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AMERICAN WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE: WEEKS 8-13


*I do tell my students that many people refer to this period as the "American Revolution;" however, that is an incorrect name as no revolution occurred in America. The colonists were not rebelling against a lawful authority. They were trying to defend against ungodly tyranny. If you'd like further explanation, I'd recommend J. Steven Wilkins' lecture series, "America: The First 350 Years."

WEEK EIGHT (continued)

HISTORY QUESTION OF THE WEEK: John Hancock (1737-93) is best remembered now for his flamboyant signature on the Declaration of Independence in 1776, but he was also the president of the Continental Congress. What helped him earn this position: his actions, funds, inspiration, or inventions? His most distinctive contribution to the rebel cause was the money (funds). Hancock was a merchant who had inherited a fortune from a smuggler uncle. He used his wealth to help finance the revolution. After the war, Hancock became governor of Massachusetts.

Objective: What happened during the American War for Independence?

  1. What do you know about the American War for Independence/American Revolution? List 5+ people, places, ideas, events, etc. that you think are related to this period. Make educated guesses even if you're not sure.
  2. Review exam.
  3. Cover Page for Unit II: American War for Independence
  4. Create Time Line identifying and defining major events between 1763-1783 using the time lines and definitions in the book. Add pictures to 5 of the events.
  5. Find someone Who: Create a chart with 15 squares. Each square should have a topic (can speak more than one language, loves Cajun food, wears nice sneakers, etc.). Students walk around finding someone who fits that topic to sign the square. The person with the most squares signed gets candy and reads off who signed what.

Objective: Did all the colonists want to break away from England?
Homework: Get agenda signed. *Extra Credit: Find your new vocabulary words (Radical, Liberal, Moderate, Conservative, Reactionary, Right-wing, Left-wing) in a newspaper or magazine. Due by next Friday.
Note: Much of this lesson came from a dedicated and creative former fellow teacher, Mr. Spears.

