Ronald Reagan and the Constitution

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Ronald Reagan and Executive Power (grades 9-12)

Purpose of the Lesson

“Ronald Reagan and Executive Power” examines the use of presidential powers by Ronald Reagan, the fortieth president of the United States. It explores Article II of the Constitution, which grants the president executive powers. When you have completed this lesson, you should be able to explain and discuss how President Reagan exercised his authority under Article II of the Constitution concerning war powers, domestic policy, and foreign policy. You should be able to explain how the brevity and ambiguity of Article II allows presidents to interpret these powers, especially in relation to Congress. You should be able to evaluate and take positions on the constitutional issues raised by the exercise of these powers, drawing on specific examples from Ronald Reagan's presidency.

This lesson is made possible by a grant from The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation in partnership with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

Click here to download a pdf of the lesson   


The Legacy of Ronald Reagan (grades 7-9)
Purpose of the Lesson

This lesson traces Ronald Reagan's ascent from obscurity to the pinnacle of political power in the United States. It also examines the constitutional, political, and civic principles associated with the public life of Ronald Reagan before and during his presidency. Ronald Reagan's principles and their consequences are his legacy to America. When you have completed this lesson, you should be able to

  • describe experiences that formed the character and personality of young Ronald Reagan;
  • explain Ronald Reagan's rise to the presidency of the United States;
  • define and explain Ronald Reagan's principles pertaining to limited government, rule of law, popular sovereignty, individual rights to liberty, free enterprise, responsible citizenship, and presidential leadership;
  • analyze and evaluate President Reagan's policies for economic recovery;
  • analyze and evaluate President Reagan's policies to end the Cold War;
  • understand Ronald Reagan's legacy to the nation.

This lesson is made possible by a grant from The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation in partnership with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

Click here to download a pdf of the lesson



Ronald Reagan: Our Fortieth President (grades 4-6)

Purpose of the Lesson

This lesson tells the story of Ronald Reagan's rise from a small town in Illinois to the highest political office in the United States: the presidency. It also examines his political principles. The lesson focuses on Ronald Reagan's leadership as president. When you have completed this lesson, you should be able to

  • describe how Ronald Reagan developed the qualities of a leader as a young man;
  • explain Ronald Reagan's rise to the presidency of the United States;
  • describe how Ronald Reagan showed leadership as president;
  • explain what it takes to be a leader as president;
  • understand Ronald Reagan's legacy to the nation.


This lesson is made possible by a grant from The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation in partnership with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

Click here to download a pdf of the lesson 


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