The French and Indian War
Students explore the French and Indian War—a conflict that set the stage for the American Revolution. They will explore a map of how French and English territories changed before and after the war, compare the French and English colonies, and learn details about the causes and consequences of the war.
Rising Conflicts in the West
Students explore conflicts in the west after the end of the French and Indian War. They learn about Pontiac's War, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 passed by Great Britain, and the colonists' response to the proclamation.
New Taxes in the Colonies
Students learn about new taxes and laws the British imposed on the American colonies after the French and Indian War. They explain why the laws were passed, why the colonists objected to them, and how the colonists protested.
The Boston Massacre
Students explore the Boston Massacre. They watch a video and read two short descriptions for background information, then answer questions about the event. Next, they analyze a lithograph by Paul Revere and compare it to the facts they learned. Finally, students consider the reasons for Revere's depiction and reflect on the accuracy of historic images.
The Boston Tea Party
Students learn about the Boston Tea Party, one of several conflicts between the colonies and England that led to the Revolutionary War. They explore the reasons behind this protest, who carried it out, and the effects in the colonies. They also consider the response from Britain.
The Shot Heard Round the World: Lexington and Concord
Students learn about the importance of the battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775 and discuss why the first volley is called "the shot heard round the world." After listening to a dramatic reading of Longfellow's classic poem, "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," they watch a video examining the historical facts about the ride and compare facts and folklore. Finally, they consider whether (and when) it's important to be accurate when describing historical events.
The First and Second Continental Congresses
Students learn how the American colonists organized and united against the British. They examine some of the first meetings that brought together representatives from different colonies, such as the Stamp Act Congress and the First and Second Continental Congresses.
Thomas Paine and Common Sense
Students discover how Thomas Paine's pamphlet, Common Sense, helped turn the tide of the colonists to support revolution. They will learn about the initial response to Thomas Paine's writing. Next, they will consider the audience, language, and message of this pamphlet. Then they will work in groups to read and analyze excerpts from Common Sense to understand its meaning. Finally, they will write their own short persuasive essay from the point of view of an American colonist.
Congress Declares Independence
Students explore the story behind the Declaration of Independence. They will learn about the debate behind independence, why the Declaration of Independence was written, and how it was drafted and revised before it was finally adopted by Congress. Then they'll explore articles and images to discover how the document was shared with people throughout the colonies.
Turning Points in the Revolutionary War
Students examine events in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey that marked turning points in the Revolutionary War: the battle of Trenton, the winter at Valley Forge, and the battles of Saratoga. Then they will explain the significance of each event.
African Americans in the Revolutionary War
Students examine the roles of African Americans during the Revolution. They learn about their roles in both the Continental and British Armies, their motivations for fighting, and what happened to them after the war. They also explore the stories of some African American heroes of the war.
Women in the Revolutionary War
Students examine the roles of women during the Revolution. They learn about women's contributions both on and off the battlefield and explore the stories of some female heroes of the period.
Frontiers During the Revolutionary War
Students examine how the Revolutionary War was fought on the "frontier" — in the west and at sea. They learn about American forces, major battles, alliances on each side, and important American military leaders.
Students learn about the final, Southern phase of the Revolutionary War, the last major battle in Yorktown, and the Treaty of Paris that brought an end to the war. They gather information from maps.
Important People of the Revolution
Students review and discover important figures from the American Revolution. Then, they choose one person to explore further. They research essential facts about that person. Finally, they use what they have learned to complete one of two possible writing projects: a eulogy of that person or a scene from a movie or play about that person's life.