Theme of the Week – George Washington
by Belinda Mooney
“Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it? . . .}“George Washington in his Farewell Address
This week’s theme is George Washington. He was our country’s first president and a great man.. Here you will find ideas, links to activities, worksheets and lots more.
Here is what the Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopdia tells us about him:
1732-99, 1st president of the U.S., commander in chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolution, called the Father of his Country; b. Feb. 22, 1732 (Feb. 11, 1731, O.S.), Westmoreland co., Va., into a wealthy family. He became a surveyor as a young man and was one of the principals of the Ohio Company, whose purpose was the exploitation of Western lands. An officer in the militia, he fought in the last of the French & Indian Wars and was named (1755) commander in chief of the Virginia militia with the rank of colonel. He resigned in 1759, married, and turned his attention to his plantation, Mount Vernon. He was a delegate (1774-75) to the Continental Congress, which named him commander of the Continental forces after the outbreak of hostilities with the British. He assumed command (July 3, 1775) in Cambridge, Mass., and succeeded in capturing Boston from the British (Mar. 17, 1776). Unable to defend New York City he was forced to retreat successively to Westchester co., New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. He developed his military skill by trial and error as he went along. On Christmas night, 1776, with morale at its lowest ebb, he and his troops crossed the Delaware R. and defeated the British at Trenton and Princeton, N.J. Less successful in his attempts to defend Philadelphia at Brandywine and Germantown, he spent the winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge in great misery and deprivation. But he emerged with increased powers from Congress and a well-trained, totally loyal army. After the battle of Monmouth (June 28, 1778), his fortunes improved and subsequent victories preceded the surrender of Gen. Cornwallis on Oct. 19, 1781 Washington retired to Mount Vernon, but his dissatisfaction with the new government led him back into public life. He presided over the second FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION (1787), where his prestige and reputation were incalculable in the adoption of the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. He was chosen unanimously as the first president and took office on Apr. 30, 1789. His efforts to remain aloof from partisan politics were unsuccessful, and the influence of Alexander Hamilton moved him increasingly toward conservatism. His second term, openly Federalist, was bitterly criticized by the Jeffersonians. Sickened by the partisan struggles, he refused a third term and retired for the last time to Mount Vernon in 1797. He died two years later, universally regarded as the one without whom the American Revolution and the new republic could not have succeeded. His wife, Martha Washington, 1731-1802, was born Martha Dandridge in New Kent co., Va. Her first husband, by whom she had two children, was Daniel Parke Custis, who died in 1757, leaving her one of the wealthiest women in Virginia. She and Washington had no children.
The Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright© 1994. Columbia University Press. Licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V. All rights reserved.
- (Language Arts,History) Read a book about George Washington. Read to younger children and show pictures of him. Talk about who he was and when he lived.
- (History, Art) Add him to the timeline.
- (Research, History,Civics.Art) George Washington is honored in many ways. Research some of these ways. Look up the Washington memorial. Make a poster showing the things he is on.
- (Math) Now is a good time to introduce quarters and the dollar bill to younger children. Teach what these are worth. Make up word problems using them.
- (Math) Learn to count by 25 using quarters and hundreds using one dollar bills.How many quarters in a dollar? How many pennies in a quarter?
- (Art) Make pencil rubbings of George Washington by placing a piece of paper of the coins and rubbing with a pencil or crayon.
- (Music,History) Learn the words to Yankee Doodle Dandy and sing it. If you play an instrument learn to play it. Discuss what this song means.
- (Language Arts,Civics, History) What is a leader? What makes a good leader? Make a list of qualities that you think a good leader should have. Now read seevral of the books on Washington. Make a list of the good qualities he had as a leader.
- (Bible, Character) George Washington was a man of God. In the book The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall this is brought out. How do you think this helped him? What happens when we put God first in our lives. NOTE: The Light & the Glory has an adult and children’s version.
- (Art, Civics, Government) Make a campaign poster for Washington.
- (Language Arts, Handwriting,Character,Bible) Look up some of the things George Washington wrote in his copybook at 16. Do they still apply today? Make you own copybook. Write down Bible verses or good sayings.
- (Art,Home Ec) Make a tricorn hat -. Cut out 3 paper rectangles approximately 8″ x 5″. Draw a curve line across the top of one. Cut it that out. Using this for a pattern cut out the other 2 rectangles. Color them dark blue or brown with a yellow strip along the curve. Tape the ends together to form a triangle.- Girls could make a cap like Mrs. Washington would have worn. Cut out muslin circles and sew a elastic strip around the circle, leaving an edge for a ruffle.
- (History)Add Martha Washington to your timeline.
- (History,Geography) On a map mark Washington’s birthplace as well as the places the variuos important events took place. Mark the marches he was on and the path they took.
- (History,Character, Art) Tell the story of George and the Cherry Tree. Although this is probably a made up story discuss honesting and telling the truth. Make cherry trees by gluing twigs on construction paper to make trees. Paint green leaves on. Let them dip their fingers in red paint to add cherries to the tree.
Books to read:
Adler, D.A. A Picture Book of George Washington .
Alden, J.R. George Washington: A Biography .
Cunliffe, Marcus. George Washington: Man & Monument .
D’Aulaire, I.M. and D’Aulaire, E.P. George Washington
Eaton, Jeanette. Leader by Destiny: George Washington, Man & Patriot .
Falkof, Lucille. George Washington: 1st President of the United States .
Ferling, J.E. The First of Men: A Life of George Washington .
Freeman, D.S. George Washington: A Biography, 7 vols. .
Fischer, Aileen. My First Presidents’ Day Book
Kane, J.N. Facts About the Presidents: A Compilation of Biographical and Historical Information, 5th ed. .
McGowen, Tom. George Washington
Meltzer, Milton. George Washington and the Birth of Our Nation
Peter and Connie Roop, Buttons for General Washington
Richard Schackburg,Yankee Doodle
Stevenson, Augusta.– George Washington: Young Leader
Woods,Andrew– ,Young George Washington: America’s First President,