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5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

The Beginnings of American Freedom: The Revolutionary War

A Social Studies Curriculum Map
What does it mean to be free?
What did freedom mean during the time of the American Revolution?
How was freedom different for different groups of people?
How does the Declaration of Independence reflect the values and principles of American Democracy?
Why did the end of the war mean that work had just begun?


Freedom is an idea that
includes many different
meanings and degrees.
What does it mean The Bill of Rights was
to be free?
created to protect the
rights and freedoms of
American citizens.

Learning Experiences
A. What does freedom mean to you? Students will create a representation
of their thinking.
B. The class will come together to share their ideas as expressed in their
representations. Teacher will guide students in noticing the different types of
freedoms being illustrated, and support students in examining the
commonalities and differences among their ideas.
C. Teacher will facilitate a whole-class discussion using guiding questions to
support students in communicating their thoughts, questions and tensions that
arise from trying to define the term freedom.
D. Read about the Bill of Rights
E. Create a Classroom Bill of Rights
F. View how other kids define freedom:
H. Re-visit definitions and begin to construct a working definition for the

Representations will be
used as starting points
to evaluate the
development of student
thinking over time
Whole Class Discussion
Working definitions of
big concept.
Classroom Bill of Rights.
Exit Slip: Identify one
new way you thought
about freedom today.
ld freedom in the world

Possible Project: Take photographs of the different ways people enjoy freedom in
the community. Pictures can be compiled for a class book entitled "Our
Cross-Curricular Connections:
Reading: A Sawed Off Shotgun Raises Second Amendment Questions

The Beginnings of Objectives

Actively listen and share
in discussions with my
How did the British
colonies define
Make inferences using

Opening: (Literacy Skills: Making Inferences)

A. Introduce Learning Targets and Review Vocabulary
B. Mystery Picture: The Boston Massacre, 1770
C. What Can I See, Part I
Students use guiding questions to make observat from graphic organizer
to discuss observations and inferences with a partner and then generate

Mystery Picture: Partner

What Can I See?
Analysis, Revisions and
Summary of Knowledge
Document Based

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

freedom in the
details and examples
eighteenth century?
from pictures and texts.
What groups of
Use inferences to
people were
generate questions in
excluded from this
order to guide future
learning about a topic.
Describe how
Americans viewed
freedom and identify the
different groups for
which this definition was
not originally intended.

questions to guide future learning before sharing wonderings with the

Learning Experiences:
A. Gallery Walk: Revolutionary War Primary Documents
B. What Can I See?, Part II
Revisit 3-4 documents and take notes on observations, inferences and
wonderings using Part II of the graphic organizer
C. Fist to Five: I can support my inferences with details and examples from
pictures and texts
D. Think-Pair-Share: Observations and Inferences
E. Independent Work: Revise Answers and Complete Graphic Organizers
F. Unlocking The Topic: Create KWL Chart and Display Essential Questions
G. Define Revolution:
But American people fought for a revolutionary idea: the idea that they could
rule themselves. And so it was called a revolutionthe American Revolution.
It was a people's war men, women and children took part. Women did things
they hadn't done before, they ran farms and businesses,
H. Review Lesson Focus Question
I. Close Reading: The Contested History of American Freedom, Excerpts
Although America based its government on the belief that all
men are created equal, another eighty years would pass before this
promise of freedom extended to all America's citizens of African
descent, and another one hundred and fifty years before women
would gain the right to vote. The nation was a work in progress as
Americans pursued the goal of freedom and justice for all.
A. The Contested History of American Freedom: DBQs & Focus Question
B. Revolutionary War Research Folders
C. Revolutionary War Vocabulary Rings

Questions and Focus

Using criteria to select
appropriate independent
reading texts
Primary Documents,
including The Boston
Massacre, Paul Revere:
The Contested History of
American Freedom,
Excerpts from Eric
Foners Give Me

A. Reread The Contested History of American Freedom
B. Vocabulary Notebooks
C. What Does Freedom Mean?
D. Ask a parent, friend, or community member


I can determine the

meaning of unfamiliar
words using context
clues and other

A. Review Homework and use Student Vocabulary Notebooks to create:
Revolutionary War Word Wall
Vocabulary Strategies Anchor Chart

Vocabulary Notebooks
from homework
Carousal Charts

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

How did the British

colonies define
Describe the similarities
freedom in the
and differences between
eighteenth century?
life in Great Britain and
What groups of
life in the colonies.
people were
Compare and contrast
excluded from this
the structure and
function of each
government taking into
account the three
branches of each:
executive, legislative and
Define democracy and
synthesize learning to
evaluate democracy in
Great Britain and the

B. Activating Prior Knowledge: Colonial Life

graphic organizers
How were the lives of children in colonial America similar to and different Short Answer
from the lives of children today? What freedoms do you have today that
Constructed Responses
children did not have over two hundred years ago? What freedoms might
Exit Slip
be the same?
What was life like for women in the 1700s? Consider her place in the
political, economic and social structures of her time.
How did the colonization of Northern America impact the lives of Native
Why did people come to America?
What kinds of goods were produced and traded in the colonies? Who
controlled colonial trade?\
B. Animated Map, Prelude To The War
Learning Experiences
A. Read Aloud: George Vs. George, p. 5 -13
Using Book Introductions to Enhance Understanding
There are two sides to every story.
Vocabulary Strategies
Compare and Contrast: Life in London, England vs. Life in the
American Colonies
B. Short Answer Constructed Response
C. George Vs. George, p. 13-14
Compare and Contrast: How Governments Worked
D. Exit Slip: How was the government in the colonies similar to the government
in Great Britain? How was it different?
A. Compare and Contrast: Now and Then
B. Vocabulary Notebooks
C. Independent Reading: Biographies

I can analyze how the

French Indian war
contributed to a change
in British policies.
Why did the British Identify colonists
government impose
actions in response
the Stamp Act?
to Stamp Act and
explain why they
Why did the
opposed British
American colonists

A. Meet students at the door and take something of value to them. Journal
Response: How did it feel to have something taken from you without your
B. Practicing Targeted Reading Skills: Cause and Effect
C. Exploring Perspectives: Separate students into two groups that will represent
Great Britain and America. Each group will receive a role card and construct
an argument to support their position surrounding the implementation of the
Stamp Act. Students will present their position to the class and debate key
D. After reading a section of chapter one in the text, the teacher will facilitate a
closing discussion that explores the impassioned reaction of the American

