tried to buy Cuba from Spain in 1848 but was unsuccessful.

Polk left office due to bad health in 1849. He had promised to serve only one term. He oversaw the opening of the Smithsonian Institute and the U.S. Naval Academy, and the groundbreaking for the Washington Monument. The first U.S. postage stamps were also issued during his presidency. Historians call him America’s “least known consequential president”. He died of cholera on June 15, 1849.

Article adapted from www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/jamespolk

         
         From www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents


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LISTENING GAP FILL


 

James Knox Polk was America’s eleventh President. He was born in North Carolina, in 1795. He ________________ ten children. His father ________________ and was a farmer. Studious and industrious, Polk graduated ________________ 1818 from the University of North Carolina. As a young lawyer he entered politics, served in the Tennessee legislature, and became a friend of Andrew Jackson.

In the House of Representatives, Polk was a chief lieutenant of Jackson in his Bank war. He served as Speaker between 1835 and 1839, __________________ Governor of Tennessee. Polk became the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 1844 ________________ the annexation of Texas and Oregon. He won the 1844 presidential election to become the ________________ president.

As President, Polk ________________ with Britain over annexing Oregon. A treaty was signed in 1846 after the British settled for land north of the ________________, which today is the Canada border. Polk fought a war with Mexico between 1846 and 1848. American forces ____________________ and gained New Mexico and California for the USA. Polk also tried to buy Cuba from Spain in 1848 but was unsuccessful.

Polk left office __________________ in 1849. He had promised to serve only one term. He oversaw ________________ the Smithsonian Institute and the U.S. Naval Academy, and the groundbreaking for the Washington Monument. The first U.S. postage stamps were also issued during his presidency. Historians call him America’s “least known consequential president”. He __________________ on June 15, 1849.


  CORRECT THE SPELLING

James Knox Polk was America’s eleventh President. He was born in North Carolina, in 1795. He was the tdlsee of ten children. His father traded in slaves and was a farmer. Studious and industrious, Polk graduated with rosonh in 1818 from the University of North Carolina. As a young lawyer he ertdene politics, served in the Tennessee legislature, and became a friend of Andrew Jackson.

In the House of Representatives, Polk was a chief lieutenant of Jackson in his Bank war. He rdeevs as Speaker between 1835 and 1839, leaving to become Governor of Tennessee. Polk became the Democratic mionene for Vice President in 1844 after arguing for the annexation of Texas and Oregon. He won the 1844 presidential ioclntee to become the first “dark horse” president.

As President, Polk threatened war with Britain over annexing Oregon. A yetrat was signed in 1846 after the British settled for land north of the 49th parallel, which today is the Canada orebdr. Polk fought a war with Mexico between 1846 and 1848. American forces won repeated victories and gneiad New Mexico and California for the USA. Polk also tried to buy Cuba from Spain in 1848 but was unsuccessful.

Polk left office due to bad atlhhe in 1849. He had promised to serve only one term. He oversaw the opening of the Smithsonian Institute and the U.S. Naval Academy, and the groundbreaking for the Washington Monument. The first U.S. postage tmsaps were also issued during his presidency. Historians call him America’s “least known consequential president”. He died of helaroc on June 15, 1849.


  UNJUMBLE THE WORDS

James Knox Polk was America’s eleventh President. He was born in North Carolina, in 1795. eldest He of was ten the children. His father traded in slaves and was a farmer. Studious and industrious, with in from graduated honors 1818 Polk the University of North Carolina. As a young lawyer he entered politics, became and , legislature Tennessee the in served a friend of Andrew Jackson.

In the House of Representatives, Polk was a chief lieutenant of Jackson in his Bank war. served He 1835 between Speaker as and 1839, leaving to become Governor of Tennessee. Polk became in President Vice for nominee Democratic the 1844 after arguing for the annexation of Texas and Oregon. He won the 1844 presidential to ” dark first become election horse “ the president.

As President, Polk with war threatened annexing over Britain Oregon. treaty after was the signed British in A 1846 settled for land north of the 49th parallel, which today is the Canada border. Polk fought a war with Mexico between 1846 and 1848. American forces won repeated victories and gained New Mexico and California for the USA. Polk also tried to buy Cuba from Spain in 1848 but was unsuccessful.

office in due 1849 to Polk bad left health. He had promised to serve only one term. Smithsonian oversaw opening the He the of Institute and the U.S. Naval Academy, and the groundbreaking for the Washington Monument. The first U.S. postage stamps during issued also were presidency his. Historians call him America’s “least known consequential president”. He died of cholera on June 15, 1849.


  DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

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STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________


  STUDENT JAMES K POLK SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about James K Polk in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

  WRITING

Write about James K Polk for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

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  HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET INFO: Search the Internet and find more information about James K Polk. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about James K Polk. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. JAMES K POLK POSTER Make a poster about James K Polk. Show it to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your posters.

5. MY JAMES K POLK LESSON: Make your own English lesson on James K Polk. Make sure there is a good mix of things to do. Find some good online activities. Teach the class / another group when you have finished.

6. ONLINE SHARING: Use your blog, wiki, Facebook page, MySpace page, Twitter stream, Del-icio-us / StumbleUpon account, or any other social media tool to get opinions on James K Polk. Share your findings with the class.

ANSWERS

    You can check your answers to these activities by looking at the article at the top of this page.

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