Based in part on recollections by George Washington Parke Custis, Washington's adopted son, this is a factual, focused, and entertaining account of the making of the nation's first president.
Grade Range: 2-6
Resource Type(s): Primary Sources, Lessons & Activities
Duration: 45 minutes
Date Posted: 4/30/2010
Use artifacts and a historical letter to discuss George Washington’s leadership during the War of Independence and the qualities of great leaders. This lesson plan, which includes background information, full color primary sources, and a transcript of a letter about George Washington, was produced to accompany the exhibition The Price of Freedom: Americans at War, by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Historical Thinking Standards (Grades K-4)
Standards in History (Grades K-4)
Topic 3: The History of the United States: Democratic Principles and Values and the People from Many Cultures Who Contributed to Its Cultural, Economic, and Political Heritage
4C: The student understands historic figures who have exemplified values and principles of American democracy.
4D: The student understands events that celebrate and exemplify fundamental values and principles of American democracy.
4E: The student understands national symbols through which American values and principles are expressed.
United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)
Historical Thinking Standards (Grades 5-12)
Common Core State Standards (Grades 6-8)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2 (Key Ideas and Details): Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.3 (Key Ideas and Details): Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.4 (Craft and Structure): Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.5 (Craft and Structure): Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.6 (Craft and Structure): Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7 (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas): Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.8 (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas): Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.9 (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas): Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.10 (Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity): By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards (Grades 9-12)
D1.2.9-12. (Compelling Questions): Explain points of agreement and disagreement experts have about interpretations and applications of disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with a compelling question.
D1.3.9-12. (Constructing Supporting Questions): Explain points of agreement and disagreement experts have about interpretations and applications of disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with a supporting question.
D1.4.9-12. (Constructing Supporting Questions): Explain how supporting questions contribute to an inquiry and how, through engaging source work, new compelling and supporting questions emerge.
D1.5.9-12. (Determining Helpful Sources): Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions, taking into consideration multiple points of view represented in the sources, the types of sources available, and the potential uses of the sources.
D2.Civ.2.9-12. (Civics): Analyze the role of citizens in the U.S. political system, with attention to various theories of democracy, changes in Americans' participation over time, and alternative models from other countries, past and present.
D2.Civ.3.9-12. (Civics): Analyze the impact of constitutions, laws, treaties, and international agreements on the maintenance of national and international order.
D2.Civ.4.9-12.(Civics): Explain how the U.S. Constitution establishes a system of government that has powers, responsibilities, and limits that have changed over time and that are still contested.
D2.Civ.5.9-12. (Civics): Evaluate citizens' and institutions' effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.
D2.Civ.6.9-12. (Civics): Critique relationships among governments, civil societies, and economic markets.
D2.Civ.7.9-12. (Civics): Apply civic virtues and democratic principles when working with others.
D2.Civ.8.9-12. (Civics): Evaluate social and political systems in different contexts, times, and places, that promote civic virtues and enact democratic principles.
D2.Civ.9.9-12 (Civics): Use appropriate deliberative processes in multiple settings.
D2.Civ.10.9-12. (Civics): Analyze the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.
D2.Civ.11.9-12. (Civics): Evaluate multiple procedures for making governmental decisions at the local, state, national, and international levels in terms of the civic purposes achieved.
D2.Civ.12.9-12. (Civics): Analyze how people use and challenge local, state, national, and international laws to address a variety of public issues.
D2.Civ.13.9-12. (Civics): Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
D2.Civ.14.9-12. (Civics): Analyze historical, contemporary, and emerging means of changing societies, promoting the common good, and protecting rights.
D2.Eco.1.9-12. (Economics): Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
D2.Eco.2.9-12. (Economics): Use marginal benefits and marginal costs to construct an argument for or against an approach or solution to an economic issue.
D2.Eco.3.9-12. (Economics): Analyze the ways in which incentives influence what is produced and distributed in a market system.
D2.Eco.4.9-12. (Economics): Evaluate the extent to which competition among sellers and among buyers exists in specific markets.
D2.Eco.5.9-12. (Economics): Describe the consequences of competition in specific markets.
D2.Eco.6.9-12. (Economics): Generate possible explanations for a government role in markets when market inefficiencies exist.
D2.Eco.7.9-12. (Economics): Use benefits and costs to evaluate the effectiveness of government policies to improve market outcomes.
D2.Eco.8.9-12. (Economics): Describe the possible consequences, both intended and unintended, of government policies to improve market outcomes.
D2.Eco.9.9-12. (Economics): Describe the roles of institutions such as clearly defined property rights and the rule of law in a market economy.
D2.Eco.10.9-12. (Economics): Use current data to explain the influence of changes in spending, production, and the money supply on various economic conditions.
D2.Eco.11.9-12. (Economics): Use economic indicators to analyze the current and future state of the economy.
D2.Eco.12.9-12. (Economics): Evaluate the selection of monetary and fiscal policies in a variety of economic conditions.
D2.Eco.13.9-12. (Economics): Explain why advancements in technology and investments in capital goods and human capital increase economic growth and standards of living.
D2.Eco.14.9-12. (Economics): Analyze the role of comparative advantage in international trade of goods and services.
