Intermediate Level Lessons | William Henry Harrison Makes the Front Page!

One to two class periods

Program Segments

1819 - 1811 Calls for War (7 1/2 minutes)
Autumn 1812 Campaigns in the West (6 minutes)
Spring 1812 The British Invade (7 minutes)

NCSS Themes

I: Culture and Cultural Diversity
III: People, Places, and Environments
V: Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
X: Civic Ideals and Practices

Canadian (Ontario) Concepts

Systems and Structures
Interactions and Interdependence

Canadian (Ontario) Specific Expectations – Seventh Grade

Describe the major causes and personalities of the War of 1812
Describe the different groups of people

Students will be able to:

demonstrate an understanding of William Henry Harrison’s role in the war and the effect he had on the people around him through their writing

Focus Questions

1. Who was William Henry Harrison?
2. What effects did William Henry Harrison have on people, culture, and land during the War of 1812?

Key Concepts

Expansionism, Stalemate, Cession, Confederacy, Subordinates, Treaty, Metaphor

Instructional Resources

The War of 1812 DVD
crayons, markers, and colored pencils
textbooks, websites, and various print resources for additional information

Icon Guidelines and sample article (81.5 KB)


Program Segments for Lesson Plan


  1. The teacher will instruct students to write the heading "Who was William Henry Harrison?" on a sheet of paper.
  2. The teacher will introduce Harrison by telling students he was a determined and ruthless general in the War of 1812.
  3. While watching the segment of The War of 1812, the students should be writing down facts about Harrison.
  4. The teacher will write Harrison’s quote, “I believe that all the measures of the Government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer” on the board. 
  5. The teacher will then ask the students what they think this quote by Harrison means. What do they believe this quote says about Harrison's personality?
  6. The teacher will lead a class discussion based on what they uncovered while watching the Harrison segment of The War of 1812.
  7. The teacher will distribute guidelines and clearly read and explain them to the students.
  8. The teacher will show a sample newspaper article and answer questions.
  9. The teacher will instruct students to begin to create their own newspaper articles using the facts from the program along with additional resources (i.e. websites and print materials).
  10. Upon completion, the students will turn their newspaper articles in for assessment.

Assessment Task
The completed newspaper article

Related PBS Resources

Conflicting Newspaper Accunts
In this lesson students write Civil War newspapers about the Battle of Antietam from the opposing perspectives of North and South.

Finding the Right Words
Explore how hard it can be to capture the essence of a scene using only words. Examine the challenges war correspondents must face while trying to capture a scene they are witnessing and convey that scene to the public with the right words.

The War through the Eyes of Al McIntosh
Investigate newspaper editors and correspondents who reported the local impact of war events on communities and towns at home. Review local newspaper stories and editorials from World War II and then write a mock story about the war for the folks back home.


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William Henry Harrison


Young William Henry Harrison