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American Revolution

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Here is a collection of ideas for teaching about the American Revolutionary War.
American Revolution
Posted by:Mandy 4th #91306

I teach fourth grade so you may want to modify some of these ideas. However, they may match the reading levels of you students.

I have had students create a power point presentation of two different Revolutionary War figures (not sure if this is a take home project or at school- we did it at school). I found several links with information (but not primary sources) and asked students to use these pages to research. I did this last year with a good deal of success. Then we watched all the power point slides shows like a movie with the creator "talking" about it. We have a firefly that projects images from the computer that I projected on my overhead. Kids loved it.

Another option is to create an ABC book. Students find a person, place or thing that fits each letter of the alphabet, writes a paragraph and illustrates the...

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American Revolution
Posted by:Kathy #89154

Some ideas- two good books are George Washington's Socks & Winter of the Red Snow. There are some great Jean Fritz books & videos that accompany them. I'm going to do my biography box again this year (As soon as the Science Fair is over!) The students use a new pizza box (I purchase these from Domino's for 25 cents each.) They fill it with research of the life of a Rev. War figure. To get started we make a round circle of white art paper, divide it into fourths or sixths, your choice. They use this as the "fact wheel" and add other items. Some examples- they write a poem, do a fact sheet, create a 3-D art project, draw a map, write a pretend interview with their person, write a diary entry, etc. You can really get some good projects, I require that everything has to fit inside the box....

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American Revolution
Posted by:Maureen #90715

You MUST use the read aloud My Brother Sam is Dead!!! 5th graders love the book. I read it aloud and my students take notes on whatever the mini-lesson is for the day. The book is great for developing characters, compare and contrast, character traits, Loyalists vs. Patriots, lots of information about how colonists handled the war. At the end I have my students write Bio-poems as if they were one of the main characters - Sam, Tim, Mom or Dad. I've also had them write a two-voice poem choosing 2 of the main characters and having a conversation among themselves in somewhat of poetry format. This idea stemmed from the picture book Knots on a Counting Rope. Let me know if you want further information - this is my favorite SS unit to teach and I LOVE integrating my read aloud into it!

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Revolutionary War
Posted by:Anneliese #53689

There are so many wonderful picture books related to the Revolutionary War. I use them with my fourth graders every year and they really help the students to get a feel for what it is like. One of the books is called Charlotte's Trunk about a young patriot boy who saves a loyalist girl. I can't remember the names of the other two books that I use. I haven't gotten that far yet. There is also an incredible book called Toliver's secret that either works as a guided reading book or a read aloud. I have created a whole packet of materials to go with this book. I also assign the students a character from the American revolution and we do biographies. This doesn't have too involve too much writing as it could be as simple as completing resumes for the characters but it does wonders for personalizing the war for...

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Boston Tea Party
Posted by:musicbug #109961

You did not say what grade you are teaching. Here are 2 different approaches and a closing idea that might help.
If this just a Social Studies class. Invite the kids to a Sons of Liberty meeting, where you go over the problems the colonists were having with England. Guide the children into the plan of dumping the tea complete with the vote. My first year teaching this lesson I was a student teacher, I even made invitations that I wrote out on brown paper and wax sealed the notes. I put all the notes in the desks before the kids came in and kept them in suspense all day. ( I don't have the time to do that anymore.)
If you are intergrating, this is a point of view lesson. Read What led to the Revolution? From If You Lived During the Time of The American Revolution....

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Rev Unit
Posted by:Chris #67698

I'm just wrapping up our Revolution unit. Students do two projects in class during this unit. Small groups design, layout and write articles for a front page newspaper as it would look and report on this period in American history. Each group is given a poster board on which they layout their articles, illustrations, advertisements, letters to the editor, political cartoons, etc. The project provides great writing skills, research skills, and group collabiration. The kids also do an individual project. Each student chooses 10 events leading up to America's independence. On a large, white, construction paper a wide and winding path is drawn. The path is divided into ten sections. Each section is titled, dated (sequentially), one sentence about event and illustrated. Background is filled in by their choice .. . city, countryside,etc. Titled . . .e.g.The Road To Independence. It is a road map of the Revolution (timeline in...

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TAXATION LESSON PLAN IDEA
Posted by:MARIA #94977

WELL, I THINK THAT THE STAMP ACT IN 1765 SHOULD BE ENACTED. FOR EXAMPLE, YOU SHOULD TELL ALL OF THE STUDENTS THAT THEY HAVE TO PAY IN ORDER TO TAKE BOOKS OUT OF THE LIBRARY. PERHAPS, YOU CAN SAY THE PRINCIPAL WARNED YOU TO TELL HTE STUDENTS OR YOU CAN SAY THAT THEY MUST HAVE ADDITIONAL TAXES ON THEIR MILK BECAUSE OF THE DISOBEDIENCE OF OTHER CLASSES TO FOLLOW THE SCHOOL'S RULES. ANYWAY, INTRODUCE THE LESSON WITH AN EXPERIENCE THAT THE CHILDREN CAN RELATE TO. THEN, I BELIEVE THAT YOU SHOULD DISCUSS HOW THEY FELT ABOUT THIS EXPERIENCE AND CONNECT IT TO HOW THE COLONISTS FELT WHEN THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT INFLICTED THESE TAXES WITHOUT THEIR CONSIDERATION. ASK THE CHILDREN HOW THEY FEEL WHEN SOMEONE MAKES DECISIONS FOR THEM? I'M SURE THEY WILL HAVE A RICH NUMBER OF THINGS TO SAY! THEN, I THINK THAT EACH STUDENT SHOULD READ ABOUT THE...

