Presidential prompts about our Founding Fathers

Beat writer's block and learn historical fun facts at the same time with these writing prompts inspired by our nation's first five presidents.

James Monroe

  • Did you know James Monroe fought in George Washington’s troops in the Revolutionary War? He was a mere teenager when he served, surviving a grave musket ball wound in the shoulder in the Battle of Trenton that likely would have proved fatal had he not received speedy medical treatment.
    • Monroe was the last president to have fought in the Revolutionary War, and he was also the last to dress in the fashions of that time period: For his insistence on wearing “out style” clothing of yesteryear, he was nicknamed “The Last Cocked Hat.”
    • Monroe is also regarded as the last of the Founding Fathers to serve as President and was incredibly popular during his time in office. After winning nearly 70 percent of the vote in his initial 1816 election, he ran unopposed for reelection in 1820 – the only president besides George Washington to do so.

Imagine: What might it be like to serve under Washington as a bright 18-year-old man? How do you think this experience later impacted his career?

On the flip side, what might it be like to serve as the end of such an important era for America, serving a younger population who don’t all remember the war and America’s early growing pains? How might it feel to have the fashion worn by greats like Washington, Jefferson, and Madison be criticized as “old-fashioned?”