History Lesson Plan for Middle School: Interesting Facts About George Washington

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Who Was George Washington?

Your students learned in elementary school that George Washington was the first president of America. But, beyond that, who was George Washington? Ask your students the following questions to see how much they know about him. Then, read them the correct answers and watch the surprise on their faces as they learn interesting facts about our nation’s first president.

Surprising Facts

  1. Did George Washington enjoy school? Answer: Actually, George Washington loved to learn but he did not enjoy school because he felt his educators to be “defective.” Therefore, George Washington went out of his way to educate himself above and beyond his teachers’ expectations.
  2. What was George Washington’s first experience with the military? Answer: George Washington wanted to join the British navy, but his mother refused to allow him to join. George Washington’s first experience with the military was actually when he joined the Virginia militia!
  3. What was George Washington’s first career move? Answer: George Washington was actually a surveyor! Land was still being settled and being a surveyor was a very valuable skill at the time. This skill also may have lent George Washington some aid in his military career as he was already familiar with the lay of the land
  4. At what age did George Washington retire? Answer: Actually, George Washington retired the first time at age 27! Once he got married and became the most expereinced native military man in Virginia, he and his wife Martha settled on his plantation in that state.
  5. What made George Washington’s approach to battles with the British different than the that of other military officers? Answer: George Washington was more concerned about winning the war and keeping his regiment intact than he was worried about particular cities. He realized that if one city was taken, that could be dealt with. It was the country itself that could not be lost.
  6. Was becoming president one of George Washington’s career goals? Answer: No. George Washington had a growing concern about the way the government was being run. His reputation as a military leader, his quiet strength and his no-nonsense approach to leadership was what eventually landed him in the Presidency.
  7. How may terms did Washington serve? Answer: 2. Though attempts were made to convince Washington to serve a third term, he refused, wanting to spend time on his own plantation.

What Would You Do?

Pretend you are the first president of a new nation. Write a letter to one of your friends stating your concerns and what you plan to do as president. Remember, the government is unorganized and the nation is looking to you to lead them!