Lesson Plan

"Remember the Raisin" Adventure

River Raisin massacre
Scene at the River Raisin

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Grade Level:
Sixth Grade-Twelfth Grade
American Indian History and Culture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Colonial History, Geography, History, Journalism, Military and Wartime History, Social Studies, Sociology, War of 1812
1 to 2 classes
National/State Standards:
Michigan Social Studies Grade Level Content Expectations
    CE 2.1.2
    CE 2.1.6
    CE 2.2.2
Common Core Standards


Using an overview of the War of 1812, follow one young Kentuckian as he faces making many difficult decisions that take him through the River Raisin Battles. The “Remember the Raisin!” Adventure uses historical fiction, maps, prior knowledge, and some friendly competition to help your students critically examine and understand how difficult it can be to make split second decisions and the serious consequences that often accompany these decisions while they learn about the River Raisin Battles.


After completing this lesson students will be able to:
1. Identify different groups that participated in the River Raisin Battles.
2. Make inferences based on a map.
3. Hypothesize about decisions made by a participant in the River Raisin Battles.
4. Develop an understanding of the River Raisin Battles.
5. Recognize difficulties American soldiers faced during the War of 1812.


Before you visit River Raisin National Battlefield Park, prepare your students for what they will experience and provide 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 other questions you might discuss with them and vocabulary words you might have them look up! There are also some suggestions for possible activities while traveling to the Battlefield and while at the Battlefield!

1. What events or actions might lead a country to go to war? If they struggle with this or have a limited background you could ask what people fight about and then expand on their answers.
2. Is it common or uncommon for citizens to agree on the reasons for going to war?
3. Ask the students if they know who the United States went to war with in 1812?
4. Ask the students if they know why the United States went to war in 1812?
5. Ask the students if they would have supported the United States going to war in 1812? (why or why not)


 Teacher's copy of the reading packet.
 Student copies of the reading packet. You may decide to provide one for each student or only provide one for each pair of students.
 Copies of the answer sheet for each pair of students.
 Extension Activity Writing Rubric



• Feedback provided by students to the teacher during the activity.
• The activity answer sheet scored by the students.
• Extension Activity persuasive essay scored using the provided rubric.
• Extension Activity scenario writing and presentation using the provided rubric.

Park Connections

Ticket to Ride Eligible Schools

Ticket to Ride schools include select 3rd through 8th grade classrooms in Monroe and Wayne Counties, Michigan schools. To determine if your school/classroom is eligible please contact the Battlefield at 734-243-7136. Ticket to Ride scholarships have been funded by many generous supporters of the Battlefield.

Reservation Forms may be returned to the Battlefield by:

Fax: 734-244-5501
Email: daniel_downing@nps.gov
Phone: 734-243-7136


1. Defend Your Position Extension Activity: Have each student select one of their choices from the eight adventures that they believe should have received the most points. Have them write a persuasive essay supported by at least two facts to support their argument on why their choice should have received the most points. Use the rubric provided to score their essay.

2. Take Command Extension Activity: With their partner, have the students research and write their own scenario for the American soldier at the Battle of the Thames. Allow them to create their own choices for the soldier to choose from and the outcomes of each decision. Have the partners read their scenario with the class and allow the class to choose their answer. Require the partners to explain and defend each of the decisions they created.

Additional Resources

1. The River Raisin National Battlefield Park, www.nps.gov/rira/

2. The River Raisin Battlefield, http://riverraisinbattlefield.org/

3. Naveaux, Ralph. Invaded on All Sides. Marceline: Walsworth, 2008.


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

Last updated: April 10, 2015