Lesson Plan

Becoming George Washington: Unit 5: Analyzing Documents

Photograph of Washington’s “Remarks” document
Grade Level:
High School: Ninth Grade through Twelfth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
90 Minutes
State 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. 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.

Essential Question

Why was Washington a successful leader later in life?


Student objectives: Students will…

·        Explain two reasons why Washington was a successful leader later in life

·        List two primary documents used to support their explanation


This lesson plan helps students understand how to analyze primary source materials using four writings from Washington’s life and a portrait of Washington. Teachers can have students participate in a Document-Based Questions activity. Additionally more information about the “remarks” that Washington made on his French and Indian War activities is included.

Analyzing Documents, has a 3 page lesson plan for the teachers and the following additional material: 6 Student Resource pages, 1 Images page and an answer key. The lesson uses Washington's own words, and images to show how Washington became a successful leader.   

Check out the other units for Grades 7-12

Unit 2: Young George Washington Grades 7-12
Unit 4: Becoming a Leader Grades 7-12


Download the lesson plan, the image and the student resources.
Make copies for the students.
Teach and discus with the students.


Lesson Plan

Download The Lesson Plan Analyzing documents

Student resources and images

Download The Student Resources and Images Analyzing Documents

These are Washington's remarks on his French and Indian War experiences written for a biographer.

Download George Washington

Lesson Hook/Preview

Original documents can help students understand George Washington and why he became such a successful leader. Later in his life Washington wrote about his French and Indian War experiences for a biographer. This document is not called the "Remarks."


Follow lesson procedures in the downloadable lesson plan document. There is an explanation of how to the resource pages to construct a DBQ (document based question).  

Assessment Materials

Answer Key Becoming George Washington

Download Assessment

Rubric/Answer Key

Additional Resources

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

The teacher's resource guide "Becoming George Washington" also has units for students Grade 4-6: 

Unit 1: Young George Washington Grades 4-6

Unit 3: Becoming a Leader Grades 4-6


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

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Last updated: June 10, 2022