Students will understand the following:
For this lesson, you will need:
Adaptations for Older Students:
Assign students the task of locating more poems/songs written by the rebelling colonists and of performing oral interpretations of their finds.
You can evaluate both the oral presentation and the class discussion.
Use the following three-point rubric:
Three points: expressive reading; lines intelligently divided among group members; voices significantly loud and clear
Two points: less-than-adequate expression in reading; lines well divided; voices adequately loud and clear
One point: inexpressive reading; inadequate division of lines; voices not loud and clear enough
Make notes about students' ability to treat one another respectfully and participate but not monopolize.
General Gage vs. Samuel Adams
Have students use a computer program or their general mathematics skills to graph the British army casualties during the battle of Lexington and Concord and the battle of Bunker Hill (see the raw data, below). Then ask students to discuss the statistics from the point of view of one of the following:
Benjamin Franklin is well known for writing or rewriting common-sense advice and sayings. His perspective on his life and times, as found in Poor Richard's Almanac , was popular in his day and remains popular. Students enjoy deciphering the Franklin proverbs. Initiate a class discussion around some or all of the following:
The Encyclopedia of Colonial and Revolutionary America
John Mack Faragher, editor, Da Capo Press, 1996
Events in the formation and evolution of the American colonies both long before and immediately preceding the Revolution are covered in this excellent reference resource originally created by the excellent "Facts on File" publishing house.
"A Nation of Minute Men" in The Americans: The Colonial Experience
Daniel J. Boorstin, Random House, 1958
The reknowned historian and former Librarian of Congress authored an authoritative series of our history, The Americans . In volume I, "The Colonial Experience," part 13 covers the nature of colonial militia. Within this treatment, chapter 56 titled "The Unprofessional Soldier," pertains directly to the content of this segment. Despite the publication date, the work remains a classic and is easily found in many public and academic libraries.
Rules of Civility: The 110 Precepts that Guided Our First President in War and Peace
George Washington, Free Press, 1997
This publisher has reissued George Washington's own rules that comprise a "book of moral and social precepts that served as a guide to virtue and etiquette for the first president of the U.S." It should offer to students a good insight into the precise components that make (and made) a great leader.
"Franklin, Washington, and the Rod: The Founders in Their Own Time" in Who Were the Founding Fathers? Two Hundred Years of Reinv
Steven H. Jaffe, Henry Holt, 1996
This first chapter would serve high school students as an excellent introduction to historiography (the study of historical method itself). According to the author's introduction, "This book is not a biography of the lives of the founding fathers.... Its aim is to show how people have interpreted and reinterpreted those lives and events."
"The Rod" refers to Benjamin Franklin. The chapter reviews the personality traits and social and professional circumstances of each person named that formed the basis for perceptions by both their admirers and detractors.
What better way to begin than with a site that covers the entire Revolutionary War (1775-1783) and then offers information about ongoing reenactments? Battles, documents, data on state participation and much more are available here.
Archiving Early America
See the Revolutionary War through the eyes of those who lived it. The primary sources located at this site make it possible. It even includes directions on how to read 200-year-old documents, along with the portraits, maps, and media of the time.
Historical Text Archive: The U.S. Revolution for Independence
Documents, songs, people, and events are all accessible through this page, since it offers an archive of historical texts.
The Papers of George Washington
This site includes all the available papers and correspondence to and from George Washington. Established in 1969, it is an ongoing project.
This site invites teachers and students to learn more about George Washington and his home. Pictures and quizzes are only the beginning. Take a virtual tour of the grounds, and view electronic trading cards about the period.
Click on any of the vocabulary words below to hear them pronounced and used in a sentence.
Context: The British imposed a tax on the American colonists.
Context: The duties were placed on items imported to the colonies.
Context: The militia did not have enough supplies for the siege of Boston.
Context: Benedict Arnold committed treason when he betrayed his country.
Context: The minuteman pledged to be ready to fight in a minute's notice.
Context: England was in debt, and for the first time American colonists were expected to help pay Britain's bills.
Context: Outside Boston, Arnold found the newborn American Army laying siege with no siege weapons.
Context: The group that captured Fort Ticonderoga was called a group of ragamuffins by a British officer.
Context: Benjamin Franklin's son was a loyalist.
Context: The rebels waited while the enemy neared the redoubt.
Context: The seditious Samuel Adams was a vocal advocate for independence from the British Empire.
This lesson plan may be used to address the academic standards listed below. These standards are drawn from Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education: 2nd Edition and have been provided courtesy of theMid-continent Research for Education and Learningin Aurora, Colorado.
Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: U.S. history
Understands the causes of the American Revolution, the ideas and interests involved in shaping the revolutionary movement, and reasons for the American victory.
Understands the major consequences of the Seven Years War (e.g., the English victory, the removal of the French as a power in North America, the reduced need of the colonists for the protection of the mother country).
Understands the events that contributed to the outbreak of the American Revolution and the earliest armed conflict of the Revolutionary War (e.g., opponents and defenders of England's new imperial policy, the idea of "taxation without representation," the battle at Lexington and Concord).
Understands the major developments and chronology of the Revolutionary War and the roles of its political, military, and diplomatic leaders (e.g., George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Richard Henry Lee).
Understands perspectives of and the roles played in the American Revolution by various groups of people (e.g., men, women, white settlers, free and enslaved African-Americans, and Native Americans).
Understands the United States' relationships with European countries and the contributions of each European power to the outcome of the Revolution (e.g., relations with France, Holland, and Spain; consequences of the Treaty of Paris; Ben Franklin's negotiations with the French).
Understands how political, ideological, and religious ideas joined economic interests to bring about the "shot heard round the world" (e.g., leaders of resistance to imperial policy; the English tax on the colonists to help pay for the Seven Years War; the interests and positions of different economic groups, such as northern merchants, southern rice and tobacco planters, yeoman farmers, and urban artisans).
Understands the strategic elements of the Revolutionary War (e.g., how the Americans won the war against superior British resources, American and British military leaders, major military campaigns).
Understands the creation of the Declaration of Independence (e.g., historical antecedents that contributed to the document, individuals who struggled for independence).
Understands the major political and strategic factors that led to the American victory in the Revolutionary War (e.g., the importance of the Battle of Saratoga, the use of guerilla and conventional warfare, the importance of King's Mountain in defining the war).
Understands the social and economic impact of the Revolutionary War (e.g., problems of financing the war, wartime inflation, hoarding and profiteering; personal impact and economic hardship on families involved in the war).
Gary Carmichael, social studies teacher, Whitefish, Montana.