Colonists called this incident the “Boston Massacre”
3. Reread the 1st four paragraphs and complete the activity on the next page. In the empty box, use this limited amount of information to draw a picture of what happened that night in Boston.
Questions to consider when drawing the picture.
How many colonists were there?
What were the colonists doing?
How many soldiers were there?
What were the soldiers doing?
Where was the Captain Preston located? Place him in the illustration and identify which person is Preston?
Who were the dead and injured? Place and name them in the illustration.
After you have completed your illustration give it a title that tells what is going on in the drawing.
Drawings may very, but students titles should reflect their understanding of what happened.
Use this space for your illustration
Juror task #2 – Read the information contained in packet #2 and complete the following activities Packet #2 - two different versions of what happened in Boston on March 5, 1770. For each account complete the following activity.
Captain Thomas Preston – the British officer in charge that evening
If noted, how long after the incident was the account written?
Who is the author of the account? Before reading the account - who do you expect this author to blame for what happened?
British Captain Thomas Preston – he was in charge of the soldiers involved in the incident
Would expect him to blame the colonists
A Boston Newspaper
Would expect them to blame the soldiers
According to each account what happened in Boston on March 5, 1770? Who does this account blame for what happened?
The soldiers were threatened and attacked by violent colonists. He tried to calm the situation. Someone in the “mob” called out “Fire!’
Blames the colonists.
The colonists were gathering and the soldiers came, using bayonets, to push them away. Maybe a snowball was thrown at the soldiers, but the Captain ordered his men to fire on the boys.
Blames the soldiers and Captain.
When we read differing accounts of the same incident we must ask ourselves, “which account is most believable?” Using a 1 – 5 scale with 1 being “totally unbelievable” and 5 being “totally believable” - how would you rate the believability of each account?
Circle the number you decide is most accurate and explain.
Why? Answers will vary.
Juror task #3 – Examine the illustrations contained in packet #3 and complete the following activities 1. In envelope three you will find two different illustrations of the incident. For each of the illustrations answer the following questions.
Illustration #1 –
by John Bufford
Illustration #2 –
by Paul Revere
How long after the incident was the illustration completed?
How many of the colonists appear to be either killed or injured? Can you identify any of them?
Given what you learned in the briefing papers and the accounts, do you think the illustration is a reliable (believable) piece of evidence about what happened in Boston on March 5, 1770? Explain.
Answers will vary.
Answers will vary.
2. How does the illustration you drew for envelope 1 compare to the illustrations in this envelope? How are they the same? How are they different? Which of the illustrations do you think is most accurate? Why? Answers will vary.
An Investigation Timeout – What do you think so far? 1. Given the information provided in packets 1 (background briefing), 2 (accounts), and 3 (illustrations), do you think the British soldiers were guilty of murdering colonists in Boston on the night of March 5, 1770, or was this a case of self-defense?
Support your answer by identifying what information and evidence you have found, up to this point, most convincing and why? And what information and evidence you found least convincing and why? Answers will vary.
2. What other information would be most useful to you if you were to make a more informed judgment on the guilt of the soldiers? What else do you want to know?
Answers will vary.
3. What questions do you have about the case? What is not clear? Answers will vary.
Juror task #4 – Read the information contained in packet #4 an complete the following activities In this packet you will find witness statements from the trial of the British soldiers. Three statements were used by the prosecution to try and prove the soldiers guilty. Three statements were used by the defense to try and prove the soldiers innocent. Read over the statements and follow the directions to fill in the charts below.
Read the three witness statements for the prosecution. These people were asked to testify because the colonial government (representing the King) believed they had information to prove the guilt of the soldiers – that they committed murder.
As a juror – what specific piece of information from each witness might persuade you that the soldiers were guilty?
Captain behind soldiers and told them to fire and to fire again.
Read the three witness statements for the defense. These people were asked to testify because the lawyers defending the soldiers believed they had information that would prove the soldiers acted in self defense – that they were innocent.
As a juror – what specific piece of information from each witness might persuade you that the soldiers were innocent; that they acted in self-defense?
Specific piece of information that might persuade you that the soldiers were innocent?
1. Ebenezer Bridgham
The soldiers were surrounded and attacked; the colonists dared them to fire
2. Jane Whitehouse
The person who gave the order to fire was not the Captain; the soldiers were attacked
The soldiers were attacked and knocked down before firing.
Juror task #5 Part 1 - Write a a brief summary (35 words or less) of each argument contained in packet #5.
Argument # 1 – John Adams on why the soldiers were innocent
The soldiers were innocent because the were attacked before the shooting and only shot in self-defense. The attackers created a riot. Witnesses have testified that the soldiers were attacked. The witnesses included colonists not friendly to the solidiers.
Argument #2 – Patrick Henry on why the soldiers were guilty
The British troops had been sent to the colonies to enforce obedience to British laws that the they had no power to make. To enforce the laws that troops probably had to be cruel toward the colonists. On the night of March 5, 1770 the British soldiers killed “our guiltless sons!” It is a shameful story that needs to be retold from generation to generation.
Juror task #5 - PART II Your verdict:
Were the British soldiers guilty of murder, or were they innocent, acting in self-defense? Use the information and evidence gathered in juror tasks 1-5 to write an argument about whether you believe the soldiers were guilty of murder, or innocent, acting in self-defense? Your task is to persuade your fellow jurors that your judgment is the right one for this case. In writing your decision, a clear and thoughtful response to the question about the British soldiers will include
A discussion of what you think happened that evening in Boston
An identification and summary of the evidence that was most persuasive in leading you to that conclusion
A discussion of what evidence you found least convincing and why
A conclusion that thoughtfully summarizes your decision as you have argued it in your verdict.
Answers will vary – consult rubric to evaluate student success.
OUSD 8th Grade History Assessment Pilot / Fall Semester, 2006 / student thinking and writing / #