Lesson Purpose

A lesson that draws attention to the continued importance of the legacy of George Washington in the midst of the Civil War. In this lesson, students practice map skills and analyze primary source documents in order to develop a historical argument and make interdisciplinary connections between history and geography. This resource was created by 2013-2014 Life Guard Teacher Fellow Hannah Markwardt. 



  • Students will practice map skills, such as reading a map key and identifying map features
  • Students will analyze seven primary source documents (letters)
  • Students will organize and write an essay based on primary source material
  • Students will cite textual evidence from primary sources to support a historical argument about life at Mount Vernon during the Civil War

Related Standards

  • Reading and Writing Literacy in History/Social Studies
  • Analysis of Primary Sources
  • Reading Informational Texts
  • Using multiple historical sources to identify further areas of inquiry
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Writing Standards
  • Time, Continuity, and Change


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