  1. You're 25 years old, living by yourself in an apartment in Los Angeles, CA. Your mother/father/guardian calls you one night from Houston to request a few things: a1) S/he wants you to eat better, so please stop eating junk food and fast food. B1) S/he'd feel better if you were home early each night, so please be in by 10 PM at night every night. C1) S/he'd like a better car, so please send $100 a month to help with car payments. A) How would you feel about her/him telling you to do this? B) Would you -do it? - say you'd do it but not do it? -do some of it? -not do any of it? C) Why? (***Wait to talk about the warm-up until after you've discussed the political spectrum.)(*** Teacher explanation: your parent/guardian = England demanding all these things of you (who no longer lives there) and claims it's all for your own good. If you'd do it, you're a conservative/Loyalist, if you don't , you're a liberal/Patriot, and if you were one of the others, you'd be moderate.)
  2. Notes on political spectrum (Radical, Liberal, Moderate, Conservative, Reactionary).
    • On the board draw a line. Write, starting at the left: "radical, liberal, moderate, conservative, reactionary."
    • Explain what a radical is: someone who wants to change everything. An example today would be the Taliban terrorists who crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City, though radicals are not always bad. Over "radical" write, "will die/go to jail for what s/he believes in." Under "radical" write, "Revolutionary," and under that write, "No compromise."
    • Explain "liberal." An example today would be the Democratic party. Under "liberal" write, "Little change," and under that write, "Compromise." The simplistic difference between a liberal ad radical, is that a liberal only wants some things changed, is willing to compromise, and is not willing to die/go to jail for those beliefs.
    • Next talk about a "reactionary." An example today would be the Amish people. Over "reactionary" write, "will die/go to jail for what s/he believes in." Under "reactionary" write, "Maintain/restore past" and under that write, "No compromise."
    • Explain what a conservative is. Under "conservative" write, "Content and cautious," and under that write, "compromise." Today's Republican party would be an example of conservative people.
    • Under moderate place a question mark as moderates are undecided.
    • Under the Radicals and Liberals, write "Left-wing." Under the Reactionaries and Conservatives, write "Right-wing."
    • Use an example of a boat or canoe (representing things as they are) floating down a river. The people who don't even touch the boat are reactionaries. Those who just sit in the boat and don't let it tip over are the conservatives. Those who stand up a little and rock the boat are the conservatives. Those who stand up and tip the boat over are the radicals.
    • Now use the Civil Rights movement to further explain the difference between the two. The radicals were people like Martin Luther King, Jr. and the people who participated in the lunch-counter sit-ins. The liberals were those who write letters to their senators and governors to encourage the movement. The moderates were the people who didn't know anyone was trying to change anything, or they didn't care what happened and didn't want to get involved. The conservatives were those who didn't get involved because they didn't want the changes to occur. The governors of Alabama and Mississippi who actually disobeyed the national government's edicts and refused to let students into "white" schools were reactionaries.
    • Now under "left-wing" have students write, "Patriots/Tories - want to break away from England (fight for independence," and under "right-wing" write, "Loyalists/Whigs - want to stay loyal to England's King.
  3. Revolutionary Characters:
    • Pass out short pre-war biographies of some of the major players during this period. DON'T tell people who they are. Print out American War for Independence Characters Sheet.
    • Give students 4 minutes to read over biography slips and decide where they'd fit on the political spectrum. As they read over their slips, have them change the description into first person (I, me, my).
    • Using knowledge from what they read, have each person come to the front, stand on the "political spectrum" (a straight line of tape on the floor) where they think their character belongs, and read their biography in first person. For most students I allow them the choices of patriot, moderate, or loyalist. For my brighter students, I press them a little further and question if they think they are radical, liberal, conservative, or reactionary and why. The class then must decide if the person's correct or not and why. The entire class writes the name of the student under patriot, moderate, or loyalist on their political spectrum notes.
    • Students will discover later who they are.
  4. WRAP-UP: PERSONAL AD: What would a personal ad from your character have sounded like? Write one to advertise him/her. You must include: a) Biographical information (occupation, economic status, location) b) Where you are on the political spectrum c) If you're a patriot or loyalist d) your views on England and England's laws. You can include your guess at appearance, desire in a mate, etc.

WEEK NINE

HISTORY QUESTION OF THE WEEK: On what hill did the Battle of Bunker Hill take place? (Answer carefully.) The first (unofficial) battle of the American War for Independence took place not on Bunker Hill but on Breed's Hill, on June 17, 1775. The opposing forces were supposed to engage on Bunker Hill, but for unknown reasons the soldiers dug in on the smaller sight, about 2,000 feet away. To straighten things out for visitors, Breed's Hill was later renamed Bunker Hill.

Objective: How did the colonists feel about what England was doing?

