Monthly Archives: February 2014

War of 1812

Week 9: War of 1812


READ K – 5: The Battle for Saint Michaels by Emily McCully & Read “Note” below

6 – 8:  The War of 1812 by Rebecca Stefoff & Read “Note” below


Note: The Revolutionary War ended in 1783.  The United States was free of Great Britain’s control, but peace didn’t last.  Great Britain continued to frustrate the United States for many reasons:

  1. British soldiers refused to leave forts on U.S. soil.
  2. They armed Native Americans and encouraged them to attack American frontier settlements.   They allied with Indian chief Tecumseh and his brother.   Tecumseh’s aim was to unite all Native Americans against Americans.  (Native Americans were angry because their land was steadily being taken away by Americans.)
  3. British sea captains seized U.S. sailors and forced them to become sailors on their own ships.
  4. Both Britain and France tried to block American ships from reaching their rival’s ports.   They hoped to prevent each other from receiving American products.

 Congress declared war on Great Britain in 1812.  James Madison was President at the time.  The U.S. had many weaknesses:

  1. Untrained, new soldiers
  2. Old generals (out of practice)
  3. Small navy
  4. Many Americans were against the war

 Many of the battles were fought in Canada.  British soldiers had the help of Tecumseh and his Native American followers.  Many battles were fought at sea.  Great Britain blocked the East Coast with their ships.  They also burned the government buildings in Washington D.C.    However, U.S. forces were very successful during battles in Canada and Baltimore.  Its navy was small, but some of its ships were among the fastest at the time and were successful in sea battles.  Finally British and American government officials decided to try to end the war by written agreement rather than victory.  It was becoming too costly.  The Treaty of Ghent was signed in December 1814 ending the war, but because information traveled so slowly back then, word did not reach the soldiers until a few months later.  Meanwhile soldiers on both sides continued to battle.  The Americans won a major battle in New Orleans in January of 1815.  Congress did not approve the Treaty of Ghent until February of 1815.


 Neither country earned more land from the Treaty, although the British stopped impressing sailors.  British in Canada stopped supporting Native Americans, who lost more land, great leaders, and many lives.  Two American generals, William Henry Harrison, and Andrew Jackson, played important parts in the War of 1812 and eventually became U.S. Presidents.  The U.S. lost many American lives but won respect worldwide as a powerful nation.



  • In what year did the War of 1812 begin? (1812)
  • Why did America declare War on Great Britain? (Britain was arming Native Americans and encouraging them to attack Americans, they wouldn’t leave old forts, they were impressing American sailors into service, they were blocking our ships from trading.)
  • Who was President during the War of 1812? (Madison)
  • What great American city had many of its buildings burned? (Washington D.C.)
  • T/F All the battles were fought on U.S. soil.  (False, many fought in Canada and at sea)
  • What great Indian leader fought against the U.S? (Tecumseh)
  • What were some of the U.S.’s weaknesses? (untrained new soldiers, old generals, small navy, not all Americans supported the war)
  • T/F The war ended because the U.S. won all the major battles. (False; leaders got together and peacefully planned to end the war)
  • Why were battles still fought after the Peace Treaty was signed? (information travelled very slowly back then)
  • Who was hurt the most during the war? (Native Americans – lost many lives and more land)
  • What two American generals of the War of 1812 later became president? (William Henry Harrison & Andrew Jackson)


ACTIVITIES: K – 3: Click Here: and print this picture. It is an image of the USS Hornet battling the British ship, the HMS Penguin during the War of 1812.  Have fun coloring the picture.

4 – 5:  Print out this map:

It lists the major battles of the War of 1812.   Use it to complete the War of 1812 Worksheet by clicking here: worksheet war of 1812(word doc) or here:  worksheet war of 1812 (pdf) Answers to the worksheet questions are listed below in parentheses.

