Lesson Purpose

A lesson that challenges students to use non-text-based sources to consider the essential question: What did George and Martha Washington want to convey to their guests in the New Room? After close examination and analysis of the architecture, paintings, and objects in Mount Vernon's New Room students debate whether George Washington created an autobiography through his home. 

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Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will utilize place as a primary source.
  • Students will analyze an 18th century room interior, including architecture, paintings, and objects.
  • Students will defend an argument with non-text-based primary source evidence in answering the question: “What message did George and Martha Washington want to convey to their guests in the New Room?”

Related Standards:

  • Reading and writing literacy in history/social studies
  • Reading informational texts
  • Using multiple historical sources to identify further areas of inquiry
  • Speaking and listening

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