Trouble Over

Turn and Talk

Practicing Targeted
Skills handout
Outline for Debate
Exit Slip

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

Compare and
contrast British and
surrounding the
Stamp Act.

colonists over the new tax. Connect discussion back to journal responses to
support inquiry into essential question.
E. Exit Slip: Why did the colonies resist this one little tax so passionately?
Differing Perspectives:
Parliament believed it had legal authority in the colonies, while the colonists
believed their local assemblies had legal authority.
Parliament believed it had the right to tax the colonies, while the colonists believed
they should not be taxed since they had no representation in Parliament
Key Understanding: The colonists believed that England was literally taking away
something that belonged to them by right (English Bill of Rights)
Cross-Curricular Connections:
1964 Freedom Summer and The Ongoing Struggle to Protect Voter Rights Today
Do you believe that it is necessary for another campaign such as Freedom Summer
to take place today? Why or why not?
Possible Activities: Compose a newspaper editorial that raises awareness on an
issue that you believe is violating your freedom.


Analyze four
primary sources to
answer the focus
How did the Stamp
question, How did
Act encourage the
the Stamp Act
colonists to work
encourage the
colonists to work
Interpret the quote, no
taxation without
representation, and
infer speakers feelings
about freedom and
Colonial Protest

Why did Great
Britain pass the

"There is power in numbers and there is power in unity."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Analyzing Sources: How did the Stamp Act encourage the colonists to work

Journal Response:
How did Parliament
respond to an increase
in colonial protests?
DBQ Analysis Sheets

True Sons of Liberty Broadside

Effigy of a Stamp Distributor
Declaration of Rights
Pennsylvania Gazette

Worth Mentioning: The colonists talk about slavery was not a hyperbole, they
firmly believed that they would be subject to the arbitrary will of another. They
believed the Stamp Act:
Threatened to reduce the colonists to political slavery
Deprived the people of their property and personal freedom.

Declaratory Act: Interpretation & Drawing Conclusions

Whole Class Discussion
Paraphrase the
Declaratory Act and infer Group Work: Identifying values and freedoms enjoyed by the colonists before the Group Poster Projects
the message King George
war to analyze colonial resistance to new British policies.
III was sending to the
New Policies: What were they, why were they passed? Why was it significant?
colonies with this law.
Quartering Act, Writs of Assistance, Trial by Jury, Proclamation of 1763,

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

Declaratory Act?
What freedoms did
the colonists have
before the war?
How did these
freedoms inform
ideas towards new
British policies?

How did
British policies in
the colonies lead to
further resistance?


How did
Parliament respond
to an increase in
colonial protests?
Modern Protests
Which form of
protest is most
affective at
achieving change?
Why do you think

Townshend Acts
Analyze how colonial
experiences with self What are the major documents that influenced these emerging beliefs?
government and freedom Cross-Curricular:
prior to the French Indian John Locke, a short biography
war influenced responses
of various groups and
individuals to changes in
British policies.
Identify the documents
that influenced current
thinking about freedom.
Identify prominent
Review Concept: Protest
leaders and groups who
Read Trade Books about Increased Resistance
organized protests
Create a Web for the different ways the colonists are protesting new British
against British taxation.
policies. Be sure to include: Boycotts, Mobs, Newspapers, Broadsides, Speeches,
Analyze how the
Assemblies, Petitions
strengthening of British
Read about the Daughters of Liberty and create a tableau for the following quote:
policies led to increased
Well quit these useless vanities
opposition from the
Identify examples of
Read: Short-Biographies Women of the Revolution
ways in which women
took part in colonial
Draw comparisons
between protests from
the Revolutionary War
era and modern day
protests against

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the
world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead
Renewed Violence in the Ukraine:
Neil Young Speaks Our Against Oil Sands
World Mourns Death of Nelson Mandela:
Mass Protests in Arab Countries
New York City Bans Extra Large Pop:
Idle No More, A Growing Movement
Father of Africa

Protest Web
Summaries of Short

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War



A Fatal
Slavery in the
Land of Freedom


1. What is a contradiction? Students can brainstorm words, ideas, and examples in

notebooks. Develop a definition with the class.
Students will create a
2. Teacher explains that with a growing demand for preservation of individual
map that illustrates
rights and resounding cries of liberty, English colonies planted the seeds of fatal
important facts about
contradiction: slavery in a land of freedom. During the American Revolution,
How did American
slavery prior to the
many citizens had a difficult time reconciling their demands for freedom for
revolutionary war.
themselves with the continuing practice of enslaving fellow humans.
leaders maintain
3. Dice-a-roni: Students will activate previous knowledge about the institution of
the ideals of liberty Students will analyze a
slavery in colonial America within small groups. Teacher charts responses.
and freedom while
runaway ad within
4. To ensure students have a strong framework for understanding the history of
groups and use
slavery the teacher asks the following questions: Does anyone know what year
permitting slavery
knowledge gained to
slavery ended in the United States? How many years has it been since slavery
in the new
create a similar ad for the
was abolished? When did the first African slaves arrive in the new world? How
character they research
long did slavery exist in America before it was abolished in 1865? When did
in the Flight to Freedom
Americans declare independence from the British?
How did the
5. Distribute blank maps of 13 colonies and ask students to label maps and use
enslaved react to
colored pencil to mark colonies where slavery existed in 1776. Discuss why
Patriotic cries about Students will compare
people are much more familiar with history of slavery in the southern states.
liberty and
two primary source
6. Ask students to log onto the Timeline of Slavery website within table groups.
documents and explain
Each student will record 5 facts about the history of slavery up to the year 1776
how they represent the
on their maps. Students can share information within groups.
fatal contradiction.
7. Explain that students will be examining the life of a Northern slave during the
time of the Revolution, why he chose to run away, and what happened when he
Students will determine
whose perspectives are
8. Slavery and the Making of America, Episode 2, "Liberty in the Air. Pause
omitted from the
segment regularly to ask questions and check comprehension.
chapters covering the
9. How to make their voices heard, in the growing cacophony for liberty," If
revolutionary war in
students dont interpret this quote and relate it back to the essential
their textbooks.
question, Remind your students again, that the patriots actions were
considered a contradiction since the Patriots were fighting for freedom while
simultaneously holding slaves. Ask your students if they have any thoughts on
who slaves might have sympathized with in the Revolution ... the Patriots or the
British? Why?
10. Within groups, students will work collaboratively to analyze a runaway ad for
Titus. Each student is responsible for answering one question about the primary
source document. Come together as a group to share answers.
11. Ask your students why they think you chose to show this video and teach this
lesson. Students answers should include why it is important to study different
perspectives and different groups from history.
12. Ask students to identify the perspectives and groups that have been omitted

Colonial Maps
Slavery and the Making
of America: Notesheets
and Class Discussions
Small Group Work:
analyses of primary
Exit Slip
Journal Entries: Write a
journal entry from the
perspective of a runaway
slave. Use the
information and
knowledge you gained
from the video and Web
sites in this lesson to
make your journal entry
as historically accurate
as possible.

