Lesson Plan

Becoming George Washington: Unit 3: Becoming a Leader - Grade 4-6

Washington building Fort Necessity
Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
90 Minutes
Common Core Standards:
6-8.RH.1, 6-8.RH.2, 6-8.RH.4, 6-8.RH.5, 6-8.RH.7, 6-8.RH.9, 4.RI.1, 4.RI.2, 4.RI.3, 4.RI.4, 4.RI.6, 4.RI.7, 4.RI.9, 4.RI.10, 5.RI.1, 5.RI.2, 5.RI.3, 5.RI.4, 5.RI.6, 5.RI.7, 5.RI.9, 5.RI.10, 6.RI.1, 6.RI.2, 6.RI.3, 6.RI.4, 6.RI.6, 6.RI.7, 6.RI.9, 6.RI.10
State Standards:
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for State Social Studies Standards
Additional Standards:
National Standards for History: Historical Thinking, Standard 2, 3, 4 and Era 2 Standard 1B
Thinking Skills:
Remembering: Recalling or recognizing information ideas, and principles. Understanding: Understand the main idea of material heard, viewed, or read. Interpret or summarize the ideas in own words. Analyzing: Break down a concept or idea into parts and show the relationships among the parts.

Essential Question

How did Washington's experience in the French and Indian War prepare him for his role as a military leader?


Student objectives: Students will…
• List what kind of leader Washington was at the Battle at Fort Necessity and the Battle of the Monongahela using his own writings
• List the emotions Washington wrote about at the Battle of the Monongahela
• List three ways the French and Indian War prepared Washington for the role of military leader


Historian Don Higginbotham said, “It would be hard to exaggerate the significance of the French and Indian War in the life and fortunes of George Washington.” Students study George Washington during the Fort Necessity campaign and the Braddock campaign looking at primary source materials including his writings, maps, images and a timeline. 

Becoming a Leader Grades 4-6, has a 6 page lesson plan for the teachers and the following additional material: 3 Resource Pages, 5 Images Pages and an answer key. The lesson uses Washington's own words, images and maps to show what he experienced during the Battle at Fort Necessity and the Battle of the Monongahela. These activities show how he grew as a military leader.

Check out the other unit for Grades 4-6
Unit 1: Young George Washington Grades 4-6


Download lesson plan and the other materials.

Review background materials, additional materials and procedures for each section of the lesson.

Copy/print relevant materials as handouts for students.


Download The Lesson Plan Becoming a Leader Grades 4-6

Download The images Becoming a Leader Grades 4-6

Download The Resource Timeline Becoming a Leader Grades 4-6

The student resources includes Washington's original writings and modern adaptions of those writings.

Download The Student Resources Becoming a Leader Grades 4-6

Lesson Hook/Preview

The French and Indian War had a dramatic and life-changing effect on Washington. At the beginning Washington was inexperienced and just a year later he was acclaimed as a hero. This lesson will help you understand this change in Washington.


See downloadable lesson plan for detailed procedures.

Assessment Materials

Answer Key Becoming George Washington

Download Assessment

Additional Resources

George Washington's Remarks
Becoming George Washington: Bibliography and other resources
Becoming George Washington: Introduction to the teacher's resource guide 

The Fort Necessity National Battlefield website offers information about George Washington and the Battle at Fort Necessity.

Related Lessons or Education Materials

Fort Necessity National Battlefield has an eight unit teacher's guide on the French and Indian War for Grade 4-6 entitled "The French and Indian War 1754-1763".  
The following are the links to the eight unit curriculum:

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

The teacher's resource guide "Becoming George Washington" also has units for students Grade 7-12: 
Unit 2: Young George Washington Grades 7-12
Unit 4: Becoming a Leader Grades 7-12
Unit 5: Analyzing documents
This teacher's resource guide was written by Carolyn P. Yoder for French and Indian War 250, Inc. and was made possible by the Grable Foundation and the US Dept. of Education.

Contact Information

Email us about this lesson plan

Last updated: June 10, 2022