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Ohio War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission  

Educational Resources


PBS presents the documentary special "The War of 1812," on Monday, October 10th at 9:00 p.m. This film explores the conflict from the New England shores of the Atlantic, to the Ohio Frontier; from the stumbles of American forces on the Northeastern Canadian border, to the victories in the American South, especially at New Orleans. Francis Scott Key, Dolly Madison, Old Hickory, William Henry Harrison and Commodore Perry - some of the most iconic characters in American history are all profiled in this remarkable film from Ken Burns' Florentine Films company. Don't miss "The War of 1812," Monday, October 10th at 9:00p.m., airing nationally on PBS. For more information please visit www.pbs.org/1812

Bicentennial of the War of 1812
Educational Efforts

As gathered from
International Historic Sites 1812 Bicentennial Committee (IHSBC)

Nationally Accessible

Michigan 1812 Bicentennial Commission, Livonia, Michigan
The Michigan Maritime Museum, with support from the Michigan Humanities Council, created some valuable lessons and support materials on the sloop, “Friends good will,” later captured by the British and renamed “Little Belt.” It was taken by Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie and is the ‘sloop’ mentioned in his famous dispatch to General William Henry Harrison. The materials are available online at: http://www.michiganmaritimemuseum.org/education-experiences-19/ The Commission hopes to create some more resources, especially related to Michigan’s role in the War of 1812. David Hales chairs their education Committee.
For more information, contact:

Dr. Jim McConnell, Secretary
Michigan Commission on the Commemoration of
The Bicentennial of the War of 1812
717761 Bell Creek Lane
Livonia, MI  48152


The Colonial Music Institute, Severna Park, MD
A website featuring essays, databases, bibliographies, and a description of lecture and concert offerings related to the bicentennial of the War of 1812 in America is available at www.1812music.org. Although it will take a while to fully populate the downloadable sound recording and sheet music offerings, much is already posted. Learn how music can be a great tool for teaching history, and also get the definitive story about the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner and the song that was going through Francis Scott Key's mind as he wrote the lyrics.
For more information, contact:

David Hildebrand, Ph.D.
Colonial Music Institute
276 Oak Court
Severna Park, MD  21146

(410) 544-6149

The War of 1812-- Baltimore City Education Committee, Baltimore, MD
The Baltimore City Education Committee (a sub-education committee of the overall Education Committee for the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission) is working on a comprehensive Teacher Resource Guide on the War of 1812 called “Defense of Our Nation --The Role Maryland Played in The War of 1812 Teacher Resource Guide.” In addition, they are creating a number of lesson plans. These materials will be published on April 26, 2011. They are not yet available online, but they hope to place them online on the Star-Spangled200 website at www.StarSpangled200.org and The Maryland Public Television ThinkPort Virtual Resource Center. For more information, contact Patricia Perluke at ajlaquin@verizon.net. She also suggests that for those interested, they sing up for Key Notes an E-newsletter of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission; it is packed with information and resources on the War of 1812.

Fort McHenry, National Park Service, Baltimore, MD
A number of curricular resources can be found already published online at http://www.nps.gov/fomc/forteachers/lessonplansandteacherguides.htm. They are also currently working on an interactive game using grant funds called "Hold the Fort" and a Virtural Resource project.
For more information, contact:

Anna R. von Lunz
National Park Service
Fort McHenry NMHS
Hampton NHS
2400 East Fort Avenue
Baltimore, MD  21230

410-962-4290 EXT 103

Parks Canada, Ontario, Canada
Parks Canada, the agency of the Canadian federal government responsible for the country's system of national historic sites, has developed a website aimed at teachers with War of 1812 materials geared towards the curricula of particular Canadian provinces. The Teacher Resource Centre can be reached at http://www.pc.gc.ca/apprendre-learn/prof/index_e.asp. A key word search for "War of 1812" will identify various learning resources relating to the war. Materials are grouped by national historic site. Please note that if you seek site specific education programming information, you will have to go to the individual War of 1812 related National Historic Site websites on the Parks Canada main public website. For example, Fort George and Fort Malden have great information and some pre-visit activities under the "Learning Experiences" section of their specific websites.
Here are two examples:
Fort George: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/fortgeorge/edu.aspx
Fort Malden: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/malden/edu.aspx
For more information, contact:

Bob Garcia, Historian
Parks Canada
Ontario Service Centre
111 Water Street East
Cornwall, Ontario  K6H 6S3


USS Constitution Museum, Boston, MA
The USS Constitution Museum has available a K-12 interdisciplinary curriculum on USS Constitution that was published in 1997 for the Ship’s bicentennial. Although not focused on War of 1812, it does cover Constitution’s role in the War. It is available online at www.allhandsondeck.org. In addition, they are creating an interactive online experience and game called “A Sailor’s Life for Me!” that illustrates the Ship in 1812 and gives the Ship new life, peopling it with researched members of the crew and filling it with authentically depicted objects and artifacts. The website’s soft launch will be in early 2011. A War of 1812 Curriculum is currently being developed to accompany the website and connect teachers and educators to resources on the War of 1812 more widely.