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

from their textbook s chapters on the revolutionary war. Whose point of view
does the textbook reflect?
13. How can we ensure we continue to investigate multiple perspectives and
different groups of people throughout this unit? Brainstorm and chart student
14. Exit Slip: Students will analyze a Bill of Sale for Nan. 18 February 1759, and
interpret a quote from Patrick Henry and infer how both documents support the
fatal contradiction of the revolutionary war.

A Fatal
Field Trip: Liberty Hall, Union, NJ
Students will be able to examine first-hand accounts by two slave-owning
patriotsWilliam Livingston, the first elected governor of New Jersey, and John
Slavery in the
Analyze the ways in
Kean, member of the Continental Congress and cashier of the Bank
Land of Freedom
which American patriots
of the United States. The students can analyze letters written by these men to draw
justified, or failed to
How did American justify, the reality of slave conclusions about their lives and the lives of their enslaved. Students will also
have access to other documents, including newspaper advertisements about
ownership in a culture
leaders maintain
escaped slaves and sales of slaves in New Jersey that will offer support in
that prized freedom and
the ideals of liberty liberty.
developing research around Flight for Freedom projects.
and freedom while
At the museum, small groups will research documents to answer the following
Describe the
permitting slavery
group of questions:
compromises that an
in the new

American politician made How was it possible for someone to be a slave owner and an abolitionist?
Does John Kean express misgivings about slavery? Explain your answer.
as an abolitionist.
How did the
What compromises did Livingston make as an abolitionist and a politician?
Make inferences
enslaved react to
List some examples of compromises in todays society.
about the role of NJ
Patriotic cries about Quakers in opposing
How would he have described or defended his contradiction in a letter to his son,
liberty and
also a salve owner?
Analyze the role
What might a slave have thought if he or she overheard a discussion about the
of women in the NJ
evils of slavery between Livingston and Jay? Would he/she have considered the
Constitution against other
patriot cause to be his/her cause as well? Why? Why not?
constitutions of that era.
How might an enslaved person have prepared to escape? Why would a slave
owners neighbors have helped recapture an escaped slave?
Livingston and Jay both freed their slaves. Does that knowledge change your
view of them? John Jay also had white indentured servants. What was the
difference between an indentured servant and an enslaved person?

Reading Between the Lines: An Art Contest Helps Students Imagine the Lives of
Runaway Slaves

Journal Entries:
Reflection Questions:
How did slave owners
justify their continued
ownership of other
human beings (as
property) while
demanding political
freedom for themselves?
Who were the Quakers?
What did they believe?
Debate the validity of
judging historical figures
by present-day standards
of morality.
Freeman, Landa M.,
Louise V. North, and
Janet M. Wedge, eds.,
Selected Letters of John
Jay and Sarah Livingston
Jay. (Jefferson, N.C.:
McFarland & Co., 2005)
Carl Prince, ed., The
Papers of William
Livingston, 5 volumes
(Trenton, N.J.: New
Jersey Historical

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

A Massacre or an
incident on King
Why are there
different versions
of events and what
impact does this
have on our ideas
of truth and
How did the
patriots use the
events of March 5,
1770, to give rise to
their cause?

Analyze primary and

secondary source
documents that represent
diverse perspectives of an
Differentiate between fact
and opinion.
Analyze Paul Reveres
engraving of the Boston
Massacre to identify
inconsistencies in the
illustration and explain
propaganda techniques.
Discuss the role of
newspapers, images and
other media formats in
perpetuating point of

1. Teacher shows news footage of recent mob violence in Venezuela.

2. Ask students to share impressions and facilitate discussion on the confusing
nature of the event. Emphasize that it is extremely difficult to determine facts in
such situations. Very often, witnesses or participants have conflicting ideas
about what happened.
3. Present images of optical illusions and invite students to brainstorm reasons why
people see things differently. Chart student responses.
4. Review the definition of a fact as something that is true and can be confirmed by
a reliable source. Help students define an opinion as a belief or feeling about a
subject that is strengthened by facts.
5. Students work with partners to differentiate between a few examples, explaining
why they are categorizing each example as an opinion or a fact.
6. Divide students into groups of 4 and distribute, Two Accounts of the Event on
March 5, 1770. Introduce accounts as real testimonies from two witnesses in a
murder trial. Both witnesses swore to tell the truth about the events that occurred
on the evening of March 5.
7. Students will then partner read and discuss the similarities and differences
between both accounts. Students will complete Fact/Opinion graphic
organizer and decide who they believe is telling the truth.
8. Teacher explains how Samuel Adams used this event as propaganda to gain
support for American independence.
9. Distribute copies of The Boston Massacre Perpetuated in King Street, by Paul
Revere and project Five Points of Propaganda on the Smart Board.
Discuss the value in using political cartoons to perpetuate facts. This
unit, students have been learning that political cartoons are powerful tools
because they not only express an opinion, but also try to influence the readers
perception of a particular topic.
In pairs, students analyze image and determine discrepancies.
Share and chart findings. Teacher facilitates discussion on how the
incorrect details changed/informed the viewers interpretation of the event.
Whose voices are heard in Paul Reveres engraving? Whose voices are omitted?
How is Crispus Attucks depicted in the image? Why do you think Paul Revere
chose to represent him as a White man? How does Paul Reveres choice
reflect the colonial attitude toward enslaved Africans?
Student groups will then work collaboratively to create an illustration of
the event from a British point of view.

