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War of 1812


Social Studies  


9, 10, 11  

by Sandy Staiger

Overview of the War of 1812 for High School US History classes
Standards:  PA History 8.1.9.A – D; 8.2.9.D; 8.3.9.A-D; PA Civics & Government 5.3.9.A; 5.4.9.A; PA Geography 7.3.9.E; ISTE 2a; 3a,d
General Goal:  to provide students with the opportunity to learn about the War of 1812 in US History while focusing on events from that war that are now part of American culture, history and Pennsylvania history.  Additionally, students will be able to use the online tool called TrackStar, a teacher generated tool to focus students to certain websites or “tracks” in order to learn about a particular topic.
1.  Students will analyze the causes of the War of 1812.
2.  Students will learn about the importance of the roles of Tecumseh, Oliver Hazard Perry, Dolly Madison, and Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812.
3.  Students will identify the Flagship Niagara and her significance in Pennsylvania History.
4.  Students will understand how the “Star Spangled Banner” came out of the War of 1812 and under what circumstances it was written.
5.  Students will contrast the causes of the War of 1812 with the lapses in the Treaty of Ghent.
Required Materials:  access to WiFi for the entire class (using computers, iPads, etc.), link to TrackStar via website:
TrackStar # 259531; Google Doc of questions for students (see attachments) or printout of worksheet (can also be made easily when you select “View in Text” after entering TrackStar #)
Lead in/ Background:  Whether as an introduction to this lesson or in previous classes, students should have covered President Jefferson’s Embargo Act that attempted to keep the US out of this war and then President Madison’s re-election stance in 1812 to go to war with Britain.
Step by Step Procedures:
1.  Direct or provide students with document/ worksheet with directions & questions.
2.  Guide students to the TrackStar website –
(Troubleshooting hint:  if it will not go directly there, begin at and link to TrackStar from the right menu.)
3.  In “View Track #” box enter 259531
4.  Select View in Frames
5.  Begin viewing websites or “tracks” as selected that correspond to the questions on the worksheet.  There are 10 tracks and students can toggle between them from the left menu.  The questions are also listed at the top of each frame, but they need to scroll down in that small window to see subsequent questions (which is why the worksheet is easier to use).
6.  Students use the selected tracks (and only these tracks) to answer the questions.  Students should not link to other websites from these tracks but remain in the ones given.  (Troubleshooting hint:  depending on the strength of the Broadband, if it seems as if students are getting stuck waiting for tracks to load it may be possible that it is getting clogged with everyone trying to access the same track at the same time.  Consider having students begin at different tracks – which can also help avoid cheating if you intend to use this as a graded assignment.)
7.  Have the students submit the assignment or retain it as notes on the War of 1812.
Follow up suggestions:  show pictures of the Flagship Niagara as restored today, based in her home port of Erie, PA; discuss the text of “The Star Spangled Banner” and/ or the ongoing national discussions as to whether it (a war song) should be our national anthem or something else (America the Beautiful, God Bless America, etc.); show the picture of Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of Washington and discuss the role of Stuart as a prominent artist in that time; discuss the War of 1812 as another example of pushing Native Americans westward, disregarding any claims to the northwest territory; remind students to remember the hero of New Orleans status that Andrew Jackson achieved…that will propel him to national politics.
Note:  this TrackStar was last updated on 7/15/2015 and as of that date all the tracks (links) worked.


Attachment: see other attached document

War of 1812 TrackStar #259531

Attachment description:

worksheet with directions & questions for students to use in conjunction with TrackStar

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War of 1812 TrackStar #259531  [DOWNLOAD]