  1. Your parents are suspicious you're doing drugs. While you're at school, they go into your bedroom with a police officer and completely tear apart your room. They go through the backs of your drawers and closet, under your mattress, into your diary, etc. They find nothing but are still suspicious. A) What would your reaction be if this happened? B) How would this affect the way you felt about living there? C) How would this affect your relationship with your parents? D) What would you do? (Teacher explanation: Shows feelings of colonists concerning Writs of Assistance)
  2. Pop Quiz: Taxation without representation: Colonial Life and the American Revolution: 3.2 Taxation Without Representation: A Classroom Parallel: Wriggle with indignation when they are unfairly “taxed” for their school supplies.
  3. Talk about students' reactions to quiz and T-Chart: classroom activity vs. historical reality: Mrs. Graessle (principal) = King of England, Alief school board = Parliament, Mrs. G = governor of colony, The class = colonists, Problem: no money to pay for school supplies = no money to pay for debt from French and Indian War =.
  4. , Solution: pay 10 cents for paper = pay taxes for sugar, tea, printed material, paint, etc., Reaction: upset, mad, not care, sounds weird but reasonable = some pay anyway but some say unfair, Reason: most students pay anyway because not want to get zero on quiz = some colonists pay for fear of punishment but some don't pay (boycott or smuggle)
  5. Writs of Assistance activity:
    • Prior to class, slip the student who is John Hancock a pack of sugar. I'll tell him/her to put in her/his notebook's pocket. Explain what's going to happen.
    • During class identify the two people who are governors (do this by first simply reading off the biography you gave them and see if they can identify themselves. If not, tell them.), Lord Dunmore and Thomas Hutchinson. Tell them about someone smuggling sugar. They have five minutes to find that person. They can ask people questions about their character to see if that person might fit their presumed description of a smuggler. The governors also have the option of convicting and searching two suspected students.
    • Two students will be the British soldiers and "search" those two people who the "governors" suspect to be the smuggler. The "British soldiers" will make the suspect empty their pockets and look in those two people's notebook pockets as well. I'll explain how if they were really taking on the character, they'd tear apart their stuff.
    • John Hancock will eventually be identified, whether s/he's one of the two suspected smugglers or whether I identify her/him later.
  6. T-Chart: classroom activity vs. historical reality: Writs of Assistance: Jonathan and Erina = governors of colonies, Sherikka and Fatimah = British soldiers, Oscar = John Hancock, smuggler, the class = colonists, What: look for person with sugar packet = look for smugglers, base decision on: money and jobs = suspicion and like/dislike, innocent students felt embarrassed and that this was unfair, students watching were mad = some colonists felt mad and violated or felt it protected them). Under their t-chart, have students write, "WRITS OF ASSISTANCE = soldiers can search anyone without a search warrant."
  7. Go over notes on taxes from pp. 116-119 from Adventure Tales of America: An Illustrated History of the United States, 1492-1877 (Signal Media Corporation). Have students highlight/underline through 1767. (I show them what to highlight using transparencies.) (Analogy: The issue was that the King was favoring the government in one of his kingdoms over the others. The King of England was King over India, England, America, etc. In each of his kingdoms, he'd appointed a government. The kingdom of India was not to make laws for the kingdom of America. In the same way, the British parliament (supposed to ONLY make laws for England) was not to make laws for the American colony. That would be like California deciding that they need more money, so they declare that all people living in Texas must pay an additional 5 cents on all junk food and fast food they purchase. That money will go to California. Does California have the right to make rules for Texas? No! Well, the President of the United States is over both states, isn't he? Yes. The King was over both areas, but those governments did not have the right to make laws for the other area.)
  8. WRAP-UP: WRITS OF ASSISTANCE: It's 1767. From the view point of your character, jot down a journal entry describing your reaction to the taxes and Writs of Assistance. Include a) what taxes have been passed b) a description of the Writs of Assistance c) how the taxes and searches have affected you d) if you support these taxes and WHY.

Objective: What events finally caused the colonists to go to war with England?
Homework: Get agenda signed

  1. Angelica was late for school today. It all started when the electricity went off in the middle of the night, so her alarm never went off. Her sister beat her to the bathroom for the shower. She asked her mom to drive her to school, but her mom was running late as well. As Angelica walked to school, she was stopped by a police officer and accused of being truant (skipping school). A) In 1 sentence write why Angelica was late to school today. b) How might these events affect how she'd relate to her teachers? (Teacher explanation: There were many big reasons why America declared it's independence from England.)
  2. Go over notes on taxes from pp. 116-119 from Adventure Tales of America: An Illustrated History of the United States, 1492-1877 (Signal Media Corporation). Have students highlight/underline from 1767 - 1774. (I show them what to highlight using transparencies.)
  3. Understanding Colonial Unrest: Colonial Life and the American Revolution: 3.3 Understanding Colonial Unrest: Apply an “Unrest-O-Meter” to pre-Revolution events. Use only the notes. Don't do the Unrest-o-meter. Students have each placard for 2 ¾ minutes each. Using the placards of events, students read the back and take at least 3 notes on the worksheet. After the timer goes off, they move to the next station. This continues until they have moved to every station. Be sure to tell them ahead of time what direction to move so that you have an orderly flow!
  4. WRAP-UP: CAUSE OF UNREST: a) In one sentence summarize the cause(s) of the American War for Independence b) Of all the events you read about, which one event do you think caused the colonists to get the most frustrated with England? WHY?
  5. Video: "Rebels with a Cause" from "Founding Fathers" video (History Channel). Identify: Stamp Act, Samuel Adams, Sons of Liberty, John Hancock, John Adams, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, First Continental Congress

