Monday, March 9, 2009

Second grade independent project

The second independent project Nicklas had to complete for the school year was a paper and dramatic presentation on a President or First Lady. He chose Ronald Reagan. Overall, I think he did well on the paper. He was challenged to write two pages, single spaced and was successful (with a lot of encouragement from me). For the dramatic presentation, the students were divided into four days with 6-7 student presentations every day. They had to give a 4-8 minute presentation as their character and couldn't use note cards. Nicklas volunteered for the first day and his teacher was very complimentary of his performance as well as the fact that he volunteered to go first for the group. Talking and performing in front of a group is something he's definitely comfortable with. The last day of the week, parents and friends were invited to the school gym where students were stationed throughout and would recite their presentation. They all did a great job! I was impressed with the detail of some and enjoyed seeing those who dressed up for their part. (Nicklas dressed up for his original presentation but not Friday's open house.)

The Story of Ronald Reagan

by Nicklas

Ronald Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois on February 6, 1911. His parents were going to call him Donald but instead called him Ronald because one of his mom’s sisters beat her to the name. His mom, Nelle, was a charity worker and his dad, Jack (his real name was John), was a shoe store worker. In Reagan’s childhood he had to move seven times to six different cities but all of them in Illinois.

He went to Dixon High School where he wanted to play football. He made the football team but was too small so for the first couple of years he played on a team for smaller players. He grew over the summer and then played for the regular football team. His mom encouraged him to do acting at his church. Then he did it everywhere because he loved it. He became a lifeguard when he was in high school. His favorite number was 77 because it’s the number of people he saved in the seven years he was a lifeguard.

He went to Eureka College. In his junior year, him and the drama club went to a one-act play competition at Northwestern University, home of the Northwestern Wildcats. They made second place in the competition and Reagan was one of the three who received an award. One person even asked him if he wanted to make acting his career!

After he graduated, he worked for the University of Iowa football team as an announcer. He went to a lot of Big 10 games. He became an announcer because he wanted to go to Hollywood but didn’t have enough money. Then he worked as an announcer for the Chicago Cubs. He did this in Iowa but people thought he was around the Chicago area. Instead he would receive telegraphs from the actual announcer at the Cubs games. Then he moved to California. First he became an actor and became governor of California at age 54.

His first wife was Jane Wyman. They were married on January 16, 1940. With her they had two daughters but one died after being a day old. Their two daughters were named Maureen and Christine. Then they adopted a boy named Michael. They got divorced. Then he married Nancy Davis on May 4, 1952. They had two children, one boy and one girl named Ron and Patti. Both of his wives were actors.

He is famous for being an actor and for being the 40th President of the United States of America. He was President 1981-89. And he is famous for being Governor of California.

Just 69 days after he became President, Ronald Reagan got shot by John Hinckley Jr. Luckily he survived, but he did not get out of the hospital for 12 days. He joked, “I forgot to duck.”

Ronald Reagan liked to entertain. He was smarter in high school but didn’t do as well in college. He was on the high school and college football team and he liked to act. He started out as a Democrat but turned into a Republican when he was governor and President.

His parents influenced him. His mom and older brother influenced him to become an actor and his brother also influenced him to play football. His wife Nancy told him to run for president.

In high school and college he acted in plays which prepared him for Hollywood. As an announcer he learned to speak out. As Screen Actors Guild President, he learned how to become a leader which helped him to become the President of the United States of America.

He said he made a mistake as governor of California by signing a paper that allowed more abortions to happen. Later, he wished that he wouldn’t have signed the paper. Some people think that Ronald Reagan did not do a good enough job treating African-Americans respectively. And some people think that he didn’t do a good job in fixing the laws for immigrants. When he was President, he didn’t know enough of the details of what his staff was doing.

Many know who he was either for being president or for being an actor. You can ask one person and they might think he’s the worst President or you can ask another person and they might think he was the best.

Before he was President, Jimmy Carter was President. And after he was President, George H. W. Bush was President.

Ronald Reagan won his first vote for President and here was the score of electoral votes: Ronald Reagan, 189, Jimmy Carter, 49, John Anderson, 0. In the second run for President, Ronald Reagan got 525 and Walter Mondale got 13.

Nancy Reagan did a campaign about not doing drugs and alcohol because more people were doing drugs and alcohol. The campaign was called Just Say No To Drugs. And she kept telling people, “Say yes to life but when it comes to drugs and alcohol, just say no.” I believe that Ronald Reagan was impressed by this.

Ronald Reagan liked jellybeans. I wonder what his favorite flavor was? As a child his nickname was Dutch because when he was born his dad thought he looked like a fat little Dutchman. As President his nickname was the Gipper because of a movie he acted in. He was in a famous movie call Knute Rockne. One of his most famous movies was Bedtime for Bonzo. It was made in 1951. He was the oldest President and the only one to get divorced so far. He died June 5, 2004. Before he died he had Alzheimer’s disease.

I think he was great because he was a President. I don’t think he was the best but I think he was a good one. I like him because he was an actor and I like movies. In 1985, Ronald Reagan went to the movie theater to watch the movie Back to the Future Part I. In the movie there is a funny joke about Reagan. When Reagan heard the joke, he told the people running the movie to rewind it so he could watch that part again. I don’t think the other people in the movie theater liked that. I like the Movie Back to the Future so that’s why I picked Ronald Reagan.


Encyclopedia of President – Ronald Reagan by Zachary Kent
Scholastic Encyclopedia of the Presidents and Their Times by David Rubel

No comments: