Hands-On Canadian History: Seven Years War – Plains of Abraham

The Seven Years War, also known as the French and Indian war, was a battle between Britain and France that caused fighting here in Canada as Britain and France fought for the land. The battle on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec was a pivotal one for our Canadian history as we moved from a French country to an English one.

Hands-On Canadian History: Seven Years War - Plains of Abraham

Before the war, French held the majority of the land here in Canada. While fighting raged on all over the world, the British forces sieged the city of Quebec for several months before mounting an attack which occurred on the Plains of Abraham. Stories tell of the British sneakily making their way down the river then climbing the cliffs to surprise an unready French army. The battle itself only lasted 15 to 20 minutes, and both the French general (Montcalm) and the British general (Wolfe) died as a result. The British take possession of the city and hold it for the rest of the war, claiming the land for Britain. When the war officially ended, the French signed  North America over to Britain.

I found this great, descriptive narrative that very eloquently recreates the fight on the plains: On the Plains of Abraham.

Seven Years War: Battle of Plains of Abraham
By Hervey Smyth (1734-1811) – Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence, Public Domain

Recreate the Seven Years War – Battle of the Plains of Abraham

To recreate the fight you need:

  • a French army & general
  • a British army & general
  • Plains of Abraham
  • Binder Clips

Print and cut out the soldiers and generals. The team with grey and blue uniforms are the French, the red ones are British.  Add a binder clip to the bottom of each – this will help them stand up while you play.

Seven Years War: Plains of Abraham

Get a big piece of paper and have your kids draw a battlefield. We drew the river along one side of the page with a brown rectangle to be cliffs and a path. The rest was just green grass. Put the French on one side and the British on the other. Let the battle begin.

You can allow the kids to free-play or have them actually copy the battle.

See all 31 Days of  Hands-on Canadian History.

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