Lesson Plan

Live from 1812!

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
Education, Geography, Government, History, War of 1812
1-2 Class periods
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
4th-5C2A. Conflict Between Ideas and Institutions
Social Studies 6A.1, 4, 6B, 6F Read to Learn and Construct Meaning about Social Studies
General Reading Processes-1E.4.

war of 1812, Star-Spangled Banner, Star-Spangled Banner Flag, Chesapeake Campaign, Chesapeake Bay, primary sources


Students will act out newscasts taking place in different parts of the country during the War of 1812. Four groups will portray four unique experiences. Each group will complete a packet of primary and secondary source readings to prepare for the role-play. As student groups present their newscasts and interviews, audience members will record notes. At the end of the lesson, students will share what they learned in a “Letter to the Producer.”


Students will understand the War of 1812's economic and social impact on daily citizen life by analyzing primary and secondary source documents.


 For extensive background and additional activities on the War of 1812 visit the War of 1812 Virtual Resource Center for teachers and students.


  • TV and news clip (optional)
  • Four Reading Packets (each student will receive one)
  • Channel 1812 News Packet
  • Props and Accessories (for news show)
  • Letter to the Producer  



Students will complete their "Letter to the Producer" (See Student Worksheets).

Each student will share one new fact they learned about daily life during the War of 1812. 

Additional Resources


  • LARGE CLASS: Have two groups for each packet of readings. During the presentations, you can introduce the groups as having conducted separate broadcasts from the same place.
  • MORE TIME AVAILABLE: Have students conduct further research on the topics that the readings cover. Encourage them to integrate this information into their newscasts (students can do so for homework as well).
  • LOWER READING LEVELS: Use basic reading texts (adapted from primary sources). There is one basic reading text for each packet. 

Last updated: February 26, 2015