Journal Entries: Explain

how the details in your
illustration reflect the
British point of view.
Compose a 3-5paragraph opinion essay
from the perspective of
Crispus Attucks, the
First Casualty of the
Revolutionary War.
Research Project: How
do individuals and
groups use the media to
distort images and/or
events? In groups,
students research modern
uses of propaganda and
select one example
(beauty magazines, TV
shows, video games,
etc.) of how people and
groups create false
perceptions of reality to
present to the class.

Connections: Write an article for a British newspaper that accompanies your

image of the events that occurred on the night of March 5, 1770.

Readers Theatre

Participate in a

1. Distribute Student Handout 1, a Readers Theatre activity on the trial of Captain


5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

The Boston
Massacre Trial

Why did John

Adams choose to
defend the soldiers
involved in the
Massacre of five

Readers Theatre of the

Boston Massacre Trial

Preston and the six soldiers that were accused of murdering Crispis Attucks and
the 5 Boston civilians on the eve of March 5, 1770.
2. Review unfamiliar legal terms with students.
3. Decide who will perform the 13 speaking roles in the play.
4. Decide who will act as the jurors (must be an odd number).
5. In the 18th century, only men would have held these positions. Guide students to
recognize and discuss the absence of female roles.
6. The remaining students will be reporters for the British and American
newspapers that will cover the event.
7. Put the skit in its geographical context by locating the places mentioned in the
trial on a Boston map.
8. Actors can practice their roles and research their characters prior to performing
the skit. There is a wealth of information on the characters and jury members
that can be accessed here:
9. Jurors can research other trials from the revolutionary era to become acquainted
with typical crime and punishments of the time, they should not, however,
access the events of this trial as it could interfere with their position as unbiased
members of the jury. The abovementioned website reveals the prejudices of
actual jury members at the trial and would make for interesting reading and
discussion following this activity.
10. Students may arrange desks and use props that are relevant to the historical
setting of the trial.
11. Students will perform the skit for the panel of jurors, and if necessary, the
teacher can freeze a scene to check for understanding. The reporters will
make observations and record notes.
12. Once the final scene concludes, the jury will step out of the room to deliberate.
Jury members must return a unanimous verdict and be prepared to defend their
13. Read Results of The Trial with students to learn how the mock verdict
compared to the decision of the jury in 1770.
14. Compare and contrast this case and its punishment with modern trial
15. Read About Colonial Punishments in America
16. Excerpt from John Adams Diary: The part I took in defense of captain Preston
and the soldiers, procured me anxiety, and obloquy enough. It was, however,
one of the most gallant, generous, manly and disinterested actions of my whole
life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country.
Judgment of death against those soldiers would have been as foul a stain upon
this country as the executions of the Quakers or witches, anciently
Interesting Website with untraditional accounts and interesting information:

Boston Map

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

The venire (jury pool) ran out before the jury was fully impaneled. Five talesmen
(onlookers picked as jurors) were picked from among the court spectators. The
talesmen DeBlois, Dumaresque, Hill, Wallis, and Barrick were merchants and
strong Loyalists, certainly not about to convict one of the King's officers. Only two
of the twelve jurors were from Boston. The jury was packed in Preston's favor.

The Boston Tea

What was the
Boston Tea Party?
How did Great
Britain respond?


Determine unfamiliar
words using context
clues when interpreting
Interpret a first-hand
account of the event and
compare it to the
information provided in
your textbook.
Analyze a political
cartoon and locate
Explain the reason why
patriots dumped tea in
the harbor and make
predictions about Great
Britains response.

1. Distribute individual copies of Party Plans Abigail Bernard, 1773 and read
the poem aloud twice with students following along. Give students time to
silently reflect on the reading before discussing the poem with a partner.
Remind students to identify quotes or words from the poem when making
inferences. Invite partnerships to share their thinking with the class.
2. Ask partnerships to revisit the poem, underlining words or concepts that they
are unsure of. Call on students to identify strategies used to determine new
vocabulary words. Consider making an anchor chart if you havent done so
already. Invite students to try and define remaining vocabulary. If a word is
difficult to determine in context, encourage students to use other strategies
such as looking at roots and applying background knowledge of content.
3. As a class, create easy to understand definitions for new vocabulary words.
4. Remind students that the purpose of defining new (and important) vocabulary
words is to help us deepen our understanding of the text.
5. Once unfamiliar words are discussed and defined, students will work with their
partners to interpret the poem and answer the accompanying questions before
discussing responses within groups. Some of the questions include: From
whose point of view is this poem written? How do you know (what words or
phrases support your thinking)? How did your previous knowledge of tensions
between the British and American colonies support your understanding of this
poem (what issues, words, ideas, or concepts are being discussed by the
author)? Infer how the author feels about the impact of British actions on
colonial freedoms. What are some of the key words being used to describe this
6. Teacher facilitates discussion/review about themes in the poem (tyranny,
taxation without representation, individual rights) and the words being used
(chattel, slavery, chains) to emphasize the actions of the British as an attack on
colonial freedom. Conclude discussion with an interpretation of the last verse:
A partys planned in Boston. Whos coming? Theyll be many/Will there be
cups of tea? Yes! But cups, not any!
An Alternative to Analyzing Poetry: The Rich Lady Over The Sea, a popular
song about the Tea Party from colonial times. Students will listen and respond
to guiding questions within small groups: How is the relationship between
Great Britain and the colonies represented in this song? From whose point of

Whole-Class Discussion
Evidence of Strategy
Work (Underlining,
Defining, Circling, etc.)
Analysis of First Hand
Account (Organizers,
Partner Talk, Group
Discussions, etc.)
Analysis of Bostonians
Paying the Excise Man
*Note: Students were
particularly fond of this
analysis and were
incredibly skilled at
interpreting symbols and
using background
knowledge to interpret this

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

view is the song written? How do you know?
7. Continue practice with using primary sources to understand history. This is a
good place to start interpreting longer narratives because most students will
love reading about how patriots disguised themselves as Indians (a symbolic
gesture that could be discussed in older grades) in order to cause mischief and
trouble in the middle of the night. There are a few documented first hand
accounts that can be distributed to groups of various skill levels.
8. Students can work in pairs or groups to identify the similarities and
inconsistencies between information given in their textbooks and first-hand
Extension Activity: Groups can write a letter to the publisher of textbooks
suggesting the inclusion, exclusion or explanation of certain information based
on what they believe to be more accurate details of the Boston Tea Party.
Suggestions for revisions must be supported with evidence from first-hand
The Boston Tea Party created and narrated by a 5th grader using primary and
secondary sources:
After watching this 3 minute video, invite students to talk about the conflicting
perspectives of colonists such as Ben Franklin and Samuel Adams surrounding
the radical actions of the Sons of Liberty in this event.
9. The Bostonians Paying the Excise-Man, or Tarring & Feathering, an
English cartoon drawn in 1774. Interpret cartoon and complete analysis
questions individually, with a partner, or in groups, using what you just
read/learned about this event.
10. Using prior knowledge, predict how Great Britain will respond to colonial


