Lesson Plan

Letters From The Grave

Soldier's grave 638x400
War of 1812 soldier's grave

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Grade Level:
Third Grade-Fifth Grade
American Indian History and Culture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Geography, History, Military and Wartime History, Political Science, Social Studies, Sociology, War of 1812
Six Days for Unit/One Day per Lesson
National/State Standards:


Students will examine and interpret accounts from individuals in the battle or witnessing the battle and aftermath. They'll read about the daily lives of those individuals and create a brochure that illustrates their understanding of these people. Students will explore world maps and Northwest Territory & Frenchtown maps noting farms, battlefields and movement by people of the village and combatants of the war. Students will read and write about weapons and artillery used by both armies.


- Identify which countries and native groups participated in the Battle of the River Raisin during the Warof 1812.

- Identify where the Battles of the River Raisin took place on a map of Michigan.

- Identify other key areas of battle such as Brownstown, Detroit and Monguagon that took place in theNorthwest Territory that eventually gave rise to the creation of several states including the state ofMichigan.

- Compare battle artifacts and tools used by individuals during the Battles of the River Raisin.

- Tell why the Battles of the River Raisin took place and how the outcome of those battles shaped futurebattles of the War of 1812.

- Create a timeline that consists of events that occurred during the Battles of the River Raisin.


Before you visit River Raisin National Battlefield Park, prepare your students for what they will experience andprovide them some background information using the curriculums that were developed by fellow teachers. Curriculums available include:

1. "Letters from the Grave" - A 6-day lesson plan for grades 3 to 5

2. "A Soldier's Notes from Michigan's Big Battle" - A 5 to 10 day lesson plan for grades 6 to 8

3. "Analyzing a Battlefield Map & Corresponding Image" - A 2-day lesson plan for grades 7 and 8

4. "Remember the Raisin Adventure" - A 2-day lesson plan for grades 6 to 12

5. "Battle of the River Raisin Pen Pal Project" - a 2 to 3 week lesson plan for grade 8 and up

While the curriculums have been designed for specific grades based upon state and national education standards,you are welcome to utilize any of the curriculums that work best for your students. Below are a few otherquestions you might discuss with them and vocabulary words you might have them look up! There are also somesuggestions for possible activities while traveling to the Battlefield and while at the Battlefield!


Secondary sources of accounts of the Battle of the Raisin River″

Maps of the World, Northwest Territory, Michigan Territory, Frenchtown and Ribbon Farms″

Brochure of the Battle of the Raisin River Artifacts plus rubric″

Teacher Timeline River Raisin Battle War of 1812″

8 ½ by 11 white paper for student timeline.″

Multiple choice test (to be given on Day 6)″

Pictures of replica items from 1812 time period″

Issue of "The Mitten" Nov. 2001 provided by the MC3 website



- Brochure filled in by students daily (Rubric)

- Compare and contrast from daily activities

- Timeline filled in daily

- Artifact writing done on Day 6 (Based on MEAP Writing)

- Multiple choice test given on Day 6

Additional Resources

Naveaux, Ralph. Escape to Frenchtown, Monroe County Historical Committee, 2000

Field Trip to River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe, Michigan the site of the actual battles.

Students create their own "artifacts" that represent tools, weapons, or items used by the French, the Americans, the Natives, or the British during the time period of the War of 1812


 Captive
 Commerce
 Constrained
 Conquer
 Detention
 Embargo
 Foreign
 Harass
 Hostile
 Impressment
 Jurisdiction
 Maritime
 Plundered
 Port
 Pretentions
 Provocation
 Ravage
 Seizures

Last updated: April 10, 2015