Lesson Plan

"Remember the Raisin" Choose Your Own Adventure

Remember the Raisin

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Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
90 Minutes
Common Core Standards:
6-8.RH.2, 6-8.RH.7, 6-8.RH.8
State Standards:
Michigan Social Studies Content Expectation 8-U4.1.2 Establishing America's Place in the World - Explain the changes in America's relationship with other nations by analyzing treaties.
Thinking Skills:
Understanding: Understand the main idea of material heard, viewed, or read. Interpret or summarize the ideas in own words. Applying: Apply an abstract idea in a concrete situation to solve a problem or relate it to a prior experience. Analyzing: Break down a concept or idea into parts and show the relationships among the parts. Evaluating: Make informed judgements about the value of ideas or materials. Use standards and criteria to support opinions and views.


In this lesson, students will identify different groups that participated in the River Raisin Battles, hypothesize about decisions made by a participant in the River Raisin Battles, and understand the impact of these decisions on the War of 1812. By the end of the lesson, students will be able to answer the question:

*What types of challenges and decisions did soldiers in the River Raisin Battle face?

*How did those decisions impact the War of 1812?


Decision making can often be difficult, especially during a time of war. After providing an overview of the War of 1812, follow the journey of one young Kentuckian as he faces making many difficult decisions that take him through the River Raisin Battles. 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 and the War of 1812.

The Battles of the River Raisin occurred on January 18 and 22, 1813 during the War of 1812. The battles were fought at the Frenchtown settlement on the River Raisin, which is south of Detroit in what was then the Michigan Territory. The River Raisin connects to Lake Erie allowing trade to pass through the area easily. Frenchtown was a small farming community important for its trading posts and availability to supply the US Army with food as they fought in teh Northwest Territory. General Hull's military road also passed thorugh Frenchtown. General Hull's road went from Detroit to Maumee making Frenchtown an important area for the American military. 


*Read and become familiar with the War of 1812. The following link to the River Raisin National Battlefield Park offers a nice overview to help teachers understand the details and importance of the River Raisin battles. https://www.nps.gov/rira/historyculture/index.htm

*Make one copy per group of the "Remember the Raisin - Student Answer Sheet".

*Make one copy per student of the "Remember the Raisin Choose Your Own Adventure" packet and the "Defend Your Position" rubric. 


Make one copy per group of students.

Download Remember the Raisin Student Answer Sheet and Map

Make one copy per student.

Download Kentucky Militiamen Choose Your Own Adventure

Make one copy per student.

Download Important Vocabulary - Remember the Raisin

Print prior to lesson for teacher use.

Download Teacher Key - Remembering the Raisin Choose Your Own Adventure

Optional to make one copy per student.

Download Take Command - Extension Activity and Rubric

Lesson Hook/Preview

*Ask students, "What is the hardest decision you've ever had to make? Why was it difficult?" 

*Discuss student answers. Explain to students that often we look at history as inevitable; however, the soldiers and people at that time in history had to make decisions that changed the course of our country. Today, they will take on the role of soldiers in the War of 1812 at the Battle of River Raisin. They will try and make the best decisions and see the result of both their own choices and of the real soldiers in history. 


1. Ask students to get into groups of three or four.

2. Hand out to each student the "Remember the Raisin - Choose Your Own Adventure" directions and to each group the "Remember the Raisin - Student Answer Sheet and Map". 

3. Review with the students good communicating, cooperating, and listening skills. 

4. Read with the students the first short Kentucky Militiaman Activity scenario. Have the students find the location of the scenario on the Answer Sheet and mark their choice. Allow the students sufficient time to collaborate with their partner reasons one decision is better than the others provided. 

5. Once the students have made their decision instruct them to record their answer on the answer sheet. Read to the students the results for the first scenario for each of the decisions and tell the students the point value attached to each decision. Have the students record the points they earned on their answer sheet. You may want to have the students raise their hands to indicate which answer each team made before reading the outcomes. Make sure the students are listening to each of the outcomes, even if they did not select the outcome, as information provided in some of the outcomes will help them make better decisions in later scenarios.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the remaining scenarios.

7. Have students add up their total points earned and find out their group's ranking on the point chart.

8. Reflect with students about their decisions. Ask them:

  • Were there any consequences that surprised them?
  • Were there any outcomes they did not agree with or did not seem logical? If so, why?
  • Why was the United States fighting with Great Britain? The Native Americans?
  • Why do many historians believe the biggest loser of the War of 1812 were the Native Americans? 

9. To conclude the lesson, students should complete the "Defend Your Position" assessment using the "Defend Your Position" rubric. 


See the materials section document titled "Remember the Raisin Important Vocabulary". 

Assessment Materials

"Defend Your Position" Writing

Student Task: With your partner, research more about the Battles of the River Raisin and write your own scenario for an American soldier. Create your own choices for the soldier to choose from and write the outcomes of each decision. Once completed, your team will present your scenario to the class and allow the class to choose their answer by voting on your choices. You will then explain and defend each of the decisions you created in class

Rubric/Answer Key

"Defend Your Position" Writing

Defend Your Position Rubric

Download Rubric/Answer Key

Supports for Struggling Learners

*Teacher-chosen heterogeneous groups for the "Remember the Raisin Choose Your Own Adventure". 

*Pre-teach vocabulary

Enrichment Activities

"Take Command" 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

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

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

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

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Last updated: August 3, 2015