D2.Eco.15.9-12. (Economics): Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, rights of citizens, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.
D2.Geo.1.9-12. (Geography): Use geospatial and related technologies to create maps to display and explain the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics.
D2.Geo.2.9-12. (Geography): Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their political, cultural, and economic dynamics.
D2.Geo.3.9-12. (Geography): Use geographic data to analyze variations in the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics at multiple scales.
D2.Geo.4.9-12. (Geography): Analyze relationships and interactions within and between human and physical systems to explain reciprocal influences that occur among them.
D2.Geo.5.9-12. (Geography): Evaluate how political and economic decisions throughout time have influenced cultural and environmental characteristics of various places and regions.
D2.Geo.6.9-12. (Geography): Evaluate the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.
D2.Geo.7.9-12. (Geography): Analyze the reciprocal nature of how historical events and the spatial diffusion of ideas, technologies, and cultural practices have influenced migration patterns and the distribution of human population.
D2.Geo.8.9-12. (Geography): Evaluate the impact of economic activities and political decisions on spatial patterns within and among urban, suburban, and rural regions.
D2.Geo.9.9-12. (Geography): Evaluate the influence of long-term climate variability on human migration and settlement patterns, resource use, and land uses at local-to-global scales.
D2.Geo.10.9-12. (Geography): Evaluate how changes in the environmental and cultural characteristics of a place or region influence spatial patterns of trade and land use.
D2.Geo.11.9-12. (Geography): Evaluate how economic globalization and the expanding use of scarce resources contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among countries.
D2.Geo.12.9-12. (Geography): Evaluate the consequences of human-made and natural catastrophes on global trade, politics, and human migration.
D2.His.1.9-12. (History): Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.
D2.His.2.9-12. (History): Analyze change and continuity in historical eras.
D2.His.3.9-12. (History): Use questions generated about individuals and groups to assess how the significance of their actions changes over time and is shaped by the historical context.
D2.His.4.9-12. (History): Analyze complex and interacting factors that influenced the perspectives of people during different historical eras.
D2.His.5.9-12. (History): Analyze how historical contexts shaped and continue to shape people's perspectives.
D2.His.6.9-12. (History): Analyze the ways in which the perspectives of those writing history shaped the history that they produced.
D2.His.7.9-12. (History): Explain how the perspectives of people in the present shape interpretations of the past.
D2.His.8.9-12. (History): Analyze how current interpretations of the past are limited by the extent to which available historical sources represent perspectives of people at the time.
D2.His.9.9-12. (History): Analyze the relationship between historical sources and the secondary interpretations made from them.
D2.His.10.9-12. (History): Detect possible limitations in various kinds of historical evidence and differing secondary interpretations.
D2.His.11.9-12. (History): Critique the usefulness of historical sources for a specific historical inquiry based on their maker, date, place of origin, intended audience, and purpose.
D2.His.12.9-12. (History): Use questions generated about multiple historical sources to pursue further inquiry and investigate additional sources.
D2.His.13.9-12. (History): Critique the appropriateness of the historical sources used in a secondary interpretation.
D2.His.14.9-12. (History): Analyze multiple and complex causes and effects of events in the past.
D2.His.15.9-12. (History): Distinguish between long-term causes and triggering events in developing a historical argument.
D2.His.16.9-12. (History): Integrate evidence from multiple relevant historical sources and interpretations into a reasoned argument about the past.
D2.His.17.9-12. (History): Critique the central arguments in secondary works of history on related topics in multiple media in terms of their historical accuracy.
D3.2.9-12. (Gathering and Evaluating Sources): Evaluate the credibility of a source by examining how experts value the source.
D3.3.9-12. (Developing Claims and Using Evidence): Identify evidence that draws information directly and substantively from multiple sources to detect inconsistencies in evidence in order to revise or strengthen claims.
D3.4.9-12. (Developing Claims and Using Evidence): Refine claims and counterclaims attending to precision, significance, and knowledge conveyed through the claim while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both.
D4.2.9-12. (Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions): Construct explanations using sound reasoning, correct sequence (linear or non-linear), examples, and details with significant and pertinent information and data, while acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the explanation given its purpose (e.g., cause and effect, chronological, procedural, technical).
D4.3.9-12. (Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions): Present adaptations of arguments and explanations that feature evocative ideas and perspectives on issues and topics to reach a range of audiences and venues outside the classroom using print and oral technologies (e.g., posters, essays, letters, debates, speeches, reports, and maps) and digital technologies (e.g., Internet, social media, and digital documentary).
D4.4.9-12. (Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions): Critique the use of claims and evidence in arguments for credibility.
D4.5.9-12. (Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions): Critique the use of the reasoning, sequencing, and supporting details of explanations.
D4.6.9-12. (Taking Informed Action): Use disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses to understand the characteristics and causes of local, regional, and global problems; instances of such problems in multiple contexts; and challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address these problems over time and place.
D4.7.9-12. (Taking Informed Action): Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
D4.8.9-12. (Taking Informed Action): Apply a range of deliberative and democratic strategies and procedures to make decisions and take action in their classrooms, schools, and out-of-school civic contexts.