Don’t risk disengaging your students with a “boring” George Washington activity or lesson! Even in high school, students need to get up and moving; this helps build critical thinking skills and caters to kinesthetic learners.
My best-selling George Washington activity involves stations/centers to build background knowledge or apply skills. Students thoroughly enjoy getting up to move and apply higher order thinking to the different centers about George Washington.
Each station has questions to ensure that students understand the material, plus questions that lead them to think critically about Washington’s presidency.
With primary documents, comprehensive information, and critical thinking questions, these stations are a sure way to improve your students’ knowledge on President George Washington!
For more information about implementing stations, check out my blog post!
George Washington Activity: Stations
Station 1: George Washington and Foreign Policy
The laws and treaties that were established during Washington’s presidency are important for students to know and analyze. The first station focuses on Jay’s Treaty, the Proclamation of Neutrality, and Pinckney’s Treaty.
After students summarize the treaties, they use higher order thinking skills to analyze why these treaties were important and which one was most vital for the US at that time.
Station 2: Hamilton’s Financial Plan
Alexander Hamilton, the very first secretary of the treasury, created a four-part financial plan. This stations spells out the plan for students and requires them to summarize it.
After summarizing the plan, students discuss and write down which part they believe was most important. They then discuss why or why not Hamilton should be on the $10.00 bill!
Station 3: The “Precedent President”
Washington’s precedents have been known as the “unwritten constitution”; students read about his precedents and then discuss why they were important. The critical thinking arises when students must answer why these precedents have continued on to present day. The way that the stations are laid out make it easy for students to find information!
Station 4: The Whiskey Rebellion
Although whiskey (wheat) was the main source of cash for many farmers, part of Hamilton’s financial plan was to tax it to build up more money for the new nation. Many citizens did not appreciate this and rebelled!
After reading about the Whiskey Rebellion, students will read a primary document from Washington. They will then summarize the rebellion and apply higher order thinking skills to argue for what they would have done had they been in Washington’s shoes.
Station 5: Video
As station 5 is a video, an iPad or another form of technology is needed, Students watch a video about Washington’s legacy. Students write about what they think was the most important legacy that Washington left behind!
Videos are always an excellent way to keep engagement for students while providing a visual and engaging the senses.
Station 6: Political Cartoon
The last station requires students to analyze a political comic strip about the Whiskey Rebellion. Students read about Washington’s reaction to the Whiskey Rebellion and why it matters.
A critical analysis question at the end requires students to decipher the message of the cartoon. What is it implying? What can students learn from the comic strip?
Read what others have had to say:
“My students really enjoyed this. They were fully engaged!”Carrie M
“”This was a great stations activity for my 8th graders. They could get up and move around and were very engaged in the text, able to understand the informational readings and held good discussions over the issues of his presidency. This was a great review activity for our unit.“Jamie F
“This was a great resource for getting students involved. It’s difficult at times to create centers for middle school students but this packet was excellent!”Georgia T
Do you have any other fun ways to teach about George Washington? Tell me in the comments below!