WEEK TEN

HISTORY QUESTION OF THE WEEK: How many grievances against the king were named in the Declaration of Independence? The document cited 27 separate grievances against the king of Great Britain, George III. These grievances included refusing his assent to "wholesom" laws, making judges dependent on "his will alone," and bringing in foreign mercenaries to wage war on the colonies in a way "totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation."

Objective: What events finally caused the colonists to go to war with England?

  1. You were buying breakfast at the gas station off Bellaire Blvd. when someone robs the place. He gets away, and the cashier says you robbed the store. You have to go to court. A) What are 3+ things that could make this an unfair trial? B) What are 3+ things that could make it a fair trial? Consider the judge, jury, witnesses, evidence, location, etc. (Teacher explanation: your trial = Boston Massacre trial. The press can slant things.)
  2. Read The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka (check your local library) and then QUICKLY tell how we'll see how the media caused this to occur in the period we're discussing.
  3. Trial of Thomas Preston concerning the Boston Massacre: Using Manuscripts from Preston's Trial, select 8 students to act as witnessed and read the accounts as if they are the witnesses themselves. Pass out the individual accounts to your actors/actoresses. I, the teacher, act as the prosecuting attorney, calling up my witnesses by name. I simply call the name of the person and ask if they swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Then I say, "Tell me what you saw on King Street on the night of March 5, 1770." After we finish with the witnesses for the King, I then read off the biography slip for John Adams. I have the student who is John Adams call up the witnesses for Preston. (This is done because John Adams was Preston's lawyer.) S/he does the same thing I did, calling them up by name, asking them to sear to the truth, and then asking what they saw. S/he does, however, sit down and continue to take notes on his/her chart while the witness speaks. As each of these witnesses give their accounts, students must take notes on: a) Where the persons says Preston was standing b) what order of events the person describes c) how sure the witness is d) if the witness shows signs of prejudice. After each testimony, I, the teacher, need to point out what's significant in that specific testimony (where the Captain was standing, his reactions, what was said, what he was wearing = how well the person could see) through asking the class as a whole what person X said about Y. For example, "Where was Ebenezer standing when the shots went off?"
  4. WRAP-UP: VERDICT: a) Which side was stronger: the King's or Thomas Preston's? WHY? (hint: take notice of where the witnesses were standing and which side had more witnesses say the same thing) b) Was the order to fire given? If it was, who gave the order? If the order wasn't given, how can you explain why the shots were fired? C) Is Captain Thomas Preston guilty or innocent of murder?
  5. Video: "Founding Fathers" video from History Channel watching events surrounding and including Boston Massacre
  6. QUICKLY tell students that in the trial of Thomas Preston, the jury took only three hours to reach its verdict: not guilty. Thomas Preston did not fight in the American War for Independence. He was sent back to England and died in 1781. Of the eight soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre, six were acquitted (found not guilty) and two were convicted of manslaughter. They were punished by being branded on the thumb.

Objective: What are some famous words from this time period?
Homework: Get agenda signed