First Continental

11. Homework: Read about British response (Coercive Acts) and create a frame
for the Road to Revolution Timeline or write a short response in colonial
journals to one of the Acts.
Analyze political cartoon 1. Project the political cartoon The Bostonians in Distress, 1774 and distribute
to determine underlying
cartoon analysis sheets (sheets should be differentiated based on previous
lessons assessments; students can be paired for additional support).
2. After completing the analysis sheet, facilitate discussion about the desired effects
Explain why the First
of the Intolerable Acts (isolation of Boston from other colonies) and the actual
Continental Congress was
impact it had (collective resistance, strong feelings of injustice/desire to protect

Cartoon Analysis
Whole Class Discussion
Interpretation of
Declaration and

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

formed and describe its
accomplishments (and
Compare the Plan of
Union and the adopted
Suffolk Resolves and
evaluate alternative
Identify and explain two
essential rights asserted in
Declaration and Resolves.
Possible Misconceptions:
Know that the Continental
Congress was formed to
assert the rights of the
colonists to the British
Government, and not to
rebel against it.


Common Sense
How did the words
of one man inspire
the ideas of

Explain how selecting and

engaging with meaningful
quotes from a primary
source can help us
understand the past.
In your colonial journals,
respond to the ideas
presented in the popular
pamphlet being distributed
in the colonies.

basic freedoms from oppressive government) using guiding questions on analysis

3. Introduce the First Continental Congress as one of the most important colonial
responses to British actions. Explain that most delegates, just like most colonists,
were not ready to break away from England and support independence at this
time. Most colonists hoped for reconciliation and reestablishment of colonial
rights. At this historical event, delegates with very different objectives and
viewpoints were able to come together to debate ideas, discuss issues, evaluate
tactics for moving forward, articulate needs of different colonies, exchange
views, and ultimately, learn from one another as they tried to take reasonable
steps in asserting the rights and freedoms long enjoyed.
4. Students will read Proceedings of the First Continental Congress in pairs or
watch scenes from John Adams, before discussing guiding questions with small
groups. Questions include: Why did the members of the First Continental
Congress decide to meet? What did they hope to achieve? Who was present? Did
everyone want the same thing? What were some of the conflicting views among
the delegates? How did they decide what to do when people disagreed? What
were the major accomplishments of the Congresswhat document did it
produce? What actions did it take?
5. Colonial Journal: Which plan would you support as an elected member to your
colonies (Plan of Union or Suffolk Resolves)? Why? What do you think might
have happened if the Galloway Plan was adopted? Would the revolution still
have occurred? Why or why not? Support your answer with evidence from the
6. Distribute modified Declaration and Resolves to each student group. Student
groups will work collaboratively to identify and explain the various rights being
asserted in this document and put each excerpt into their own words.

Analyze excerpts of Common Sense and discuss how his words inspired the
colonies to strengthen their resolve for independence.
Practice pulling meaningful quotes from a primary source document to enhance
understanding of the past.
Possible Quotes for Analysis:
(1) Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the
fatigue of supporting it.
(2) Freedom hath been hunted round the globe.
(3) The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind.
(4) We have it in our power to begin the world over againa race of menare to
receive their portion of freedom from the events of a few months.
(5) Had it not been for America, there had been no such thing as freedom left

Bostonians in
Declaration and Resolves
of the First Continental
John Adams diary
including notes on
Continental Congress,
Sept. Oct. 1774
Video Lesson Continental

Selection and
Interpretation of Quotes.
Colonial Journals

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

throughout the whole universe.


Patriot, Loyalist,
or Undecided?
What were the
different political
views that
influenced the
Revolutionary war?

Differentiate between
three main political
viewpoints during the
revolutionary war era.
Compare and contrast
Patriot and Loyalist
viewpoints and explain
how fundamental
differences in thinking
resulted in the colonists
declaring independence
from Great Britain.

Begin class by asking students to respond to the following prompt in their

notebook: Brainstorm a list of reasons why American colonists would resist the
revolution and remain loyal to King George III. Do you think these reasons are
valid? Explain your thinking.
After a few minutes, ask students to turn and discuss their list and their reasoning
with a partner. Bring the whole class together and share out students ideas. Chart
student responses.
Teacher explains that not all colonists wanted nor fought for independence in the
American revolution. Those who supported independence from Britain were
known as Patriots; those who opposed independence from Britain were known
as Loyalists. The colonists who didnt take sides were called undecideds,
Distribute handout: Father and Son, Patriot and Loyalist.
Demonstrate Close Reading Strategies
Students reread text and summarize main idea
Distribute Patriot Vs. Loyalist template.
Why compare and contrast? [Helps us identify key details, helps reduce
confusion, provides multiple perspectives, etc.]
Explain that students will work in groups using compare/contrast to learn about
how the Patriots and Loyalists were similar, how they were different, and how
those differences contributed to the colonies decision to declare independence.
Students will work in groups of 4-5 to compare and contrast Patriots and Loyalist
views on important issues [i.e., Taxation, Trade, Government Structure,
Individual Rights, Diversity, Freedom of Religion, Property Rights, etc.). Each
student will research one topic and present information within groups.
Each expert is responsible for other group members recording the strongest
points (and accurate information) on compare/contrast template.
ELA Connections: What position would you take during the revolutionary war?
Why?what beliefs, values or motivations are informing your decision?
Imagine a close family member (brother, sister, mom, dad, cousin, etc.) has a
different point view, and plans to fight for the opposing side if it comes to war!
Write a persuasive letter to convince her or him to adopt your point of view.
Use the three important issues you selected to develop three separate paragraphs
expressing your point of view. Use your compare/contrast template to identify
counter-arguments your family might have and dispute them.
Consult your compare and contrast template for support in selecting 3
reasons/motivations/values that reflect your point of view.

Patriot Vs. Loyalist

Overview: Students will
work collaboratively in
groups to create an
overview explaining how
the chosen issue
contributed to the
colonies decision to
declare independence.
What choices did your
group make as you created
their tableau?
How did the tableau
activity add to your
understanding of the
causes that led to the
revolutionary war?
Exit Slip: Students will
read biography cards and
determine if the
character is a Patriot,
Loyalist or Undecided.

Join, Or Die
Father and Son, Patriot
and Loyalist
Patriot Vs. Loyalist

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War


When is it time to Analyze Patrick Henrys

Speech, Give me liberty
take action?
or give me death! and
What is more
explain how his use of
effective, appealing rhetorical devices affects
to emotion logic?
his audience.
Identify arguments for
independence made in
Henrys speech explain
why these arguments
helped persuade
American colonists that
independence was
Identifying authors
opinions, reasons, and
supporting evidence.

A Literacy Lesson
Think of examples from sports, school, politics, or everyday life when it was the
right time for decisive action.
Read a short biography of Patrick Henry, The Orator of Liberty, and review the
various rhetorical devices commonly found in his speeches.
Listen to Patrick Henrys speech, Give me liberty or give me death! and identify
techniques of repetition, emotionally charged words, metaphor, antithesis, and
rhetorical questioning. [Graphic Organizer]
Facilitate discussion: Which devices occur most frequently in Henrys speech? Do
you think rhetorical devices are an effective way to communicate, or do you find
them manipulative? How might his use of rhetorical devices affect his audience?
What tone or attitude do you detect in his language? How does he choice of words
reveal his purpose?
Discuss with a partner: What are some examples of antitheses? What kind of
emphasis does it create? [I consider it nothing less than a question of freedom or
slavery; give me liberty or give me death]

Colonial Journals: How

does Henry convince his
audience that a decisive
moment is at hand? If you
heard this speech, would
you be convinced to join
the fight for

In groups, have students identify the different reasons Patrick Henry makes for
declaring independence.
Use a familiar text (or movie) to help students understand the difference between
arguments that appeal to emotions and arguments that appeal to logic.
Return to list and note whether he appeals mainly to logic or emotion Which
reasons are strongest? Explain.


The First Shots

Who or what
determines the
actual minute a war

Create a timeline of the

significant events in The

Midnight Ride of Paul
Revere, by Henry

Activity Extension: Speeches with Anti-thesis (Martin Luther King Jr., JFK,
George Bush, Barack Obama)
Read the poem, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, by Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow, create a timeline for the sequence of events in partnerships.
Additional Activity: Uncover some of inaccuracies surrounding the ride by
watching Fact vs. Fiction Another Rider with Paul Revere from AHC.
Additional Activity: Discuss the poem in its historical context as a call to awaken
the spirit of American liberty during a time when slavery divided the nation.

Discuss and analyze how

Grant Wood manipulated

viewpoint, composition,
and scale in his
painting The Midnight
Ride of Paul Revere to
present an idealized view
of this American tale.

Examine Grant Woods oil painting, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, and
discuss the power of imaginative landscapes to evoke popular stories of Americas
View Schoolhouse Rock The Shot Heard Around The World and examine
interpretations of the event from both British and American perspectives.
Without the events of April 19, 1775, would we be a free nation today?

Develop an annotated map
of The Midnight Ride
charting the routes of Paul
Revere, William Dawes
and Dr. Samuel Prescott.
Or write your own epic
poem using figurative
language, basic rhyming
pattern, and dramatic
imagery about the battles
of Lexington and Concord.
Or create an imaginative
landscape depicting a
popular story from the

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

America Revolution.
Examine two conflicting

first hand accounts of the

same event.

The Midnight Ride, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
View AHC segment
Grant Woods The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere:
The Shot Heard Around The World:



Synthesize information
to formulate a plan of
action as members of the
Second Continental
Congress, choosing a
plausible solution from a
choice of carefully
evaluated options.
Describe how the events
of 1775 are contributing
to the decisions being
made by the Second
Continental Congress.
Describe the purpose and
actions of the Second
Continental Congress.

A. Consider the situation that the members of Second Continental Congress are in
as of May 1775.
B. View scenes from John Adams and identify the leading figures representing
each colony. Select a delegate from the Second Continental Congress to
research. A classmate cannot have selected the same delegate. A list of
delegates can be found here:
A. Independent Work: Practice using Internet-Based Research Strategies to gather
information on a delegate. Determine if he was for or against declaring
independence at this time. Identify values and attitudes towards key issues and
events (self-government, freedom, taxation, Lexington & Concord, slavery,
individual rights, etc.) and any other information (occupation, home state,
family life) that would help you take his place in the decision-making that
happened at the Second Continental Congress. Use a graphic organizer to
collect and organize your research.
B. Group Work: Brainstorm ideas for next-steps as members of the Second
Continental Congress. After gathering information, students will assume the
role of their historical figure and work collaboratively with peers to develop a
course of action for the Second Continental Congress. Student groups must:
identify recent events to discuss (Lexington and Concord, Capture of Boston,
Bostons demands, the open state of rebellion, etc); design a plan that is
detailed and specific and be able to explain why decisions were made; be
thoughtful in decisions, considering the perspectives of others while debating
ideas; draw on previous solutions passed by Congress; evaluate outcomes, (a
declaration would mean war, which would mean bloodshed and casualties,
divisions of families, raising revenue, etc.); recognize arguments and
counterarguments that might arise when proposing solutions; draft a 5 step

Internet-Based Research
graphic organizers
Self Assessment
Student Group Plan of
Action note-sheets
5-Step Proposals
Exit Slips
John Adams, HBO

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

plan of action and present it to fellow delegates (classmates) for approval.
C. Vote on a plan of action for the class to adopt.
View brief scenes from HBO series John Adams. Identify and discuss the decisions
made by the Second Continental Congress. Compare their decisions with the
students previously adopted plan of action. Focus on discussion on the Olive
Branch Petition and the colonies request to self-govern.
Learn more about the actions of the colonists by exploring a collage of images with
three hotspots.
A. Exit Slips: How would your delegate feel about the plan of action Congress
has selected to implement? Identify two of the adopted solutions and explain
why he would agree or disagree.

