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Free History Studies: George Washington

Free History Studies: George Washington

Free History Studies: George Washington

George Washington was a beloved leader and outstanding citizen.

This lesson will focus on Washington’s military service and presidency.  You may also wish to refer back to the introductory lesson, George Washington and the Cherry Tree, covering his boyhood and other basic facts.

Read the following sections:

  • Map the following (you’ll find mapping resources below):
  • Find out who the Hessians were.
  • Tell the story of Washington’s Christmas gift to the country.
  • Draw a picture of Washington’s troops crossing the Delaware as described in the story.  Compare your illustration with the famous painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze (see below).
  • Learn more about Cornwallis.
  • Read more about the Battle of Princeton.
  • Find out how a cannon works.
  • The Revolutionary War spanned eight years.  Create a timeline showing the major events.  You’ll find helps below.
  • More about George Washington from the Book of Knowledge:

    [Washington’s record as the commanding general in the American Revolution] made him the outstanding citizen and the loved leader of the new nation.  In 1787 he was chosen to preside over the convention that framed the Constitution.  The next year, without a single “nay,” he was elected president, and another Revolutionary leader, John Adams, became vice-president.President Washington’s chief task was to make the new government work.  The war had been fought to free the colonies; now the United States must become a living fact as well as a name.Even in the beginning, the duties of the Executive Branch were more than one man could handle.  To help him, the President set up departments — State, Treasury and War — the secretaries of which formed the first Cabinet.The expenses of the Government had to be met.  To do this taxes were laid, chiefly on foreign goods (tariffs).  War had left the nation deeply in dept, and Congress approved paying the debt in full.  In addition, all the debts of the states were taken over by the Federal Government, and a national bank was chartered….In 1791 came the first severe test of the strength of the new Government.  There was a revolt in western Pennsylvania against the collection of federal taxes on whiskey — the Whiskey Rebellion.  Calling out a force of volunteers to put the revolt down, the President showed that the country’s laws would be enforced and must be respected….Washington refused to run for a third term.  In 1797 he retired to his beloved Mount Vernon, where he spent the rest of his days.  He died on December 14, 1799.”The Presidents of the United States,” The Book of Knowledge

Further Investigation

George Washington
Biography at

American President: George Washington
Biography from the University of Virginia.

Timeline From Founding Through the American Revolution

Ten Facts About George Washington and the Revolutionary War
From the Mount Vernon Ladies Association.

Washington’s Crossing
The details from Washington Crossing Historic Park.

What’s Wrong With This Painting
Discusses the details of Washington’s crossing the Delaware River … and compares them to the painting by Leutze.

The British Surrender at Yorktown, 1781
Account at

Collections Timeline
Essentially a timeline of the Revolutionary War from the American Revolution Center.

Ten Facts About Washington’s Presidency
From the Mount Vernon Ladies Association.


New York Map/Quiz Printout

New Jersey Map/Quiz Printout

Interactive Map Maker {Free}
Make your own maps.

The Revolutionary War Animated Map
See the battles in action including the troop movements and other visuals.

Kids Portrait — George Washington: A National Treasure
Interactive from the Smithsonian using the painting by Gilbert Stuart to solve a mystery.

Interactive Portrait
Another interactive from the Smithsonian that explores the portrait of Washington.

Young George Washington’s Adventures
Interactive from the National Park Service exploring Washington’s early military career.

Virtual Mansion Tour
Tour Mount Vernon — from your couch!

Washington Cake
Not only historical, but also yummy!

George Washington

George Washington by d’Aulaire
One of our favorites from the d’Aulaire series of children’s biographies.

Meet George Washington

Meet George Washington by Joan Heilbroner
A Landmark title and introduction to Washington’s roles in the Revolutionary War and as President.  Perfect for the young reader.  Also available on Kindle.

“Washington in the Revolution”
Chapter from A First Book in American History also by Eggleston. Includes narration prompts.  You’ll also want to read the next chapter, “The Victory at Yorktown and Washington as President.”

“The Darkest Hour: Trenton and Princeton”
Stories of these battles from This Country of Ours by H.E. Marshall.  You’ll also want to read “A Turning Point in the World’s History” and “Washington: First in War, First in Peace.”

The Life of George Washington

Life of George Washington by M. L. Williamson
Readable while informative Christian Liberty Press biography edited by Michael McHugh. The original is in the public domain.

“George Washington”
Chapter from Beacon Lights of History by John Lord.  Excellent biography for older students.

Our American Holidays: Washington's Birthday {Free eBook}

Our American Holidays: Washington’s Birthday {Free eBook}
Subtitled, Its History, Observance, Spirit, and Significance as Related in Prose and Verse, with a Selection from Washington’s Speeches and Writings, contains many primary sources.

Washington’s Farewell Address
Required reading for many older students and part of American Historical Documents.

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

The Revolutionary War {Free Unit Study}
Everything you need to put together your own-sized Revolutionary War unit.

George Washington
17-page teacher’s guide including student worksheets from the Smithsonian Institution uses the painting George Washington by Gilbert Stuart as a jumping off point to study the various aspects of Washington’s life.

General George Washington
127-page download for older students from the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts focusing on evaluation of Washington via primary source documents.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

United States Map map for locating New York, New Jersey, and Virginia.  Can also be used to mark the Washington’s march to Yorktown.

New York Map
Map for notebook, helpful for locating Brooklyn.

New Jersey State Map
Map for notebook, helpful for locating Trenton, Princeton, and the Delaware River.

Virginia Map
Map for notebook, helpful for locating Yorktown.

George Washington
Coloring page from White House Kids.

U.S. President George Washington
Coloring page from Crayola.

Washington Crossing the Delaware River Coloring Sheet
In the style of the painting from the Mount Vernon Ladies Association.

Washington at Princeton Coloring Sheet
In the style of the painting from the Mount Vernon Ladies Association.

George Washington Notebooking Pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

Enjoy the complete series:
Free History Studies: Stories of Great Americans
Free History Studies: Stories of Great Americans

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