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taxation
Posted by:Ramie #52894

I taught my 5th graders about taxation without representation first hand. Before teaching the unit I began giving each students plastic tokens for good behavior, good answers, participation, etc. They could then use their tokens to buy candy at the end of the day. After a few days of this I began taxing bathroom trips during class. As the week progressed I added other taxes as well such as chair tax, talking without rasing their hand tax, tax for not calling me queen etc.

The tax that raised the most uproar was the stamp tax. Students must come an pay me one token to recieve my royal stamp on all papers that must be graded. Any paper without the "royal" stamp would not be "legal" and would not be graded.

The kids could repeal any tax by creating a petition signed by every member of the class. I did...

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Social Studies should be fun
Posted by:Robin Douglas #75636

I am in my third year teaching social studies and it has ranked #1 with the 5th grade class (of 100 kids) for the last two years. The reason why is because the subject matter that you teach is like a play already typed and ready to go. I can incorporate lots of fun things in to every chapter we do. For example, for the American Revolution I have students grab paper from a cup which is labeled either, native american, parliament, loyalists, or colonist. (I am the king of England). Then i give all students 5 buttons ( i got them at a yard sale). Everytime we discuss a new tax law, I send my tax collectors (loyalists) to collect from the colonists. I then give some of the "money" to parliament. The kids love to pretend that I am an evil king. It's little things like that that make a big...

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Play on the Party
Posted by:StephR #65243

We created a short "narrator" lead play that told the story of the Boston Tea Party. One person verbally told the story, while other members of the group acted it out, wearing name tags, paper hats (for colonists) paper guns (for red coats) etc...The kids wrote the play and acted it out. (in groups) It came out really cute and the kids never forgot all about that "party"!

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Boston Tea Party
Posted by:Sue #73826

Many of my students can't relate to why anyone would care about tea to begin with...so we have a tea party when studying this event. I bring in a number of teas for the kids to try. They really enjoy this and it makes more of a connection for them.

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Interesting and lots of fun
Posted by:Brooke #51763

I do not know about the particular lesson that you are asking for, but I do know of some other interesting S.S. ideas. I had a teacher once that showed us a Social studies simulation. It was about the events that led up to the Boston tea party. Give each student a container that has the following in it: plastic cup with 10- 20 m&m's in it, a slip of paper that tells them their part ( 1 king(or queen), 2 tax collectors, 1 member of parliment, and the rest will be colonists). The number of M&M's that the student gets depends on what part they have. King- 20, parliment- 15, tax collectors- 13, Colonists- between 5 and 12( some colonists are rich and others are poor). Then the king, parliment, and tax collectors go to the front of the room. The parliment will choose an item they would like...

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Johnny Tremain
Posted by:Amanda K. #53026

I really enjoy Johnny Tremain. I think it's a great book that brings to life the heroism of that time. I've read this book several times, most recently this past July, and the first time as a fifth grader at home. It may have been a bit over my head as a fifth grader, but as I was reading it on my own, I didn't really have the chance to discuss with an adult some of the stronger, more adult themes in the book. I've never used it in the classroom, but my mother has used it as a read-aloud with her fifth graders. She says it works pretty well as long as you are able to discuss it with the kids. There is also a Disney movie, which takes out some of the more adult themes and emphasizes the excitement of the story, particularly the Boston Tea Party. There...

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Political cartoons
Posted by:Tere #63392

I have my students create a political cartoon for the Boston Tea Party. At first I thought this was a difficult activity for the children, but you would be amazed what they can accomplish working in cooperative groups. If you have access to Scholastic News you can introduce the concept of political cartoons. If you want to try the debate have the students create a decision making tree first. I know it helps my students think it through. In the debate you can give the students names of famous Americans or roles from Parliament. Maybe even have the children create a Mohawk Indian costume, while the other side where red coats or British uniform. The more creative I become with Social Studies the more my students enjoy it. Finally if you haven't read it yet maybe do a simulation. I am sure you can find many on the Internet....

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Revolutionary War
Posted by:Renee #64757

To help the students understand the Boston Tea Party, I bought a small plastice pool. I fill it with water. Make ships to hang on the wall outside my classroom. We dress up like Indians and each have an open tea back. We sneek out to the pool and dump our tea into the water. It is a fun activity to do. I will go through my unit on the War when I get back to school and see what else I do that is interesting.

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revolutionary ideas
Posted by:Pat #72765

Currently my class is reading Johnny Tremain-
Students are making Freedom Mobiles(must choose, create and describe at least 10 traditional and modern symbols of freedom.
Also we are divided into groups of 4 and are designing Boston Tea Party Indian costumes/tools made entirely from newspaper. Students will write script for fashion show which will be a "Tea Party". Always lots of fun!

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Rev War
Posted by:Mandy 4th #89329

To introduce the unit we discuss the words dependence, interdependent and independence as the stages the colonies went through until they became independent from "Mother England." To start this lesson I divide students into small groups. Each group gets a picture of me growing up (they love this) and we put them in chronological order. Then I write up a three column chart. One column is labeled dependence (infant), the other interdependent (teenage) and independence (adult). I have students put the pics in this order, identify with each term. Then they brainstorm in small groups what people do at this age. For example infants can't feed themselves, need someone to care for them. Teenagers are rebellious, can work a job and contribute to the family income, and adults take care of themselves and their own families. I relate this to how the...

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