Be Washington

Be Washington is an interactive experience in which YOU take on the role of George Washington, either as commander in chief or president. Come face to face with a leadership challenge, listen to advice from his most trusted sources, and decide how to solve the same problems Washington himself faced. Learn how Washington actually handled the situation, and see how other players voted. Play as an individual or hosts a game for a group. Lesson plans are available for each scenario. The game may be played online and is also available as an app. Visiting Mount Vernon? Make plans to play Be Washington in the Interactive Theater.

  • Resource Type: Games, Lesson Plans, Simulation
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Presidents’ Day

Presidents’ Day is a U.S holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February. This holiday was first established in 1885 as “Washington’s Birthday” to celebrate President George Washington’s birthday on February 22. In 1971, the federal government renamed the holiday Presidents’ Day to honor all US presidents, past and present. The Share My Lesson team has selected a variety of free lesson plans, educational resources and classroom materials to support teachers as they celebrate Presidents’ Day.

  • Resource Type: Essays, Lesson Plans, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

George Washington and the Founding of the U.S. Government

The founding of the United States government is intimately intertwined with George Washington’s own biography. This web page offers resources for teachers to use in their classrooms associated with Washington’s role in the creation of the government. Included are primary and secondary sources, as well as essential questions for teaching the founding, lesson plans and classroom ready activities.

  • Resource Type: Essays, Lesson Plans, Media, Primary Sources, Video
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

George Washington and the Revolution

This short video examines the role played by George Washington in the defeat of the British during the American Revolution. From the moment he assumed command, Washington emphasized the importance of union to the war effort, in spite of challenges faced while commanding forces that were ill-fed, ill-supplied, and ill-served by the Confederation Congress. Professor W. B. Allen concludes that Washington’s leadership held both the military and the nation together during this tumultuous period.

  • Resource Type: Video
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 11, 12

George Washington and the Constitutional Convention

This short video discusses George Washington’s “infinite care in preparing the Constitution for posterity.” As Chair of the Constitutional Convention, Washington was most often silent, but he did cast a crucial vote in the Virginia delegation, resulting in the adoption of the Connecticut Compromise. Professor W. B. Allen emphasizes the role played by Washington in providing leadership and structure as the principles of the Constitution were argued and articulated.

  • Resource Type: Video
  • Subject: Legislative Branch/Congress
  • Grades: 11, 12

George Washington and the Presidency

This short video highlights the crucial role played by George Washington in writing upon the “blank slate” of the Constitution. Washington was self-conscious about the importance of establishing principled precedents in his interpretation of Article II and what it said—or did not say—about the extent of executive power. According to Professor W. B. Allen, Washington was “conscious and deliberate” as he and his advisors gave meaning to the outline of the Constitution.

  • Resource Type: Video
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 11, 12

George Washington and Slavery

This short video analyzes Washington’s experiences as a “queasy slaveowner.” Having inherited and traded slaves as a younger man, Washington in later life gradually moved from being doubtful about the morality of the institution to being certain that the institution was “against the law of nature.” Professor W. B. Allen contends that Washington’s decision to free his slaves upon his wife’s death ensured that Mount Vernon’s enslaved families would remain intact and would be provided for.

  • Resource Type: Video
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 11, 12

Washington and the Whiskey Rebellion

Students weigh the choices Washington faced in the nation’s first Constitutional crisis by following events through his private diary.

This lesson plan examines a critical episode in George Washington’s second administration, when federal efforts to collect an excise tax on liquor sparked armed resistance in the frontier communities of western Pennsylvania. Students first review the events that led up to this confrontation, then read from the diary that Washington kept as he gathered troops to put down the insurrection.

  • Resource Type: Essays, Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

The March on Washington

This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most historic moments in United States history – the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. On August 28, 1963, approximately 250,000 people participated in the march, which is considered to be one of the largest peaceful political rallies for human rights in history. Among other events, the march participants gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to hear Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Photography, Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources), Video
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12