  1. TRUSTING THE MEDIA: Study the picture of the Boston Massacre made by Paul Revere, a Patriot. (He wasn't even at the Boston Massacre.) a) How is the picture different from eyewitness accounts you heard in the last class? B) Who did Revere make look like the bad guys? C) Why would he make them look like this? D) How did he make the colonists look? D) Why did he make them look this way?
  2. Video: "Founding Fathers" video from Boston Tea Party to just before Patrick Henry's speech.
  3. FAMOUS WORDS OF THE TIME: Students write out the title, author, date, audience, message, and response for Patrick Henry's speech (show video of it from "Founding Fathers"), Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" (Show Colonial Life and the American Revolution: 4.1 Making Sense of Common Sense slides of it, but don't do activity), Abigail Adams' "Remember the Ladies'" letter, and The simplified Declaration of Independence. (Note: This "modernized" Declaration of Independence came out of a class project by a former fellow teacher, Mr. Spears. I have found it is much easier for the students to understand.)
  4. Students answer questions about the Declaration of Independence as they read through it.
  5. Write Declaration of Independence quote on note card to memorize for exam. ("We hold these truths to be self-evident…liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.")
  6. (may not have time for in all classes) WRAP-UP: BOOK COVER: Create a book cover for one of the following: Patrick Henry's speech, Thomas Paine's "Common Sense," Abigail Adam's letter, or the Declaration of Independence. On the front include: a) title, b) author, c) attractive visual related to basic ideas of the work. On the back include: a) who might be interested in reading this (audience) and b) a 2+ sentence summary of the work.

WEEK ELEVEN

HISTORY QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Who was the oldest delegate to the Second Continental Congress? (Hint: He was the delegate from PA) Benjamin Franklin

Objective: Which battles were fought and which army was the strongest?

  1. What are 3+ things you would die for? Why would you die for those people/things/ideas?
  2. Battles of the War Colonial Life and the American Revolution: 4.5 Visions of the Revolution: The War Through Art: Analyze five images of Revolutionary art for perspective and detail. Students write Battle name and 2+ reasons why it was significant.
  3. Video: "Founding Fathers"(video III) showing the war. Just watch it without taking notes.

Objective: Which army was the strongest and how did the war end?
Homework: Finish worksheet & Get agenda signed

  1. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." What do you think this means? How do you think it applies to what we're studying in class? (Hint: look over the Battle of Saratoga.)
  2. Notes: Comparing Armies (advantages and disadvantages) (pp. 197-199 & 210-211).
    • Have students draw a scale in blue, titled, "Advantages and Disadvantages of the Continental/American Army." Label the side that's "heavier" the "advantages" (strong motivation, fighting on home ground, determined leadership (Washington)), and the side that's "lighter" the "disadvantages" (no money, inexperienced army, part-time soldiers, supplies and men scarce).
    • Next have students draw a scale in red, titled, "Advantages and Disadvantages of the British (England) Army." Label the side that's "lighter" the "advantages" (professional, well-equipped, large navy, enough money to pay soldiers, more men, had Native American and Loyalist support), and the side that's "heavier" the "disadvantages" (land huge and unfamiliar, far from home, fighting battles in other countries, no personal motivation, easy targets (bright red uniforms)).
    • Using the textbook, have students fill out the advantages and disadvantages of each side in the spaces provided, filling in at least 3 for each "basket".
    • When individual students complete this, grade it immediately, and pass out the homework worksheet for them to work on until almost the entire class is finished.
    • Go over the answer with the class, and have them highlight or add in the following answers: For the Continental Army: Advantages = strong motivation, fighting on home ground, determined leadership (Washington), and the Disadvantages = no money, inexperienced army, part-time soldiers, supplies and men scarce. For the British Army: Advantages = professional, well-equipped, large navy, enough money to pay soldiers, more men, had Native American and Loyalist support, and the Disadvantages = land huge and unfamiliar, far from home, fighting battles in other countries, no personal motivation, easy targets (bright red uniforms).
  3. Notes: Results of the War. Read pp. 211-212 as a class. Have students draw a gun powder cloud with four arrows coming out. In the middle of the cloud write, "War for Independence." Guide the students to come up with the following four results of the war, writing one at the end of each arrow: Inspired revolutions around the world, Men had to own land to vote, Loyalists' property seized, Proclamation of 1763 voided = white settlers rushed West to get land.
  4. Notes: Treaty of Paris. Have students draw a scroll. At the top write, "Treaty of Paris, 1783." Under that write: "1. England acknowledges America's independence. 2. America's boundaries extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River." At the bottom, draw a large red "X" and sign "England" and "America."
  5. Pass out homework worksheets on North America in 1783 to students who did not get them earlier.
  6. Pass out extra credit to students who want it: Selected Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress and Two Views of British Rule (Olive Branch Petition vs. Declaration of Independence)