Would You Sign? Identify the purpose of

the Declaration of
Independence as stated in
the introduction.
List the three most
important grievances to
you in your Colonial
Journals and explain why
they are meaningful.
Describe the fundamental
principles of the
Declaration of
Use vocabulary strategies
efficiently to determine
the meaning of unfamiliar

Colonial Journals
A. Have you ever signed your name to something really important? Something that Group Analysis Sheets
would put your life in danger, or the lives of your friends and family? What would Class Discussions
you be thinking about before your pen touched the paper? Is there any cause or
belief that you would be willing to give up everything for?
Learning Experience:
Display image of the signatures on the declaration of independence and invite
students to share what they notice. Guide students to make inferences about the
way the names are organized based on their previous knowledge of the delegates
from each colony. Explain how the signers were aware that if they were identified
and captured, they would face imprisonment, torture or even death. They signed
the Declaration in secret, hoping to conceal their identities. But the British army
soon discovered the names of the signers and dispatched soldiers to search and
seize their properties, imprison their family and friends, and bring the traitors out
of hiding to be punished for treason against the King.
B. Go to the website:
Invite students to affix their names alongside the signatures of the Declaration
of Independence! Prior to pledging their commitment to the revolutionary
cause, students establish a colonial identity (occupation, colony, and political
stance) in addition to selecting one of the preferred cursive styles of the time.
The website even offers students one last chance to change their minds!: Are
you sure you want to sign? Affixing your name to this document means that
you are pledging your life, your fortune and your sacred honour to the cause of
C. This activity should take no more than 30 seconds per student, access to
multiple computers would significantly reduce activity time]
D. While students pledge their lives in the name of freedom, classmates can find
out what happened to some of the signers by reading The Fate of the Five

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

Signers and discussing document questions with a partner.
E. Distribute individual transcripts of the Declaration of Independence. Draw
students attention to the structure of the document and chart student
observations about the way content is organized. Explain how the Declaration
is separated into sections and that each section has a specific purpose.
F. Liberty!
G. Once students have established an initial understanding of the document and
the way it is organized, divide students into 4 groups to represent the different
parts of the text: Introduction, Preamble, Grievances, and Conclusion. Within
groups, each student selects 5 words from the text that are unfamiliar. If a
group member knows one of the words selected by another group mate, she or
he is allowed to help her understand the meaning of that term. The student still
might wish to confirm definition with a dictionary, but peers should be valued
as a resource, especially in this activity. Once each group has defined,
interpreted and sketched their own definitions of unfamiliar words, student
groups can share three definitions with the class. For each word, student
groups have the choice to either share a picture from one of the group
members or to produce a quick freeze frame for the word (for example, a
student group could represent an overthrow of the government by pretending
to push a king out the door).
H. Student groups work collaboratively to interpret their segment of the
Declaration and summarize main ideas. Questions are scattered on each table
to scaffold their analysis. Students will self-select questions and may work
with a partner on a response. Process is repeated until all questions are
answered and shared within groups. Student groups will then work together to
interpret either the entire section (or an excerpt) using definitions, responses,
and other close reading and vocabulary strategies to interpret the document.
Groups will then work collaboratively to put text into their own words and/or
summarize paragraph. Once teacher approves of the interpretations, students
can copy modern translations onto official parchment paper.
I. Students will then jigsaw to teach peers about the different sections of the
Declaration of Independence.
A. Students return to home groups and participate in a choral reading of each
section of the document with the class.

Its Too Late To

How can music
help us remember
important details of
the past?

Interpret lyrics about

colonial events set to the

tune of a popular modern
day song.

Watch Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration and discuss the songs message Performance Task:
[Independence from Great Britain is necessary]. Examine the lyrics. What
Modify lyrics to a
grievances are being identified? [no fair trials, no fair trade, no personal
modern day song to
liberty] What principles are being expressed? [limited government, individual
summarize what you
liberties, voice, consent of the people]
have learned about the
causes, people and
Ideas for Cross-Curricular Connections:
ideas that have

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

Literacy: A nations economy always affects the lives and happiness of its citizens.
contributed to
Read informational texts about the growing wealth inequality in the United States.
Americas decision to
Discuss the Declarations call for the promotion of pursuit of happiness and the
break away from Great
opportunities afforded to citizens today.
Math: Determine the unemployment rate across different communities, states or
Step Two: Produce a
nations. Would you support a law that guarantees a job for every adult whole is
able and willing to work?
video that reflect what
youve learned about
Its Too Late To Apologize:
the details of living
during that time.

Life, Liberty,
and Property?

Identify a variety of

sources for the specific

language that made its
way into the Declaration
of Independence.
Examine how the words
of the Declaration have
inspired other groups to
stand up for their rights.

Students will research the different influences on the Declaration of Independence

such as the Magna Carta, John Locke, Thomas Paine, and the English Bill of
Rights. Each group will locate specific phrases from the original texts that are
reflected in Jeffersons words. The class will then create a string-web of their
learning, illustrating the various ideas that contributed to our nations founding
document with a green string.
Just as our Declaration and our nations independence were inspired by the beliefs
and words of others, our Declaration has sparked others to fight for their freedom
and rights. Explore how this document was revolutionary (it was the first of its
kind!) and how it inspired other group to stand up for and achieve freedom.

Materials: A Poster Size

Copy of the Declaration

A Global History of the

Declaration of

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

Analyze and compare two


drafts of the Declaration

and describe the
significance of changes to
the text.

Drafting the

We all Declare Liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same
thing.- Thomas Jefferson

Exit Slip

Begin by discussing that the Declaration of Independence is a living document. For

while it says very specific things, those things have not always meant the same
thing to everyone. Thomas Jefferson helped to create a new nation based on
individual freedom and self-government. But the words, life, liberty and pursuit
of happiness did not apply to all. Students will read about the different groups that
were denied their rights under this new government that cried freedom and equality
for all. Then, they will analyze an excerpt from Thomas Jeffersons draft and the
final draft approved by Congress. A direct mention of chattel slavery was omitted,
removing from the Declaration any mention of the institution of slavery at all.
Students will explore why this decision was made. Why would the abolitionists in
Congress support the omission of a paragraph that condemned slavery? John
Adams demonstrates the need for compromise in Second Continental Congress
debates. In groups, students will discuss what impact this omission had on the lives
of those enslaved and why such an omission was made.
Exit Slip: Why did Congress vote to have Jeffersons words removed? What
impact would it have had on African Americans if the Declaration condemned
slavery as a grievance against King George?

