Breaking and Mending the Two-Term Precedent

This lesson draws a connection between George Washington’s establishment of the two-term precedent for the presidency and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s breaking of that precedent nearly 150 years later. In this lesson, students will analyze multiple primary and secondary sources, both collaboratively and independently. Discussion and debate is a large focus of this lesson. Students will make interdisciplinary connections between history and government/civics. This resource was created by 2013-2014 Life Guard Teacher Fellow Hannah Markwardt. 

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Disease During Wartime

A lesson plan that draws a connection between the threat of smallpox during the Revolutionary War and the influenza pandemic during World War I. In this lesson, students will utilize educational technology to consult primary, secondary, and tertiary sources in the completion of a webquest. Writing across the curriculum is a large focus of this lesson. Students will make interdisciplinary connections between history and science (specifically biology). This resource was created by 2013-2014 Life Guard Teacher Fellow Hannah Markwardt. 

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George Washington's Foreign Policy

A lesson that asks students to connect George Washington’s Farewell Address to later presidential foreign policy messages. As a group, the class will discuss the influence Washington’s message had on the nation and posterity. Working in groups, students investigate excerpts from later presidential foreign policy messages and compare and contrast these with Washington’s Farewell Address. A Socratic Seminar analyzing past U.S. foreign policy also asks students to chart a course for future U.S. foreign policy.

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The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret: The Founders' Failure to End Slavery

This DBQ style lesson asks students to use multiple primary and secondary sources to evaluate the statement: Ideals and moral concerns regarding human equality and the evils of slavery espoused over the course of the Founding Era were impossible to carry out and enforce due to the economic necessity and racial dynamics of slavery. This lesson was created by 2016-2017 Life Guard Teacher Fellow Michael Ellis.

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Seven Years' War Primary Source Set

Mount Vernon’s Primary Source Sets contain documents, maps, objects, and images all related to a given theme. Each primary source includes a brief background for students and supporting content for instruction (additional background information, discussion questions, activity suggestions, and resources). Supporting content is available as one complete document for teachers. Use these sets as a whole collection, in small groups or pairs, or individually depending on classroom needs.

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Which Grace: Analysis of Historical Resources

A lesson challenging students to analyze primary and secondary sources to answer the question How many enslaved individuals named Grace, Isaac, and Suckey were there at Mount Vernon from 1750-1799? Using information available to researchers and scholars at the Washington Library, students become historians as they work to answer a question that has no definitive answer. As an optional extension, students can create a biography about one of the individuals identified in their research. 

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