Lesson Plan: The Road to the American Revolution

Objective(s): Upon completion of this lesson, the students will be able to:
Determine the main causes of the American Revolutionary War.
Understand the meaning of key terms associated with this time.
Explain the significance of key events and put them in chronological order.

Access to PCs in the school computer lab and/or at home
Textbook: “The American Pageant, 9th edition,” Bailey & Kennedy, 1991

Day 1: Mission US Online Interactive Online Video Game: (http://www.mission-us.org/) Students will play Mission 1 “For Crown and Colony” online. It should take a couple of hours at most. We will begin together in the computer lab and the students will finish Mission 1 as homework. If any students do not have access to a computer outside of school, arrangements will be made for them to use the computer lab during their free time during the school day. As teacher, I can check online to see how much time each student played the game and how much progress they made in the class following their play; we will review and discuss the following review questions that were included in the Mission US study materials:

The colonies enjoyed protection from the British military on the frontier and the sea; successful trade, through a large market for American raw materials and access to English manufactured goods; pride in English culture and traditions, and the power of the Empire. What happened in just 15 years to make them throw off the Empire?
Who first protested against the British? Who remained loyal? Who was neutral?
How did a person’s status in colonial society shape their political perspectives?
What did colonists mostly agree about? What did they disagree about?
What causes a shift in people’s opinions – is it events, arguments, persuasion, propaganda, or a combination of many factors?
Is violence ever justified?
What different kinds of protest do the colonists engage in?
How are the kinds of protest different for women and men, for people who have wealth and literacy and those who don’t?
What role does violence play in the conflict between the Crown and the colony?
How did colonists argue about violence at the time?
What principles do the Patriots say they are fighting for? What language do they use?
Who in colonial society do the Patriots’ principles apply to? Who do they not apply to?
Did the colonists practice these principles after gaining independence?

Learning Principles Employed
Active, critical learning principle, semiotic domains principle, psychosocial moratorium principle, identity principle, self-knowledge principle and achievement principle.

Day 2: Key Terms Game
The students will count off and be assembled into five groups. The teacher will go through the key terms and ask for explanations. If one group misses, then the next group is asked about the same term and so on until a group provides the correct answer. The group (or groups) with the highest score at the end will receive extra credit for their participation metric this week.

Key Terms
Apprentice, artisan, , Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, boycott, broadside, Coercive Acts, Committees of Correspondence, Daughters of Liberty, Declaratory Acts, East India Company, empire, First Continental Congress, French & Indian War, homespun, import, export, journeyman, King George III, Liberty Tree, Loyalist, martyr, master, merchant, Navigation Acts, pamphlet, Parliament, Patriot, pennywhistle, Proclamation of 1763, protest, quartering, Redcoat, representation, search and seizure, Sons of Liberty, spinning bee, Stamp Act of 1765, tarring & feathering, tax collector, taxes, Tea Act of 1773, Tory, Townshend (Revenue) Acts or Duties.

Learning Principles Employed
Active, critical learning principle, achievement principle, semiotic principle, and the situated meaning principle.
Day 3: Timeline Activity
The homework the night before will have been to read chapters 4, 6 and 7 of “The American Pageant” textbook. In class, I will have prepared flash cards with the following dates and key events written on each one, one per card. Scotch tape will be affixed to the back of each card so they will stick to the whiteboard. I will begin by placing this event on the board: March 12, 1770Captain Preston gives a deposition to a Boston court on the events of March 5. Once again, I will have the students count off and assemble into five groups. As each group is called upon, they must place their card in the correct chronological order within those events already listed. If they place the card incorrectly, the next group can place their predecessors’ and their own card to gain extra points. The team with the most points at the end of the process will be given extra credit for their participation metric this week. This activity incorporates the active, critical learning principle and the achievement principle.

April 5, 1764—The British Parliament enacts the Sugar Act—the first of several unpopular attempts to raise revenues from the colonies through taxes on imported goods.
June 29, 1767—Parliament enacts the Townshend Acts (or Townshend Duties), which impose taxes on paper, paints, glass, and tea. Colonists angry at “taxation without representation” boycott these British goods and harass the customs officials charged with enforcement of the duties.
October 1, 1768—a troop of British soldiers arrive in Boston to maintain public peace and order, as well as enforce British tax laws. Many colonists in Boston treat the solders as though they are an invading army, and regularly harass them.
February 22, 1770—When a group of colonists protests at the home of Loyalist Ebenezer Richardson, a small riot breaks out and Richardson fires into the crowd, wounding an eleven year-old boy named Christopher Seider. Seider dies later that evening.
February 26, 1770—Christopher Seider’s funeral. Seider is proclaimed a martyr for liberty and a victim of tyranny. Seider’s long funeral procession increased tensions with the British soldiers stationed in Boston.
March 2, 1770—Colonists and British soldiers get into a brawl at John Gray's ropewalk (a rope making facility) in Boston.
March 5, 1770—A wigmaker’s apprentice insults a British officer, and in retaliation, a soldier named Hugh White smacks the apprentice on the side of the head with his musket butt. Several hours later, a crowd of colonists gather around white near the Boston Customs House, throwing snowballs, ice, and oyster shells. More soldiers are sent to help White, the crowd continues to throw snowball and wave sticks, someone yells “Fire!” and the soldiers shoot into the crowd. Five colonists are killed. Although the soldiers plead self-defense, the incident becomes known as “The Boston Massacre” and becomes a major rallying point for Patriotic colonists.
March 6, 1770—Captain Thomas Preston arrested and sent to jail. Citizens of Boston gather in Faneuil Hall, to call for the immediate removal of all British troops from the city. John Adams and Josiah Quincy agree to defend Captain Preston and the soldiers.
March 8, 1770—Four victims of the massacre are buried. All shops in Boston are closed. Over 10,000 mourners participated in the funeral procession.
March 14, 1770—Captain Preston and eight British soldiers are indicted for murder for their roles in the Massacre.
September 7, 1770—Captain Preston and the soldiers are formally arraigned on charges of murder. Both Preston and the soldiers plead “not guilty.”
October 24-30, 1770—Captain Preston’s trial. Preston is acquitted from all charges after the evidence fails to establish he ordered the soldiers to fire.
November 27-December 5, 1770—Six of the soldiers are acquitted on all charges. Two of the soldiers are convicted of manslaughter.
December 14, 1770—The two convicted soldiers have their thumbs branded as punishment for their roles in the Massacre.
December 16, 1773–Protesting Parliament’s recently enacted Tea Act, which gives the British East India Company a virtual monopoly on tea in the colonies, Boston Patriot merchants disguised as Indians throw crates of tea into Boston Harbor in what comes to be known as “The Boston Tea Party.”
June 2, 1774 – The British declare martial law in Massachusetts.
October 26, 1774–In preparation for possible confrontation with the British, colonists form local militias known as Minutemen. They are called this for their ability to be ready for battle “at a minute’s notice."

Learning Principles Employed
Active, critical learning principle, semiotic domains principle, psychosocial moratorium principle, identity principle, self-knowledge principle and achievement principle.

Student participation during the first day’s discussion of questions related to the issues leading up to the Revolutionary War.
Observations of student participation during group work on key terms and chronological milestones.
Multiple choice quiz at the end of the lesson incorporating vocabulary, events and concepts.