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Lesson Purpose

A lesson focused on George Washington’s character and civic virtues. Students examine the connection between these virtues and fostering a democratic and free society in the United States.


Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will analyze Washington related primary source documents, including the Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior, Washington’s First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789 and Washington’s Farewell Address, 1796.
  • Students will examine the concept of civic virtues as written and exemplified by George Washington, and how civic virtues foster democracy.
  • Students will discuss how the relationship between citizens and civic virtue helps to preserve a strong democracy.

Related Standards:

  • Reading and Writing Literacy in History/Social Studies
  • Explain how and why perspectives of people change over time
  • Using multiple historical sources to further inquiry
  • Speaking and Listening