Lesson Plan

The French and Indian War 1754-1763: How Did The War Progress? - Unit 4

Line drawing of the damage to Quebec after the British bombardment

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Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
90 Minutes
Common Core Standards:
4.RI.1, 4.RI.3, 4.RI.5, 4.RI.7, 4.RI.9, 5.RI.1, 5.RI.3, 5.RI.5, 5.RI.7, 5.RI.9, 4.W.7, 5.W.7
Additional Standards:
National History Standards: K-4 Topic 2: 3A, 3B, 3D, 3E; K-4 Topic 3: 5A; US Era 2: 1B
Thinking Skills:
Understanding: Understand the main idea of material heard, viewed, or read. Interpret or summarize the ideas in own words. Creating: Bring together parts (elements, compounds) of knowledge to form a whole and build relationships for NEW situations.

Essential Question

Guiding Question:  What were the major events in the French and Indian War?  What was the final outcome?


Student Objectives:  Students will…
• Identify at least seven major events of the French and Indian War on a time line
• Map three French and Indian War forts or battle sites


This is Unit 4 from the teacher’s guide “The French and Indian War 1754-1763.” It includes one lesson plan:

  • “Time Line of the French and Indian War” where students put the events of the French and Indian War into chronological order.

Critical Content: After two years of fighting in North America the British and the French declared war on each other. The fighting spread to Europe, Africa and Asia. There were many battles in North America until 1760, when the French surrendered their colony of New France. Without the threat of the French colony in North America, the British changed their trade policies with the American Indians. This sparked Pontiac’s Rebellion. The victories, defeats, negotiations and alliances of the French and Indian War are outlined in the time line. The time line helps put the complicated events of the French and Indian War in chronological sequence.  

See the “Related Lessons and Educational Materials” section for links to the other units in the teacher’s guide.   

This curriculum is available to teachers free of charge as a printed three ring binder or on CD. Please email the education staff if you are interested in receiving the curriculum in one of these formats.


The teacher should make copies of the Time Line activity worksheet and the Indian Nations and French and Indian War Forts map for each student. The teacher will also need glue, scissors and long pieces of paper for the students.  Reference sites, books and/or the French and Indian War biography cards are needed to add additional information to the time line. As an optional activity the teacher may also make copies of the George Washington time line.


The downloaded lesson plan includes an introduction (p 71), teacher instructions (p 72), and the activity worksheets (p 73-78).

Download Lesson Plan – How Did the War Progress?

The teacher background covers from the beginning of the war to the beginning of the American Revolution. For this unit read pages 22-24, How Did the War Progress?

Download Teacher Background: The French and Indian War 1754-1763

This color map shows the French and British colonies and the disputed area. It also shows where the American Indian Nations lived and where French and British forts were located.

Download Map: Indian Nations and French and Indian War Forts 1754-1760

This time line of George Washington's life includes events during the French and Indian War.

Download Time Line of George Washington's Life

Lesson Hook/Preview

It took seven years of fighting before the French surrendered their colony in North American in 1760. There were many victories and defeats. A time line will help us figure out how the French and Indian War progressed. Write about a time you experienced a great victory or a terrible defeat.  


The Time Line of the French and Indian War lesson plan

1. Download the pdf of the lesson plan which includes the teacher instructions and the activity worksheets.

2. Download the teacher background from the Materials section and read pages 22-24.

3. Give students copies of the Activity Worksheet “Time Line.”

4. Review the events on the time line with the students.

5. Each row makes one strip. Thus each strip has on “Date/Event/What Took Place.” The entire time line has 33 strips.

6. Have the students cut out each strip of the time line.

7. Students can create their own time lines using long rolls of paper. Work with the class to design the time line spacing. Students should attach the time line strips above the date line.

8. Have the students add additional information to the time line. Ask the student what else was going on in the world during the time of these events. Add the new information below the line.

9. Have the students locate on the map the French and Indian War forts that were key to the progress of the war. Label when they were captured and/or whether they were British or French forts.   

10. Extension Activity: Have the students create a time line of George Washington’s military service in the French and Indian War. 


Allies: people or groups that join together for a common cause.

Ally: to join together with people or groups. 

Assessment Materials

Assessment Unit 4: How Did the War Progress?

The assessment includes a rubric for Time Line of the French and Indian War lesson plan.

F&I Unit4 assessment(508).pdf

Download Assessment

Supports for Struggling Learners

The teacher can help struggling students by making a time line with most of the events already on the time line and only a few events missing. Copy the missing events for the students and have the students add them to the partially completed time line.

Enrichment Activities

Complete the extension activity.  Have the students create a time line of George Washington's life or add events from George Washington's life to their timeline.

Additional Resources

Fort Necessity National Battlefield web site 

A Charming Field for an Encounter the park's handbook 

Becoming George Washington a curriculum about George Washington in the French and Indian War 

The Lands Would Be Entirely Theirs Again: Indians and the Seven Years’ War in the Ohio Valley by Amy C. Schutt. Ask the education staff for a free copy.

Related Lessons or Education Materials

“The French and Indian War 1754-1763” Teacher’s Education Kit is broken into eight units and a Teacher Background section. Units 1 - 6 chronologically follow the war from start to finish, including how the war set the stage for the American Revolution.  

Links to the other units:

Unit 1: Who Were the People Involved?

Unit 2: What Were They Fighting For?

Unit 3: How Did the Conflict Begin? (This includes two lessons on George Washington)

Unit 4: How Did the War Progress?

Unit 5: How Did the Conflict End? What Were the Consequences?

Unit 6: How Did the French and Indian War Set the Stage for the American Revolution?

Unit 7: Biography Cards (there are nine American Indian, nine French, nine British biographies)

Unit 8: Primary Documents and Artifacts


French and Indian War Historic Sites in Western Pennsylvania

Contact Information

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Last updated: September 26, 2019