  1. In what year(s) were most of the major battles fought? (1813; 1814)
  2. Where were most of the major battles fought? (northern states; southern Canada)
  3. Near what lakes were most the major battles fought? (Great Lakes)
  4. Name three forts listed on the map. (Ft. Dearborn, Ft. McHenry, Ft. Michilimackinac)
  5. What major battle was fought in the South? (New Orleans)
  6. In what year was the last major battle fought? (1815)

6 – 8: Click on this link and print out pages 3 – 5 of this lesson plan.

Cut out the fact cards on pages 3 and 4.  Then, arrange each fact card under the appropriate column on the page 5 “Who Has the Advantage?” chart.


Copyright February 28th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette


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James Madison

Week 8: James Madison


READ K – 3: A Picture Book of Dolley and James Madison by David Adler and Michael Adler

 4 – 6: Father of the Constitution: A Story About James Madison by Barbara Mitchell

7 – 8:  James Madison (Revolutionary War Leaders) by Brent Kelley



  • James Madison became our country’s _________ president? (4th)
  • What war did Americans fight during James Madison’s presidency? (War of 1812)
  • What did the British do to Washington D.C. and the White House while James Madison was president? (burned it)
  • When James was young was the United States its own country? (No, it was 13 colonies that belonged to the British)
  • What important document did James Madison help write? (Constitution)
  • What was the name of James’ wife? (Dolley)
  • How did Dolley’s first husband die? (Yellow fever)

Questions for Grades  4 – 8: 

  • Describe what James Madison was like as a child? (shy, loved to read, sickly, quiet, “Falling Disease” – might have had epilepsy)
  • T/F As a child, James had slaves.  (True)
  • What important political figure did James have a strong friendship with? (Thomas Jefferson)
  • What important political figure did James not get along with? (Patrick Henry)
  • What problems were the states having under the Articles of Confederation? (each state had own money, no strong central government, states argued over border problems, central government couldn’t pay soldiers)
  • How many branches of government were in James Madison’s plan for the Constitution? (3: Executive, Legislative, & Judicial)
  • What was Montpelier? (James Madison’s home)
  • What important Bill did James work on after the Constitution? (Bill of Rights)


ACTIVITIES: K – 3: James Madison coloring page:

4 – 8:  Print and complete the James Madison Timeline worksheet by clicking here: James Madison Timeline Questions (pdf) or here: James Madison Timeline Questions (word document)


Copyright February 21st, 2014 by Gwen Fredette


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Sacagawea (Sacajawea)

Week 7:  Sacagawea (Sacajawea)

READ K – 3: Sacajawea by Joyce Milton

 4 – 6: Sacagawea by Lise Erdrich

7 – 8:  Sacagawea by Judith St. George



  • What Indian tribe was Sacagawea from? (Shoshone)
  • What happened to her when she was little?  Why was she living with the Mandan? (kidnapped by a Hidatsa warrior and taken to live with them)
  • Who was Charbonneau? (French fur trader, became Sacajawea’s husband)
  • Why did Charbonneau & Sacajawea travel with Lewis & Clark? (to act as translators)
  • What was Sacajawea’s baby called by the Corps? (Pomp)
  • How did she carry him? (on a cradleboard on her back)
  • How did Sacajawea help the expedition? (saved boxes of supplies that had fallen in the river, dug up edible roots to eat, translated, helped them find their way across the territory, acted as a sign of “peace” by traveling as the only woman on an all-man expedition, Indian tribes did not want to attack when the saw a woman and her baby with the group.)
  • When Sacajawea returned to her old Shoshone tribe, who was Indian chief? (her brother)
  • Why did the corps need horses? (to get over Rocky Mountains)
  • Where did the corps travel to? (Pacific Ocean)
  • What was on the beach? (dead whale)
  • How did Clark feel about Pomp? (cared for him, offered to adopt him and send him to school.  Sacajawea said no, he was too young)
  • What happened to Sacajawea after the return trip? (Some say she died of a fever, others think she left Charbonneau and went back to the Shoshone and lived to be very old)

 Activities: K – 2: This is a coloring page of our golden dollar.  Whose picture is on it? Have fun coloring it in!

