Here's a name from US history that you may not already know... Will Rogers!
Born in 1879 in Indian Territory, Will Rogers was of Cherokee descent and has been dubbed "Oklahoma's Favorite Son." He was an actor, humorist, and cowboy philosopher. Over the course of his lifetime he starred in vaudeville, silent movies, talkies, had his own radio show, ran a daily column syndicated in newspapers across the nation, and kept of the spirits of Americans during the Great Depression. He was also an avid supporter and lover of the newly burgeoning field of aviation. His sudden and tragic death in a plane crash in Alaska with Wiley Post, another beloved Oklahoman, sent the country into mourning for a man so many had grown to love and depend upon to bring a smile to their faces.
Fun Fact...Many places in Oklahoma are named for these 2 friends and our Oklahoma City Zoo's resident Grizzly bears are named Will & Wiley in their honor!
To help you learn more about Will Rogers, we’ve pulled together some excellent resources and developed a week of free Will Rogers lesson plans for your use alone or to accompany our October Heritage Letter from Will Rogers. You can view our Will Rogers lesson plans below and snatch up a copy of the free lesson plans plus our activities about Rogers in our free downloads here!
If you’d like a fun introduction to Will Rogers's life that will be engaging and authentic, you can grab our Will Rogers Letter right HERE!
Additionally, here are a few great resources you may want to include in your study of Will Rogers's life:
Does all this talk about Will Rogers have you wanting to watch some of his movies? Here are 2 wonderful DVD collections with some of his most famous films.
Iron Dog Ranch Will Rogers Birthplace in Oologah, Oklahoma
Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma
Visit Will Rogers's Ranch Home at the Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades, California
Never Met a Man I Didn't Like: The Life and Writings of Will Rogers by Will Rogers and Joseph H. Carter
Here is the essential Will Rogers -- the story of his remarkable career, from Oklahoma "cowpuncher" to international star . . . and the warm, knowing and hilarious philosophies of the man embodied the heart and soul of the nation.
The Quotable Will Rogers by Joseph Carter
Learn the fascinating history of Will Rogers, and have his most memorable quotes collected in one place.
One Week with Will Rogers
Feel free to use the following Will Rogers Lesson Plans and our free downloads on their own, but know that they'll pair up best with our Will Rogers Heritage Letter!
Day 1: Meet Will Rogers!
Read the Heritage Letter from Will Rogers
Read some of the quotes from Will Rogers included with our free downloads.
Day 2: Will Rogers the Cowboy
Do you know how to rope a cow? Watch Will Rogers perform some of his famous rope tricks and be amazed!
Day 3: Will Rogers the Humorist
Watch the Will Rogers Biography from the Oklahoma Historical Society
Day 4: Will Rogers the Cowboy Philosopher
Listen to one of Will Rogers's most memorable speeches... "Bacon, Beans, and Limousines" delivered on his radio show during the Great Depression in 1931.
Day 5: Will Rogers the National Hero
Take a virtual field trip to the Will Rogers Museum in Oklahoma (or go there in person if you live close!)
BONUS: Movie Day!
Watch State Fair the movie starring Will Rogers featured on the artifact card
accompanying our Will Rogers Letter.
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