History: Washington's Manners

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Essential Questions for students (objectives):  Students will read a primary source document about manners that were copied by George Washington. Students will interpret the 18th century manners and write them in today’s language.

Time needed:  1 class period (50 minutes)

Supplies: Rules of civility handout
Common Core Standards:  WHST.6-8,5, RH.9-10.4, WHST.9-10.5, WHST.9-10.9, RH.11-12.1, RH.11-12.2, RH.11-12.3 
Instructional Format:  Cooperative group work 

Vocabulary for a Word Wall:  Civility
Step by step lesson description:

Hand out a copy of some of the “Rules of Civility.”  Choose the rules that your students would find most engaging depending on their level.

Place 2-3 rules on a piece of paper and hand out to different groups.  Have the students read the rules and try to determine the meaning.  Groups can write the rule in today’s language.  They can write the manner as a tweet (in 140 words or less.)  Students can rank the rules by most important. 


Exploration:  Have students take a school rule and rewrite it in Washington’s vernacular.
Related websites:  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1248919

Additional connections:  For additional classroom lessons on George Washington visit http://www.mountvernon.org/educational-resources/for-teachers/lesson-plans-and-materials/