School Improvement in Maryland

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 5.0 History

Topic C. Conflict between Ideas and Institutions

Indicator 2. Explain the political, cultural, economic and social changes in Maryland during the early 1800s

Objective a. Describe Maryland's role in the War of 1812

The most famous and most significant result of Maryland's involvement in the War of 1812 is the writing of the "Star-Spangled Banner," which would in 1931 become our nation's national anthem. The language of Francis Scott Key's poem is difficult for students — and even adults — to understand, however, and few truly comprehend the meaning behind the words they sing. To help students understand the background and significance behind the "Star-Spangled Banner," first have them read the first stanza of the poem and try to explain what it describes. Explain to students that the "Star-Spangled Banner" describes a British attack on the Baltimore during the War of 1812. Provide students with background information on the causes of the War of 1812 and the British targeting of Baltimore. Then relate the story of Francis Scott Key's involvement in the Battle of Baltimore. Show students the 1816 image of the bombardment of Fort McHenry: Finally, have students pretend that they are Francis Scott Key and write a letter to a friend describing his experiences witnessing the Battle of Baltimore on September 13 —14, 1814. The letter should explain why the British wanted to attack Baltimore, reference the attack on Washington, D.C., briefly explain Key's mission to rescue Dr. Beanes, describe the bombardment, and describe Key's feelings about witnessing the attack and its outcome. Encourage students to use the proper format for a friendly letter.

Resources for Objective 5.C.2.a:
Clarifications | LESSON SEEDS |