Conflict Between Colonists and the British
Students examine a series of maps of European colonization between 1497–1763. Then they read about the French and Indian War, focusing on its outcome. Next they analyze the slogan “No taxation without representation.” Finally, they give a close reading of the words to the song “Yankee Doodle.”
The Boston Tea Party
Students first reflect on protests in contemporary America. Then they learn about the taxation acts imposed by the British government on the American colonists. Next they examine the Boston Tea Party and the resulting Intolerable Acts. Finally, they write a brief newspaper report as an eyewitness to the Boston Tea Party.
American Revolution Battles
Students identify the Minutemen. Then they explore timelines of battles of the War of Independence and focus on four battles. Next they learn about several African Americans who contributed to the war effort, and they reflect on why this population isn’t better represented in history books. Finally, they read Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride” and explain why it has remained so popular.
Declaring Independence from Britain
Students create a What We Know chart about the Declaration of Independence. Then they examine the major actions of the First and Second Continental Congresses up to the summer of 1776. Next they take a close look at the events surrounding the writing and adoption of the Declaration of Independence and create their own timelines. Finally, they examine the views of Patriots and Loyalists, and analyze how there are multiple perspectives for participants in historical events.
The Declaration of Independence
Students brainstorm freedoms that they enjoy. Then they examine the structure of the Declaration of Independence. Next they focus on the preamble to determine the purpose of the document and the famous sentence “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” Finally, they have a small group discussion about the importance of the Declaration of Independence.
Hero of the Revolution: George Washington
Students watch a short film about George Washington and pose a question that they have about him. Then they review some of his major accomplishments as a military leader, including the winter at Valley Forge and why the soldiers respected Washington. Next they explain why it was significant that Washington surrendered his power as military commander when he became president. Finally, they analyze the purpose of the folklore about young Washington and the cherry tree.
Hero of the Revolution: Benjamin Franklin
Students interpret Benjamin Franklin’s cartoon, Join or Die. Then they examine his role as an American statesman. Next they review some of his other accomplishments and write a short report on one of them. Finally, they analyze a saying from Poor Richard’s Almanack.
Women of the Revolution
Students name any woman who was active during the American Revolution. Then they explore the actions of the Daughters of Liberty. Next they explain Abigail Adams’s “Remember the ladies” letter. Finally, they analyze the Betsy Ross story and explain why historians consider it a legend.
A Nation Is Born
Students share how they celebrate the Fourth of July. Then they learn about the Treaty of Paris and focus on a map showing the outcome of the Revolution. Next they are introduced to a group of Founding Fathers and write a short report about one of them. Finally, they reflect on what tasks faced the new nation.