Teach PA History
George Washington and the Beginnings of the French and Indian War
What to Know
Teaching Time
4 40-minute periods
Grade Level
Elementary School
  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • Geography
  • History
Historical Period
  • Colonization and Settlement - 1601-1760
  • New Nation - 1761-1800
In this lesson, students will learn that the war occurred because of a struggle for control of the Ohio Valley by the British, French, and Indians. Students will trace the route of George Washington from Virginia to Ft. Le Boeuf as he delivers the message from Governor Dinwiddie to ask the French to leave. They will read and transcribe excerpts from his journal, identify problems encountered, and locate the places referenced on the map. Students will participate in a point-of-view activity to learn about the different goals for each group.


#1 Observe John Buxton's print, "Domain of Three Nations," to identify the three groups that wanted to control the Ohio River valley and speculate why each group wanted control of this land. #2 Locate, on a map, sites from George Washington's journey from Williamsburg to Ft. LeBoeuf in 1753. #3 Identify physical and human problems encountered on the journey back to Williamsburg using excerpts from Washington's journal. #4 Present points of view of each of the three groups that wanted to control the Ohio River Valley.

Standards Alignment

  • History

    8.3.6. B. Identify and explain primary documents, material artifacts and historic sites important in United States history from Beginnings to 1824.
    8.3.6. D. Identify conflict and cooperation among groups.

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

    1.2.5. A. Read and understand essential content of informational texts and documents in all academic areas.

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