Remember the

Discuss the value of

examining letters to
gain insight into what
life was like during a
historical era.
Analyze a quote from
Abigail Adams and
compare her ideals to
the ideals of the new
Read about the story of
Malala Yousafi and
examine excerpts from
her diary. Draw
conclusions about
womens fight for
freedom and equality in
the 21st century.

John and Abigail Adams exchanged over 1,100 letters. For this lesson, students
will examine Abigails words to John as he was helping Jefferson draft the
Declaration of Independence. Student pairs will focus on two particular sections of
this document. The first, her thoughts about slavery: I have sometimes been ready
to think that the passion for Liberty cannot be Equally Strong in the Chests of
those who have been accustomed to deprive their fellow Creatures of theirs. The
second, about womens rights: I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be
more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such
unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. If perticuliar care and attention is
not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold
ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation. In
pairs or small groups, students will discuss the role of women in colonial society
and the bold words of Abigail in her request for political equality. Questions
include: Was the role of a woman a fixed position in colonial society? Could she
leave her home to do whatever she pleased? Was she welcomed in the job force?
Did she have freedom? Equality? Voting Rights? What similarities did you notice
between her words and the events of the time?
Our history is embedded with the voices of women fighting for equal rights in a
male-dominated world. Abigail Adams was one of the first documented women to

Journal Entries
DBQs and discussions
Correspondence between
Abigail Adams and John
Malala, Standing Up For

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

take up this cause, and boldly speak out about the political rights denied to women
at that time. Although we have since then won our right to vote, women in both the
United States and around the world are still fighting against inequality and
injustice. Read about the story of Malala Yousafi, a 14-year-old Pakistani girl
whose public stance in favor of the education of girls made her a target of a
Taliban assassination attempt in October 2012.
Remember the

Identify the roles women

had during the war.
Read a short biography of
one of the many women
who contributed to the
Revolutionary War.
Create a biography card
using key details from a

Read Women of the American Revolution and discuss the many roles and
contribution of women during the war.

Biography Cards

Students will research and create biography cards for some of the amazing women
that existed during the Revolutionary era. Suggestions include:
Abby Kelly fighting for free speech against a mob with rotten eggs
Grimke sisters protesting taxation without representation
Lucy Stone tacking up handbills of her own arrangement
Ernestine Rose striving for property rights for women
Dr Elizabeth Blackwell.




Key Battles

Research a key battle

from the Revolutionary

War and create a poster
that explains the
strategies, obstacles and
casualties experienced by
both sides during the war.
Present data on the battle
and add marker on a
classroom map,
explaining why the battle
was significant to the
wars progress.
Describe the conditions
Valley Forge
that the soldiers
What can we learn
experienced while
about life as a
encamped at Valley
soldier from
studying the
conditions of
Valley Forge?
Examine the role of New
Field trip
Jersey in the

Divide students into small groups to research the key battles of the Revolutionary
War. Groups will create maps, identify strategies and draw conclusions about the
significance of the battle on the outcome of the war.

Mini-Research Project

Military battles of the American Revolution:

Lexington and Concord
Battle of Bunker Hill
Battle of Brooklyn
Battle of Trenton
Battle of Saratoga
Battle of Yorktown
Students will read about Valley Forge and examine the hardships faced by the
soldiers. In small groups, they will draw conclusions about the role that geography
and climate played in military campaigns.

Informational texts about
the geography and climate
during Valley Forge.

Students will visit Fort Lee and learn about New Jerseys role in the Revolutionary

Exit Slips for Field Trip

5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War





Revolutionary War.
Freedom Fighters Describe the motivations
and hopes of African
Americans that influenced
their decisions to enlist on
both sides during the war.

Freedom Fighters Explain the critical role

that James Armistead
played in helping the
patriots win the war.
Describe the contributions
of African Americans to
the Revolutionary War.
Examine the role that the
The Spanish
Spanish played in helping
Army in North
the patriots win the
Revolutionary War.
Negotiating Peace Analyze the role of key
individuals in negotiating

Students will examine the image, African American Freedom Fighters and discuss Discussion Questions
Pros/Cons List
observations. The teacher should emphasize that not all soldiers were white
colonists, that many of the soldiers from both sides included both free and enslaved Journal Entries
African Americans, Native Americans, French, Spanish, and Germans. Read
aloud the story of James Forten and invite student pairs to discuss the following
questions: Was James Forten free or enslaved? What risks did he take by
remaining loyal to his country? Why do you think he was willing to take these
risks? (What did be believe in fighting for?)
Students will continue to watch the PBS document, slavery and the making of
America and pause to answer some of the following questions: What opportunities
for freedom did the revolutionary war offer? Who could take advantages of that
opportunity? Who couldnt? Why? What impact did Lord Dunmores proclamation
have on the colonies? Why did George Washington change his mind to allow
black soldiers to fight for the patriots? Stop tape and divide students into
partnerships. Discuss the value of viewing history through the eyes and
experiences of those who lived it. Now that Washington has established a black
regiment, African Americans, enslaved and free, face a difficult decision: Which
side of the conflict holds the greatest freedom of freedom for black men and
women? Students will work in partnerships to identify the pros and cons of
fighting for each side (One partner will address the pros/cons of joining American
forces, the other will identify the pros/cons of joining the British). Partnerships
will then share what they learned with the class and the teacher will create a class
Pros and Cons list. Help students understand that good reasons existed for joining
each side, making the decision extremely difficult, especially since no one knew
who would win the war. Students can then write journal entries from Tituss point
of view discussing which side they would join and why.

Read about James Armistead and his contributions as the first spy in the
Revolutionary War. Students will then research the contributions of other
important African Americans and create cards for a game called Freedom Swap.
After the game is played among groups, students will share what they learned
about each individual with the class.

Biography Cards

Students will answer DBQs aligned with a chapter book theyve been reading and
work in groups to create a poster that illuminates some of the contributions the
Spanish made to the Revolutionary War.

Group Mini-Posters

Research the roles John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay
and Henry Laurence, as well as other European nations during the negotiation of


5th Grade Unit of Study: Revolutionary War

the Treaty of Paris.
Draw conclusions about
some of the political,
economic and social
challenges the new nation
will face.

the Treaty of Paris. Review research folders and journals to draw conclusions
about the political, economic and social challenges that the country will face after
the Revolutionary War.