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Lesson Purpose

The primary documents in this activity depict the apotheosis of Washington through visual and text-based primary sources. Students analyze and compare different types of primary sources to understand the ways in which Washington was characterized after his death. Reflective practice on a historical figure’s legacy provides context and periodization for historical practice.  


Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will examine 19th-century art and writings to identify and analyze the symbols used for Washington’s apotheosis.
  • Student will analyze primary sources to understand the legacy of George Washington and how that legacy changed over time.
  • Students will recognize characteristics of apotheosis and identify where and when they see it today.
  • Students will distinguish and see connections between History and Memory.

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