Lesson Plan

The French and Indian War 1754-1763: Unit 3 - How Did the Conflict Begin?

Fort Necessity surrender document with George Washington's signature
The original surrender document from the Battle of Fort Necessity with George Washingtion's signature

Archives Nationales du Quebec

Overall Rating

Add your review
National/State Standards:
National History Standards: K-4 Topic 2: 3A, 3B, 3D; K-4 Topic 3: 4B; US Era 2: 1B


“How Did the Conflict Begin?” Unit 3 of the Teacher’s Education Kit “The French and Indian War: 1754-1763” has the students focus on the beginning of the war.  There are two lessons on George Washington and his involvement, a lesson on the surrender at Fort Necessity and a lesson on Benjamin Franklin and General Braddock.

“The French and Indian War 1754-1763” is broken into eight units and a Teacher Background.



Critical Content: George Washington was sent to ask the French to leave the disputed land in the Ohio River Valley. When they refused to leave, Virginia mounted a military campaign. Washington was in charge when the first shots were fired and at the first battle at Fort Necessity. The French won the battle at Fort Necessity and Washington is forced to surrender. The next year the British again try to expel the French. During this campaign Washington advised General Braddock, and Benjamin Franklin helped him secure supplies.


Student Objectives: Students will…

·        List three facts about Washington 1753 trip to Fort LeBoeuf

·        List one event from the Battle at Fort Necessity, Braddock's campaign, and Forbes' campaign

·        Identify the word in the Fort Necessity document that upset the British

·        Explain how Franklin helped General Braddock




This unit includes four lesson plans:

· "Domain of Three Nations" where students learn about Washington's 1753 trip to Fort LeBoeuf and includes a student reading

· "George Washington and Me" which covers Washington's involvement in the Battle at Fort Necessity, the Braddock campaign and the Forbes campaign

· "Fort Necessity Surrender Document" where a single word made a big difference

· "Franklin and Braddock" where students learn about Franklin's role in the campaign

The "French and Indian War 1754-1763" Teacher's Education Kit is targeted for 4th-6th grade students. It is broken into eight units and a Teacher Background section. Each unit can be completed independently. Units 1 – 6 chronologically follow the war from start to finish, including how the war set the stage for the American Revolution. There are two lessons that feature George Washington. Each unit has one or more lesson plans. Unit 7 has 27 biography cards of people involved in the French and Indian War. There are nine American Indian biographies, nine French biographies and nine British biographies. Unit 8 provides information on primary documents and artifacts that are featured on the biography cards. Also included is a color map and information on French and Indian War historical sites in western Pennsylvania.

Check out the Teacher Background and other units:

Teacher Background

Unit 1: Who Were the People Involved?

Unit 2: What Were they fighting For?

Unit 3: How Did the Conflict Begin?

Unit 4: How did the War Progress?

Unit 5: How Did the Conflict End? What Were the Consequences?

Unit 6: How Did the French and Indian War Set the Stage for the American Revolution?

Unit 7: Biography Cards

Unit 8: Primary Documents and Artifacts

This curriculum is available to teachers free of charge in as a printed three ring binder or on CD. Please email the staff if you are interested in receiving the curriculum in one of these formats.



After downloading the lesson plans (using the button next to the title) use these resources to teach the lesson.



Park Connections

Fort Necessity was the opening battle of the French and Indian War. Visitors to Fort Necessity National Battlefield may go to Jumonville Glen where the first shot of the French and Indian War were fired, the Great Meadows where a reconstruction of Fort Necessity stands and Braddock's Grave where the British general Edward Braddock is buried.



Additional Resources

Historic Sites Information 

Acknowledgments and Introduction