WEEK TWELVE

HISTORY QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What was the nickname of Mary McCauley Hays, a heroine of the American War for Independence, who took over her husband's job when he became wounded? Molly Pitcher. She entered her nickname during the Battle of Monmouth in 1778, when she fetched water for her husband and his gun crew. After her husband suffered a wound, she took over for him, helping the gun crew do its job. After the war, she was given a yearly pension of $40 by the Pennsylvania Assembly.

Objective: What have I learned about the American War for Independence?

  1. "We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." Ben Franklin made this remark at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. A) Who is the "we" he's referring to? B) What do you think he means?
  2. Create CD's displaying your knowledge of the war. Students may work by themselves or with up to two partners of their choice.

    Directions: Create an American War for Independence CD reflecting events and people that played a major role in the war.

    Guidelines:
    • Decide if the CD will be from the Patriot or Loyalist viewpoint. (You'll get 10 points extra credit if you do it from the Loyalist viewpoint.)
    • CD cover must be standard size and handmade, and it must reflect the political viewpoint.
    • Title of CD must reflect political perspective.
    • It must include at least 8 song titles and at least 8 different groups or soloists.
    • Song titles must reflect some event directly related to the War for Independence, and singers must be actual participants involved in those events (example, "Making Sense of It All" by Thomas Paine's Posse).
    • Back cover must contain an illustration and all song titles and groups or soloists.
    • Select one of the 8 songs for which to write lyrics (minimum of 2 verses).
    • A handmade CD (can be made of paper) and song lyrics must be enclosed inside the cover.

    Grading: Students will be graded on completion, historical accuracy, creativity, and neatness. This will be a major grade (equal to an exam).

Objective: What have I learned about the American War for Independence?
Homework: Study for exam & get agenda signed.

  1. UNIT EVALUATION a) What are 3 things you've learned during this unit on American War for Independence? B) What are 2 areas about which you still feel confused? C) List the one area from this unit about which you would have like to study more.
  2. Present CD's. Students get an extra 15 points if they present their song musically (i.e. sing or rap). Grading the CD: Turned in on time (50), Complete (20), Historically accurate (20), Creative and Neat (10). Grading the Presentation: Presented (50), "sing" song (0 = unnecessary, but can earn up to 15 points extra), Clear (5), Cover each category (40). The average of these two scores will be counted as a major grade (equal to an exam).
  3. Review game.
  4. Pass out Identifying Characters Slips so that students can find out who their character was and what occurred to him/her during this time period.
  5. ( If you want Bloom's taxonomy questions to prepare for your exam, here are some suggested one: Identify the following: Prime Minister Greenville, Paul Revere, the Stamp Act, the Navigation Acts, and the Proclamation of 1763. Explain the slogan "No taxation without representation." Prepare a colorful map of the Saratoga Campaign. Be sure to include a title and a legend. Point out 3 cultural differences between Britain and America that significantly affected the war. Suppose that Parliament had repealed the Tea Tax and Intolerable Acts and that the war had not broken out. How would life be different if there was no American War for Independence? Defend the idea that the Battle of Saratoga was the turning point of the war. All questions from J. Weston Walch, Ideas in Bloom)

WEEK THIRTEEN

HISTORY QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What were all four (North, South, East, West) boundaries of the U.S. at independence in 1783? According to the 1783 Treaty of Paris, in which Great Britain acknowledged American independence, the new nation's boundaries were the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, the state of Florida and the latitude line of 31 degrees North. (The North boundary is optional.)

Objective: What have I learned about the American War for Independence?
Homework: Finish worksheet

  1. Study/Cram
  2. Pass out a blank sheet of paper to each student. They have 5 minutes to write out the sentence from the Declaration of Independence that I assigned them to memorize.
  3. Exam
  4. Worksheet introducing next unit

Week Thirteen continues into the next unit.



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