Lesson Plan

Defending the Chesapeake Region!

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
History, Maritime History, Military and Wartime History, Naval History, Political Science, War of 1812
1-2 days
Group Size:
Up to 36 (6-12 breakout groups)


Students will begin by exploring the definitions of physical features found in the mid-Atlantic region. Students will then identify these features using maps of Baltimore and Washington D.C. After literally tracing the interaction of the geographic characteristics and the Washington, DC conflict on a map, students will be able to make supported predictions about how Baltimore was successfully defended. They will be able to confirm or refute their predictio


Students will explain how the physical features of a place affect the way people engage in conflict by analyzing and comparing the geographic characteristics and War of 1812 battles of Washington, DC and Baltimore.


War of 1812 Virtual Resource Center

Teach your students about the people, places and events surrounding the War of 1812 through media-rich interactives, more curricular resources, primary source images and documents.




 Copies of map and illustrations for each group of students

Copies of student workbook for each student or group of students.

Full PDF of lesson plan contains teacher's guide and answer key.



Independent Practice/Assesment:

Apply Your Knowledge!

  • Teacher will read the directions to #1
  • Students will individually complete #1 by examining the map of Baltimore and answering the questions. They will need to identify physical features on the map and then predict from where they think British soldiers will attempt to attack the city and how Baltimoreans will best be able to defend their home.
  • Teacher will read the story "Battle of Baltimore" and students will again trace the battle's route.


See handout "Extension: Save Washington!"Students will answer the remaining questions for #3.

Park Connections

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

Baltimore, MD






See handout "Extension: Save Washington!"Students will answer the remaining questions for #3.


Additional Resources

For additional resources dealing with the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake:



Bay-Part of an ocean or a lake extending into the land and usually smaller than a gulf

River-A large stream of water that flows into a lake, ocean, or other body of water. The mouth of the river is where its waters flow into another body of water.

Creek-A small stream, usually shallow. It is generally flows into a river

Harbor-A sheltered area of water where ships can anchor safely.

Island-An area of land completely surrounded by water.

Forest-A dense growth of trees, plants, and underbrush covering a large area.

Marsh-An area of soft, wet, low-lying land, that has by grassy vegetation 

Peninsula-Land surrounded by water on all sides but one.

Last updated: June 4, 2018