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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Scenes from the American Revolution:The Good, The Bad and Ugly

Teachers will use this lesson with their students before visiting Mt. Vernon. The students will look at these slides on their own as part of a homework assignment and the following day will have a classroom discussion on George Washington. They will discuss Washington, the military leader who left his beloved home to serve the cause of freedom from Great Britain. The students will understand that after suffering a crushing defeat at The Battle of Long Island Washington overcame many obstacles. He was able to successfully rally his men and planned a successful attack that led to victory at The Battle of Trenton.

After the classroom discussion  the teacher will prepare the students for their visit to Mt. Vernon. The teacher will inform the class that they will be going on guided tour of the mansion and will be visiting other structures on the property. In addition to a guided tour of the house the students will be able to visit the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center that has interactive galleries and theaters where they can learn about George Washington.  

The teacher will give each student a hand out with an introduction to  Mt. Vernon.

Mt. Vernon was built in 1735 as a one-half story farmhouse  by Washington's father Augustine and received its name when Washington's half brother Lawrence named it Mt. Vernon to honor  his commanding officer Admiral Edward Vernon. Having acquired the property in 1754 it took Washington 45 years to complete the 21 room residence that we see today. Washington himself supervised all of the work done to the home even while he was away fighting in the war.  He wanted his home to reflect his status as a Virginia gentlemen. The last addition to the home was in 1774  with the addition of the cupola and the two-story piazza that overlooks the Potomac River. When visiting the home today the period depicted is 1799, In addition to the mansion the estate has gardens, a blacksmith shop, stables, a distillery, gristmill, and slave quarters.


Created By

Rachel Smilow


History/Social Studies

Grade Level