Lesson Plan

Becoming George Washington: Unit 3: Becoming a Leader Grade 4-6

Illustration of Washington building Fort Necessity
Washington building Fort Necessity

National Park Service

Overall Rating

Add your review
Grade Level:
Fourth Grade-Sixth 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.


Historian Don Higginbotham said, “It would be hard to exaggerate the significance of the French and Indian War in the life and fortunes of George Washington.”  Students study George Washington during the Fort Necessity campaign and the Braddock campaign looking at his writings, maps, images and a timeline.   


Guiding Question: How did Washington's experience in the French and Indian War prepare him for his role as a military leader?


Critical Content: The French and Indian War had a dramatic and life-changing effect on Washington. At the beginning Washington was inexperienced and just a year later he was acclaimed as a hero.


Student objectives: Students will…

·        List what kind of leader Washington was at the Battle at fort Necessity and the Battle of the Monongahela using his own writings

·        List the emotions Washington wrote about at the Battle of the Monongahela

·        List three ways the French and Indian War prepared Washington for the role of military leader



Becoming a Leader Grades 4-6, has a 6 page lesson plan for the teachers and the following additional material: 3 Resource Pages, 5 Images Pages and an answer key. The lesson uses Washington's own words, images and maps to show what he experienced during the Battle at Fort Necessity and the Battle of the Monongahela. These activities show how he grew as a military leader.


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.




1.    Download the PDF lesson plan with the resources and images

2.    Make copies for the students

3.    Teach and discuss with the students

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 Remarks

Last updated: December 18, 2015