Teaching Students About Leona Helmsley
Leona Helmsley, an influential American businesswoman, and hotelier was a controversial and fascinating figure in the late 20th century. Despite the many controversies surrounding her, it is essential that students understand her impact on the business world and philanthropy. In this article, we explore various ways to teach students about Helmsley’s life and legacy.
I. Begin with a historical background
Start by providing your students with an overview of Leona Helmsley’s life and achievements. Explain how she started her career at a young age, eventually becoming a real estate agent in Manhattan. Discuss her marriage to Harry Helmsley in 1972, which led to the formation of their hotel empire.
Highlight some landmarks in their hotel empire such as:
– The Helmsley Palace Hotel
– The Park Lane Hotel
– The New York Helmsley Hotel
II. Explore her impact on the hotel industry
Students should understand the influence of Leona Helmsley on the luxury hotel industry in New York City. Examine how she transformed these hotels into luxury establishments known for their attention to detail and exceptional customer service.
III. Discuss controversies surrounding her career
As an influential figure in her time, Leona’s life was not free of controversy. Discuss with your students some notable incidents, such as tax evasion charges which resulted in her incarceration.
Invite your students to engage critically with these topics to understand both her impact on society and the business world as well as her shortcomings.
IV. Delve into her philanthropic works
Leona Helmsley left a considerable fortune that supports various charitable causes through the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. This has led to significant contributions toward medical research, environmental conservation, education, and poverty alleviation worldwide.
Students can study some of the trust’s initiatives, such as:
– Funding for Type 1 Diabetes research
– Grants for conservation efforts
– Support for rural healthcare programs
V. Create interactive learning activities
To foster a deeper understanding of Leona Helmsley’s story, incorporate interactive activities into your lessons:
1. Use multimedia sources such as documentaries and interviews to analyze various aspects of Helmsley’s life.
2. Have students engage in group discussions and debates regarding the contentious ethical issues that surround her career.
3. Assign group projects to research and present findings on the impact of her philanthropy.
Teaching students about Leona Helmsley can serve as an opportunity to discuss essential entrepreneurship concepts and foster critical thinking and empathy. Through the examination of her life and business practices, educators can offer their students valuable insights into ambition, power, and responsibility’s complex dynamics while exploring her philanthropic legacy that continues to impact countless lives today.