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By sarahshartzer
On July 15, 2020

Lesson Plan: Choice Board: War of 1812

War of 1812 - Beginning

Vince Vaise gave a tour of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland, and talked about the birth of the Star-Spangled Banner. 2014 marked the 200th anniversary of the British naval bombardment of the fort during the War of 1812. The raising of the garrison flag over the fort on the morning after the barrage inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words that later became the national anthem


This resource is a choice board covering 12 different topics related to the War of 1812. For each topic, students are provided a C-SPAN video and one additional source, and then asked to reflect on what they learned from each. Teachers can customize this document as needed -- the current directions ask students to complete 5 topics, but that can be adjusted. This is a multi-day activity that can be done in person or via distance learning.


  • SET-UP:

    Open the Google Slides presentation in Google and choose "File" and "Make a Copy" to get your own copy. Make any needed adjustments in the instructions and then make available to students (via Google Classroom or another method).

    Update the directions on the first slide of the choice board with your own instructions to students if you choose. The board currently requires them to complete 5 total topics, but you can adjust that before you send to students.

    Each student will need their own digital copy of the Google Slides (via Google Classroom or some other method); they will also need a Google account to be able to complete the work.

    CHOICE BOARD: War of 1812 (Google Slides)

    TEACHER NOTES: War of 1812 (Google Doc)


    Share the Google Slides document with the students and instruct them to make a copy of the choice board that they can edit.

    On the introductory slide, students should edit their name and read the instructions.

    To provide general information on the War of 1812, students will start by completing the first box by viewing the linked video and reviewing the information on the Library of Congress website. Students should answer the questions listed on that slide.


    Students will complete a total of five of the slides on the choice board. They will be required to complete Slide 2: Start of the War and Slide 13: End of the War, but can choose the remaining slides. Students should keep track of which slides they have completed by clicking and dragging the markers over each completed box on the choice board.

    For each slide, students will need view the video clip, complete the reading and answer the following questions:

    • List 3 things that you learned from these sources.

    • Pretend that your teacher has asked you to write the War of 1812 quiz for the rest of the class. What is the one question you would ask from this section? Include the answer.

    • List one question you still have about this topic that wasn’t answered in the sources.

    Below are the video clips and readings included in each of the slides.

  • Slide 2: Start of the War (Required)

  • Slide 3: The Star Spangled Banner at Ft. McHenry

  • Slide 4: American Defeat at Bladensburg

  • Slide 5: President Madison

  • Slide 6: African-Americans Fighting for the British

  • Slide 7: Battle of Baltimore (& Cannons)

  • Slide 8: Dolley Madison

  • Slide 9: Battle of New Orleans

  • Slide 10: Fort Meigs

  • Slide 11: Tecumseh & the War of 1812

  • Slide 12: The Burning of Washington

  • Slide 13: End of the War (Required)


    Students should turn in their completed Google Slides by submitting the URL to you electronically.

    Review student responses and address any misconceptions.

Additional Resource


  • Battle Of Baltimore
  • Battle Of New Orleans
  • Francis Scott Key
  • Impressment
  • Militia
  • Star-spangled Banner
  • Treaty Of Ghent
  • War Hawks
  • War Of 1812


U.S. History


Middle SchoolHigh School