French and Indian War Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

Use this lesson plan on the French and Indian War along with a video lesson to enhance your teaching of the world's first global war. Also see how differing perspectives on taxation led to the American Revolution.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to do the following:

  • identify the events of the French and Indian War
  • see the role that the American colonies played in the conflict
  • connect the French and Indian War with the American Revolution through the restrictions placed on American colonists
  • name the relationship between the French and Indian War and the Seven Years' War


40 - 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.


  • Before the video, ask students if they have ever established a boundary that shouldn't be crossed, such as an imaginary line in between the seats while on a road trip with a sibling. Now ask them if they've ever inched things to the edge of the boundary just to annoy the other person. Did such action result in a fight?
  • Watch the video lesson The French and Indian War: Causes, Effects, and Summary, stopping at the following points for discussion questions:
    • 2:08 - In earlier European wars, religion played a big role. Now economics has taken over as motivation. What does this say about how Europe views its colonies in the New World?
    • 3:30 - What do you think the intended effect of the Indian scalping of British captives was? How do you think that this expectation compares to modern notions of psychological warfare?
    • 5:09 - The phrase 'total war' is sometimes used to explain wars that extend beyond the battlefield. How did the war between the French and the British become a total war?
    • 6:06 - What was the British perspective on the new taxes? What about the American perspective? How did each justify their reactions?


  • The 'French and Indian War' is the name given to the part of the Seven Years' War than unfolded on American soil. Watch the video lesson Seven Years' War: Summary, Causes, and Effects.
  • Ask students to set up extra textbooks like dominos.
  • Divide up event names and the originating reason for the conflict on pieces of paper, one for each contributing factor and ordered chronologically.
  • Tape one of the papers to each book in the string of dominos, ensuring chronological order.
  • Finally, with the raid on Fort Necessity, push over the set of dominoes.


  • Some historians have called the French and Indian War part of the first truly global war (the Seven Years' War). Have students research another front of this conflict. Some examples include India, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Naval War.
  • George Washington distinguished himself during the war as a British officer. Ask students to research connections between other early patriots and the French and Indian War.

Related Lessons

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