Should America Have Gone to War in 1812?


Using an incredibly engaging activity and detailed lesson plan, your learners will serve as advisors to President Madison on whether to participate in what would become the War of 1812! Utilize a variety of effective instructional strategies to acquaint your class with the causes of the war. There are opportunities for group work and independent practice, analysis of primary sources, and written or performance assessments.

Resource Details

Instructional Design
Differentiated Instruction
2 days

First World War Assessment

Here is a really neat assessment, perfect for middle schoolers who have just learned about WWI. The assessment covers the causes and effects of WWI, causes of WWII, the Treaty of Versailles, trench warfare, and key players of the war in a fun and interesting way. The assessment includes political cartoons, drawings, and great questions. 

Was the War of 1812 Our Second War of Independence?

Though it occurred almost 40 years later, could the United States have been fighting for their independence again in the War of 1812? Using appropriate primary source material from each of the two wars, compare and contrast the situation that American citizens found themselves in, making connections and drawing parallels through inquiry and discussion.

Primary and Secondary Sources

Show your class the difference between primary sources and secondary sources. The first page provides a list of examples of each type of source. While they research, pupils can refer back to the list quickly to make sure they are reading the type of source they mean to be. The remainder of the document focuses on where to find primary sources and lists some examples.

The Home Front: How Did People Prepare for the War at Home?

Wars have a profound effect not only on a country's soldiers, but also on the everyday lives of its citizens. Invite your young historians to discover how Britain prepared for the Second World War by analyzing a series of government posters regarding rationing, evacuation, and anti-German propaganda.

Are the Sources Credible?

Eighth graders discern the quality of the information they draw from primary and secondary sources raising their analysis to a new level. In this lesson students assess and compare the credibility of sources, play the Pony Express website game and answer questions about sources.

Citizens For and Against the War of 1812

Use this exceptional resource to examine the discourse and debate that occurred at the start of the War of 1812 with your class. Learners will first consider their own position on the war in a silent journal writing activity. Then after consulting primary source documents through guided instruction, independent practice, and working in pairs, your class will come together to summarize source material and construct an informed argument on the issue.

Historical Sources: Identifying Primary or Secondary

Students identify what historians use to understand the past through the sources available to them. In this lesson, students practice analytical skills by identifying and categorizing diverse source material as well as gain knowledge about 19th century American communication systems.

Zoom In: The Civil War's Impact on Americans

Students examine the Civil War. In this war time culture lesson, students compare the effects of war on individual soldiers during the Civil War. Students examine a primary source, images of Union troops at Manassas, Virginia, and a PowerPoint.

African Americans after the Civil War

Students explore the events of Reconstruction after the Civil War.  In this US History lesson, students complete several activities and worksheets that reinforce challenges and social upheaval experienced in the South after the Civil War.

Civil War Civilian Experience

Students read primary source accounts of the Battle of Franklin and write a journal entry from the perspective of a civilian. In this Civil War lesson, students read accounts and identify problems faced by the civilians as a group. Students discuss the civilians' response to the problems they faced and development of the battlefield today.

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