© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Teaching Guide

Teaching the French & Indian War

Duke it out.


In this corner, in the blue, white, and red trunks: the French! In the other corner, in something way more fashionable: the Indians! And in the middle: you, having to teach this conflict to an audience of students (!). Don't sweat it: our teaching guide can coach you to victory.

In this guide you will find

  • an activity mapping the territories and key battlegrounds of the conflict.
  • historical resources on the American Revolution and Native American history.
  • essay questions on the consequences of the war.

And so much more.

With Shmoop in your corner, you're on track for a knockout lesson.

What's Inside Shmoop's History Teaching Guides

Shmoop is a labor of love from folks who love to teach. Our teaching guides will help you supplement in-classroom learning with fun, engaging, and relatable learning materials that bring history to life.

Inside each guide you'll find quizzes, activity ideas, discussion questions, and more—all written by experts and designed to save you time. Here are the deets on what you get with your teaching guide:

  • 3-5 Common Core-aligned activities (including quotation, image, and document analysis) to complete in class with your students, with detailed instructions for you and your students. 
  • Discussion and essay questions for all levels of students.
  • Reading quizzes to be sure students are looking at the material through various lenses.
  • Resources to help make the topic feel more relevant to your 21st-century students.
  • A note from Shmoop's teachers to you, telling you what to expect from teaching the topic and how you can overcome the hurdles.

Instructions for You

In this debate activity, your students will explore whether certain military tactics violate the "rules" of warfare and they will debate the appropriateness of the British use of germ warfare during Pontiac's Rebellion. 

1. Share with your students these documents in which British soldiers discuss the distribution of smallpox infested blankets to the hostile Indians of the region.

2. Collectively generate two lists—one with reasons why smallpox warfare should be used during this war, and one with reasons why it should not. Encourage your students to approach the question from as many angles as possible—military, practical, moral, diplomatic, long-term, short-term.

3. Ask your students to write a one-paragraph statement of their position. Use these to focus a larger group discussion of the question.

4. Conclude the exercise by asking your students to add a second paragraph that responds to points raised in the discussion and develops their own position further.

Instructions for Your Students

Is all fair in war? Or are certain ways of fighting just unacceptable? Or are these kinds of distinctions between one form of violence and another illogical?

Read these excerpts from British military officers during Pontiac's Rebellion and be prepared to debate the appropriateness of their plans.


Check out all the different parts of our corresponding learning guide.

Intro    Summary & Analysis    Timeline    People    Facts    Photos    Best of the Web    Citations    
back to top