Lesson Plan

Becoming George Washington: Unit 2: Young George Washington Grade 7-12

George Washington at Fort Necessity
George Washington at Fort Necessity

National Park Service

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Grade Level:
Seventh Grade-Twelfth Grade
Colonial History, French and Indian War, U.S. Presidents
3 hours
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
National Standards for History: Historical Thinking, Standard 2, 3, 4 and Era 2 Standard 1B.


By studying young George Washington’s writings as a 16-year-old surveyor and writings from his first military trip five years later students will learn about his character and ambitions.  The lesson will also help dispel some of the myths and misconceptions about Washington.  Students will be introduced to a young man who is strong, brave and ready to make a name for himself.


Guiding Question: What do you know about George Washington? What does his 1748 writing tell us about him as a young surveyor? What can we learn about how he has changed from his 1753 writing on a dangerous military trip? What character trait does his 1754 letter reveal?


Critical Content: We can learn about Washington's personality and ambitions by reading his early writings and seeing how they change over time.


Student objectives: Students will…

·        List what they know about Washington, correcting items on their list as they research the man

·        Analyze his 1748 writing as a surveyor

·        List three ways he has changed by reading his 1753 writing on a military mission

·        List one character trait revealed by this 1754 promotion letter



Young George Washington Grades 7-12, has a 4 page lesson plan for the teachers and the following additional material: Additional Sources, 9 Resource Pages, 6 Images Pages and an answer key. The lesson uses Washington's own words, images and maps to show his character and ambitions and how he matures over time. The lesson highlights two of young Washington's adventures, his 1748 trip as a surveyor and his 1753 military trip to ask the French to leave the area.


Check out the other units:


Unit 1: Young George Washington Grades 4-6

Unit 2: Young George Washington Grades 7-12

Unit 3: Becoming a Leader Grades 4-6

Unit 4: Becoming a Leader Grades 7-12

Unit 5: Analyzing Documents


This teacher's resource guide was written by Carolyn P. Yoder for French and Indian War 250, Inc. and was made possible by the Grable Foundation and the US Dept. of Education.



Park Connections

Fort Necessity National Battlefield contains three sites important to young George Washington; Jumonville Glen where Washington's troops fired the first shots of the French and Indian War, Fort Necessity where the first battle of the French and Indian War was fought, and Braddock's Grave where Washington buried the defeated General Braddock.


Additional Resources

Introduction to the teacher's resource guide Becoming George Washington


George Washington's Remarks

Last updated: December 18, 2015