3 – 5:  It must have been hard for Sacajawea to leave her brother and the Shoshone tribe to continue on with the Corps to the Pacific Ocean.  Pretend you are Sacajawea.  What would you say to your brother when you were leaving?  What do you think he said to her in reply?  Write a dialogue.

6 – 8: Which member of the Corps of Discovery was the most important person to the group’s success? Why? (Lewis, Clark, Sacagawea, or York?)  Write a 5 paragraph 3 proof essay.


Copyright February 15th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette

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Lewis & Clark

Week 6:  Lewis & Clark


READ K – 3: A Picture Book of Lewis & Clark by David Adler

4 – 6: Lewis & Clark by Conrad Stein

7 – 8:  Lewis & Clark by George Sullivan OR As Far As the Eye Can Reach by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel




  • Who were the leaders of the Corps of Discovery? (Lewis & Clark)
  • What was the assignment of the Corps of Discovery? (to find a northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean; to explore the land and find out about the animals and plants living there; to meet & establish friendly relationships with the Native Americans they met)
  • Who appointed Lewis to be captain of the mission? (Thomas Jefferson)
  • Just before the mission got under way, the United States bought a huge piece of land from the French – it doubled the size of the U.S.  What was this land called? (Louisiana Purchase)
  • What supplies did Lewis & Clark bring on their mission? (guns, ammunition, gifts for American Indians, a large keel boat, smaller boats)
  • What made Lewis & Clark such great leaders of the expedition? (strong, knew how to survive in the Wilderness, good friends, good judges of character, choose men to help them who could take orders, able to keep journals of the expedition, manage boats, Clark was able to draw pictures of the animals he saw)
  • What Indian woman joined their team? (Sacagawea)
  • Why? (to act as an interpreter)
  • How else did she help the expedition? (knew the land, knew what roots, fruits, and vegetables could be eaten, many Indian tribes did not want to attack their group when they saw a woman with a baby traveling with them)
  • Describe some of the dangers the Corps faced? (Snake bites, mosquitoes, ticks, grizzly bears, bad weather, bitter cold, ran out of food, had to climb over Rocky Mountains, some Indian tribes were unfriendly & dangerous, One member died of appendicitis.)

Questions for grades 5 – 8:

  • Who was York? (Clark’s slave)
  • Describe Indian the tribes’ reaction to him? (amazed by dark skin; thought he was painted)
  • Describe Lewis & Clark’s encounter with the Lakota Indians? (Also called Teton Sioux)? The chiefs felt they hadn’t been given enough presents and became insolent.  Warriors grabbed the canoes bowline and refused to let it go.  Clark drew his sword and it looked like there might be a fight, but the Indian Chief, Black Buffalo, grabbed the bowline from the warriors and released the boat.)
  • Describe some of the new creatures and sights the corps discovered? (Great Plains, immense herds of buffalo, prairie dogs, pronghorn antelope.)
  • Did they find the “Northwest passage”? (no)
  • Describe the strengths and weaknesses of each the following members of the Corps: Lewis, Clark, Sacagawea, York, Charbonneau.  (Answers will vary but should include, strong, smart, could journal, Clark could draw, knew the land, knew how to find food, good planners, negotiators, manage boats, etc.)
  • How long did the trip take? (over 2 years)

 ACTIVITIES: K – 3:  Lewis & Clark coloring page:

4 – 8:  Using the map on this website for help:

And this blank map: , design your own map of Lewis & Clark’s route across the United States.  Make sure you clearly distinguish between their outward and homeward journeys (use different colors).  Also label the Missouri River, the Columbia River and the Yellowstone River.  Label St. Louis, Fort Mandan, & Fort Clatsop.  Label the Great Falls and the Rocky Mountains.   Create a key for your map.


Writing Assignment for Grades 4 – 8:  What do you think was the hardest part of Lewis & Clark’s journey? The problems with the Teton Sioux (Lakota) Indians, running out of food while traveling over the Rocky Mountains, being away from civilization for so long?  Something else?  Write a paragraph/short essay describing what you think would have been the most challenging part of the journey.


Copyright February 7th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette

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