Hamilton Civic Museums Cultural Initiatives, Hamilton, Ontario
The Hamilton Civic Museums' Learning Adventures Field Trip Planner is available at http://www.hamilton.ca/CultureandRecreation/Arts_Culture_And_Museums/HamiltonCivicMuseums/EducationalProgramming/. Programs relative the War of 1812 can be found on pages 4 & 5, and 11 through 15, with particular emphasis on the following programs:
Page 5 - Red Coats and Muskets;
Page 5 - Tanks, Trenches and Turmoil;
Page 11/12 - History in Action Day at Battlefield House Museum; and
Park Page 15 - The American Occupation of Stoney Creek.
For more information please contact:

Brenda Branch, Marketing and Promotions Officer
Hamilton Civic Museums Cultural Initiatives
Culture Division Community Services Department
City of Hamilton
77 James Street North, Ste. 305
Hamilton, ON  L8R 2K3

905-546-2424, ext. 7527


Camden County War of 1812 Historical Commission, Camden County, GA
The Camden County War of 1812 Historical Commission is creating resources, which will research candidate sites for historical and educational value of selected local battles and battlegrounds. These assessments are intended to reveal the best sites for further study of the battles and resulting outcome with 5th and 6th grade students. The students participate in building a Diorama simulate the event to the battle site. The first experience met with extremely high student interest and participation in building the Diorama which is now in the St Marys, Georgia National Park Service Museum. Two more Diorama’s are planned for the next semester.

Their second project is the research and discovery of the H.M.S. WHITING, A “round tuck” schooner originally named the ARROW built at Fells Point, Maryland and captured by the British on May 8, 1812, just off the coast of Plymouth, England and put into service for the Royal Navy. The ship now lies in a doom Bar, buried in the sand at the mouth of the Canal River just outside of Padstow, England. In March of 2007, it was decided to make this project a research and discovery effort and to determine the exact location of the Whiting. With the help of the (British) Nautical Archaeological Society (NAS), they engaged the Superintendent of schools in Padstow and in Camden County to be a part of the “HMS Whiting/Arrow learning Project”. Engaging students on both sides of the Atlantic in this project is planned to restart in the spring of 2011.
For more information, contact:

Walt Natzic, President
Camden County War of 1812 Historical Commission
209 Osprey Circle
St Marys, GA  31558

(912) 882-2710

Maritime Museum of San Diego, San Diego, CA
The Maritime Museum of San Diego is still early in their planning stages, but they do intend to create a special unit on the War of 1812 for their educational programs. This will be part of a whole spectrum of possibilities of commemoration of the War of 1812, including devoting an academic journal to the subject, building a permanent exhibit, and hosting lectures. For more information, contact Ray Ashley, Maritime Museum of San Diego, ashley@sdmaritime.org.

Erie Maritime Museum, Erie, PA
The Erie Maritime Museum presents its interdisciplinary curriculum, with lesson plans targeted to a broad scope of Middle School students (grades 5 -9). Lessons and activities are easily tailored to the Elementary and Secondary Levels. Curriculum includes a crosswalk to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards and lessons may be used to meet academic standards in all areas. Materials are on CD in PDF format, plus a DVD with 45 minutes of supplemental videos for classroom viewing. Lessons are arranged into five major chronological units:
1. The World of 1812;
2. Causes of the Forgotten Conflict;
3. Building, Manning & sailing Perry’s Fleet on Lake Erie;
4. The Battle of Lake Erie; and
5. Aftermath: The Significance of the Battle of Lake Erie and the War of 1812.
Units include necessary historical background notes with starting points to introduce material and assess what student may already know about the topic. Lessons include materials lists, reference and other resource material, glossaries, and suggestions for further activities. DVD includes a virtual tour of US Brig Niagara, and videos on building Niagara as well as the Museum’s “Live Fire!” exhibit. The CD/DVD curriculum boxed set may be purchased in the Museum Gift Shop for $20.00.
Here are two additional links:
The Ohio Academic Content Standards for Social Studies, ELA, Math, and Science
Remembering and Teaching America's Forgotten War of 1812

For more information, contact:

Linda Bolla, Education Programs Coordinator
Erie Maritime Museum
150 East Front Street
Erie, Pennsylvania  16507

(814) 452-2744 x 219

Arts Across the Waters, Detroit, MI
This group is spearheading an effort that connects talented mentors from the humanities and the arts community with young people throughout the Great Lakes. An important element of that effort will be to circulate and develop educational materials for young people. They are developing curricula focused on the culture and arts of the people of the lakes during the early nineteenth century. For more information, contact Tom Leonard, tuleonard@msn.com.

Nascent Projects

Great Lakes Naval Museum, Great Lakes, IL
In regards to the activities in the Midwest, they have offered to with planning, advertising and executing activities in the region. As they are a small institution, they are only planning a small slate of educational events to celebrate the bicentennial.
For more information, contact:

Jennifer Searcy, Director
Great Lakes Naval Museum, Building 42
610 Farragut Avenue
Great Lakes, IL  60088

847-688-3154 ext. 205

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum plans to develop new curriculum materials and, depending upon funding, a full scale exhibit that focuses on Lake Champlain and the Battle of Plattsburgh. The tentative theme of the exhibit is “Commemorating the war - Celebrating 200 years of peace” which deals with the war as well as our long and fruitful relationship with Canada. Of particular interest for them is to explore the events on Lake Champlain during the war, the building of the Champlain fleet, and contrasting perspectives on the causes, actions, and outcomes of the conflict.