Students will read President Madison's War Message (in either an edited/annotated or full-text version) and be given the opportunity to raise questions about its contents.
Students examine examples of primary documents (and some secondary accounts) that illuminate key points in President Madison's letter. The lesson identifies 10 statements in the message about which students are likely to have questions, and it provides relevant materials. If students raise questions about other sections of the letter, class members may be able to locate pertinent documents on their own, once they become familiar with some of the sources available in the records of Congress.
Students review the contents of the War Message and consider what documents might be useful in making further analyses of the text.