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Impressment

Name of Corresponding Unit Plan: War of 1812

Grade Level: 4-12

Common Core Standards
RI.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

R.6-12.1. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Content Areas: Reading, Social Studies

Recommended Length/Duration: 45-60 minutes

Learning Goals: Students will learn about the practice of impressment. Students will analyze the points of view and emotions presented by a controversial issue.

Description/Sequence:

  1. Introduce the topic by discussing how difficult it was to find enough sailors and soldiers to fight in the wars between Great Britain and France. Impressment was one solution to the problem.
  2. Introduce the word “impressments.” Ask was the root of the word is: “press.” Point out that this word has several meanings. Ask if anyone can speculate on what the word impressments might mean.
  3. Have students read the impressment article independently, as a small group, or together as a class.
  4. Have students answer the questions independently or as a small group.
  5. When students have had a chance to answer the questions, have them share their responses. The teacher should correct any errors and resolve any disagreements.

Assessments: Collect and assess the accuracy of responses.

Materials/Resources: Impressment Article and worksheet

Special Considerations: The teacher may want to group weaker readers in a group with stronger readers. Students may have difficulty imagining being in such an oppressive situation.

Extensions: Students might be interested to research how the United States found enough sailors for its Navy. Students might be interested in researching the history of conscription in the United States military.