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Teaching Guide

Teaching the French & Indian War

Duke it out.

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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

Objective: All's fair in love and war. Or is it?  

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. 

Length of Lesson: 1-2 class periods.

Materials Needed:

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

Step Two: 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.

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

Step Four: Follow up your group discussion by asking your students to add another paragraph or two, responding to points raised in the discussion and developing their own position further.

Step Five: Give students a chance to share portions of their writing and discuss how their positions evolved or, if they remained the same, how they became more sure of their stances.

Instructions for Your Students

All's fair in love and war. 

Yeah, right. You know better than that. But just what is fair? And what crosses the line?

Today, you'll explore whether certain military tactics violate the "rules" of warfare and debate the appropriateness of the British use of germ warfare during Pontiac's Rebellion. 

Step One: Take a look at these documents in which British soldiers discuss the distribution of smallpox infested blankets to the hostile Indians of the region.

Step Two: Work with your teacher and classmates to generate two lists—one with reasons why smallpox warfare should be used during this war, and one with reasons why it should not. Challenge yourself (and your classmates—and your teacher!) to approach the question from as many angles as possible—military, practical, moral, diplomatic, long-term, short-term.

Step Three: You've generated a lot of ideas, right? Now try to figure out what you believe and write a one paragraph statement of your position. You and your classmates will use these positions to help foster a larger group discussion of whether or not the smallpox infested blankets were a fair tactic.

Step Four: Follow up your group discussion by adding another paragraph or two to your position paragraph. Use these to respond to points raised in the discussion and develop your own position further.

Step Five: Take some time to share portions of your writing with your classmates and discuss how everyone's positions evolved or, if they remained the same, how you became more sure of your stances.

WANT MORE HELP TEACHING THE FRENCH & INDIAN WAR?

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

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