Thursday, January 12, 2012

American Revolution

Fifth grade is working on the American Revolution, so I started hunting for resources that help teach it. The best one I found, (also known as the most fun one!) was this game. It lets students role play as an apprentice during the time leading up to and during the Revolution to see the sides of the patriots and loyalists, the Boston Massacre, and more. There is a short 3-4 minute video about the site giving a synopsis here. I have not played it all the way through, it takes a few hours at least, but what I have played looks like it would involve students and give them a good first hand look at the perspectives in that time period. There are a ton of good resources here including links to primary sources, documents to use with the game, teacher planning information, and more.

I created a comparison sheet for students to use in the media center to compare American and British forces using this PBS site. It also gave them information where they could choose three people that impacted the time period and research more about them. I asked them to also choose a time period and find events that led up to or ended the Revolution in this part of the site. There are lots of other parts of the Revolution covered here as well. Here is what one student came up with when comparing American and British troops to give you an idea of the assignment.

There are so many aspects of the Revolution to cover. Here is a list of people that impacted the time period if you wanted to do biographical research. Here is a lesson using artifacts. This site has so many artifacts you can show students to bring the past to life you won't be able to use them all! This lesson has a game for kids to play to match items different people in camp would have used with the type of person, which can be an interesting opener to how different some things are today. The Library of Congress has some good resources of course. The Archives also have some sources. And, of course, no unit is complete without a rap about it!

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere is a way to bridge poetry and the American Revolution. You can see a map of his ride here and the real story here. Paul Revere himself summarized his actions as you can see here.

What are some of your favorite activities or resources for the American Revolution?

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