Lesson Plan

What Caused the War of 1812? Modified Lesson Plan for Students with Special Needs

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
History, International Relations, War of 1812
1-2 Class periods
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
Common Core State Standards for Literacy:
RI.4.2. Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
RI.4.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain specific words or phrases in a text
war of 1812, Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Campaign, Modification for Special needs students, Star-Spangled Banner, Star-Spangled Banner Flag


This lesson is intended to be used to supplement the War of 1812 Curriculum developed by the Friends of Fort McHenry, found at
www.friendsoffortmchenry.org/education-programming. It can
be used either as written for a self-contained classroom, or pieces an be borrowed to differentiate instruction in a general education setting. Students should already have some background in the War of 1812 before beginning this lesson. For more info warof1812.thinkport.org


Objective: By the end of the lesson, students will be able to identify at least one reason why the US went to war with the British and support it with evidence from a primary source document.


Students should already have some background in the War of 1812 before beginning this lesson. For more information on this topic, visit http://warof1812.thinkport.org for lesson plans and resources. For extension activities, visit any of the sites along the trail with your class. The trail sites are located throughout Maryland and offer students the chance to connect the history learned in the classroom with a sense of place. For field trip opportunities and maps of trail locations, please visit http://starspangledtrail.net/ .


Vocabulary: Word Cards and Picture Guide
Chart paper/White Board 
Primary Documents 
Primary Documents Notecatcher (scissors and glue for those using sentence strips) 
Two versions of BCR 



Part 5: Assessment
1. Call class back together. Does what you read match what we said at the beginning about reasons for war? 
2. Assign students a BCR with sentence starters or without. Give 10 minutes to complete. 

Park Connections

Fort McHenryFort Washington, and Fort Monroe all have Civil War-era features, but they also played a role in the events and outcomes of the War of 1812. 

Additional Resources

 Additional resources on the War of 1812 can be found at the War of 1812 Virtual Resource Center!


See attached PDF for illustrated vocabulary list.

Last updated: February 26, 2015