A Few Good Men
Name of Corresponding Unit Plan: War of 1812
Grade Level: 6-12
Common Core Standards
RH/SS.1. Cite specific textural evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
WH/S.7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a questions or solve a problem.
WH/S.9. Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Content Areas: Reading, Writing, History
Recommended Length/Duration: 45-60 minutes
Learning Goals: Students will analyze and interpret primary source text. Students will draw inferences based on evidence in primary source text.
- Discuss the challenges of finding men willing to become soldiers. The United States, Britain, and Canada all had to find ways to recruit young men to enlist in their armed forces. Ask students why people would be willing to become soldiers. List these motivating factors on the board.
- Pass out the Royal Marines recruiting poster text and have them scan the information provided. Highlight the way the poster uses different text styles and terms to get the reader’s attention. Review any unfamiliar terms or contextual questions students may have.
- Pass out the poster analysis worksheet. Review the kinds of information students should be looking for. Have them work as individuals or in small groups to answer the worksheet questions.
- When students have completed the worksheet, have students share their responses. Clarify and errors or disagreements of interpretation.
Assessments: Informal assessment of worksheet completeness and student effort.
Royal Marines Recruiting Poster & analysis worksheet (pdf)
Special Considerations: Weaker readers could be paired with students with stronger skills.
Extensions: Students may find additional recruiting posters to analyze. Students may look at contemporary recruiting posters to see how they are similar or different from 1812.
- Poster “All Dashing High-spirited Young Heroes” in the collections of Parks Canada; view it online at
- Poster “Great Encouragement, American War” is in the collections of the Royal Marines Museum; a transcription can found online at http://war1812.tripod.com/poster.html. A fascimile is printed in Nelson’s Navy: The Ships, Men, and Organisation, 1793-1815, by Brian Lavery, 1989, Naval Institute Press, p147.