- Meet George Washington
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Students will use primary images as a model for creating their own "display" of states and choosing a "centerpiece" that defines our nation today. This lesson can accompany the distance learning broadcast, Primarily George.
Students will listen to a story about daily life at Mount Vernon, and recognize the connections between George Washington and his slaves.
Students will learn historical facts about the life of George Washington using the entertaining game format, BINGO.
Students will learn about the many roles that Washington engaged in throughout his life and create their own “George Washington’s trunk” of objects that reflect these activities.
Students will learn that during the American Revolution, Washington established the Purple Heart military decoration, known at the time as the Badge of Military Merit, and explore the historical and modern significance of this award.
Students will be introduced to George Washington’s Rules of Civility and consider their value in making decisions that lead to success.
Students will compare and contrast travel in the 18th century with travel in current times by planning and simulating a trip to Mount Vernon from a chosen location in the colonies.
Students will learn about the Newburgh Crisis and Washington’s Newburgh Address through primary and secondary sources, then write a persuasive essay that compares Washington’s character to a leader of their choosing who has overcome a difficult obstacle.
Students use the archaeological site George Washington's Midden (a fancy word for trash) to study objects, archaeology, math and science. The artifacts excavated from the midden provide an insight into daily life, diet and furnishings during George and Martha Washington's life.
The following lesson plans were developed and tested by Mount Vernon's Education Department and contributing teachers, including graduates of the Estate’s summer George Washington Teachers' Institutes. They are aligned to national curriculum standards, incorporate research, historical thinking, and the use of primary sources, and may be adapted for use across middle grades.
Students analyze primary documents in order to discuss the challenges that George Washington faced as the first president of a new country.
Students examine the Rules of Civility that George Washington hand-copied as a teenager. They then classify and categorize the concerns addressed, discuss what it would be like to live in a world imbued with such guidelines, analyze what expectations govern their own behavior, and generate a list of modern Rules covering the same categories they identified in Washington’s list.
Students examine George Washington’s 1799 Slave Census to discover Washington as a meticulous businessman and slave owner and to gain information about the institution of slavery in the 18th century.
Students focus on George Washington’s character and civic virtues and examine the connection between those virtues and a democratic and free society in the United States.
Students explore why George Washington’s home was able to transcend the sectional differences that split the nation during the Civil War.
Students research, examine and understand four major events in George Washington’s life and present them in a graphic novel format.
Students use cooperative learning, problem solving, and project-based activities to discover journeys George Washington made during the Revolutionary War, create 18th century maps, and compare them to modern state boundaries, towns, and roads.
Students explore and describe Emmanuel Leutze's painting, "George Washington Crossing the Delaware," and research the artist, the Revolutionary war at the time depicted, and the work itself. They then write and perform a one-act play dramatizing the events and action leading up to the crossing.
Students investigate and analyze the historical significance of the Revolutionary War song, “Yankee Doodle” and create their own “Yankee Doodle”-style verses about the War.
Students write a eulogy describing the important contributions George Washington made to our country.
Students use multiple research sources to choose objects and curate their own exhibition on a specific theme of George Washington’s life.
Students examine George Washington's journals and surveys and use a GPS device to survey and map a site at their school.
Students take on the role of a member of the Sons or Daughters of Liberty and write a song, in the genre of their choice, to protest one or more of the British Acts or actions between 1763 and 1774 that eventually led to the American Revolution.
Students will use a systematic analytical method to compare past presidents and current or potential future presidents and determine their own research-based ranking system.
Only two letters from George Washington to Martha Washington are known to exist, as Martha destroyed personal correspondence after his death. From these two surviving documents, historians have long tried to analyze the relationship between the two. In this assignment, students will perform their own analyses by reading the letters and writing an original English sonnet – a poetic form often used to convey themes of love, romance, and relationships – from George Washington to his wife, Martha.
Mount Vernon invited several well-known political cartoonists from newspapers across the country to draw cartoons focusing on major issues of George Washington’s presidency. Students will analyze uncaptioned versions of these cartoons and background information about the historical issues depicted, create their own captions and exhibit labels, and then compare their writing with the originals.
This lesson plan uses primary documents, such as Washington's Circular to the Governors, to explore the relationship between the many roles in George Washington's life and his leadership characteristics.
The intent of this lesson is to familiarize students with the similarities and differences in the views of classical philosophers and George Washington.
This lesson will connect Washington’s Farewell Address to later presidential foreign policy messages and determine the influence of George Washington’s message had on the nation’s posterity.
Students will analyze George Washington’s role in defining the presidency and learn how his legacy continues to impact the office today.
Students will examine 19th century art and primary documents to identify the symbolism used to communicate George Washington’s apotheosis.
Using the weekly news show “Meet the Press” as a model, students will portray George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Barack Obama in a television interview. Students will develop answers to the host’s questions by researching primary documents and current news articles.
This lesson explores George Washington’s leadership and character as commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary War by bringing to life the relationships between him and his generals as they fought for our nation’s freedom.
Students will discuss the selection of George Washington as commander of the Continental Army, evaluate his qualifications, and decide if he was, indeed, the right choice.
Students will examine George Washington's role as a man who fought for and led our country in the belief that "all men are created equal" while also owning slaves.