This unit has been created as an exemplary model for teachers in (re)design of course curricula. An exemplary model unit has undergone a rigorous peer review and jurying process to ensure alignment to selected Delaware Content Standards.
Unit Title: American Revolution
Designed by: Lisa Prueter
Modified by: Jeff Twardus and Becky Reed, Red Clay
This unit uses the American Revolution as a case study in which students create chronologies using timelines and identify cause-and-effect relationships. In addition, students examine primary documents in order to understand the motives for rebellion.
In Lesson One, students investigate the causes and effects of one event that contributed to tensions between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies. Students share what they have learned with one another. Students then choose the three most important events that led to the Revolution and use a graphic organizer to arrange those events chronologically.
In Lesson Two, students analyze the Declaration of Independence. They compare the grievances listed in the Declaration to the reservations expressed by Delaware Founding Father John Dickinson, who refused to sign the Declaration.
In Lesson Three, students research one battle of the Revolution and consider the battle’s importance in the outcome of the war. Students share what they have learned with one another. Students then choose the three most important battles in the war and use a graphic organizer to arrange those battles chronologically.
How can using a timeline help us understand cause-and-effect relationships?
Images of Symbols for Class Viewing
Class set of Handouts 1-4, 6-6a.
Copies of Handout 5 for groups of 2-3 students
“No More Kings” video
Strategy One: Gathering Information – Picture Prediction
Begin the unit by reviewing with students the colonization of the eastern seaboard by European settlers since the early 1600s.
Introduce the lesson by showing students symbols for Great Britain, France, Native Americans, and warfare.
Ask students to write down any words they think of when they look at these pictures. Tell students to write what they think we will be studying in this lesson. Share responses.
Strategy Two: Gathering Information about the French and Indian War
Tell students that we are beginning this unit in 1754, when the nations of Europe engaged in a long, global conflict called the Seven Years’ War. The part of this war that took place in North America between France and England is called TheFrench and Indian War.
Ask students to use the BIG strategy as they read about the French and Indian War in Handout 2.
Native American groups allied with both the British and the French. French Canadians call this conflict the War of Conquest.
Click Handout 4for the Check for Understanding.
2 – This response identifies Map A with an accurate and relevant explanation.
1 – This response identifies Map A with an inaccurate, irrelevant, or no explanation.
Strategy Three: Extending and Refining through Research
Assign groups of 2-3 students to research one of the following events that led to war between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies. Using books and the Internet (see bibliography for helpful sources), students should complete the Cause-and-Effect Graphic Organizer B (Handout 5) for their event. Students should produce one final graphic organizer per group.
Proclamation of 1763
Boston Tea Party
Lexington and Concord
First Continental Congress
Battle of Bunker Hill
For each event on timeline, have students write two headlines - one from the British perspective and one from the colonist perspective.
Headlines accurately represent the event from British and Patriot perspectives
Headlines somewhat accurately represent the event from British and Patriot perspectives
Headlines do not accurately represent the event from British and Patriot perspectives
Total Score: _________ Above the Standard: 10-12
Meets the Standard: 7-9
Below the Standard: 0-6
Gallery Walk: Hang Graphic Organizers around the room. One student from each group stays with the graphic organizer, while the student(s) rotates through each event, taking notes on the Two-Column Chart (Handout 6). A Teacher’s Guide with suggested answers is provided (Handout 6a).
Once all students have rotated through the gallery, have groups reconvene to compare notes and share information with the student who stayed with graphic organizer.
Check for Understanding
“Taxation without Representation” was one major cause of the American Revolution. What is one example of taxation without representation? Explain your answer.
2 – This response gives a valid example with an accurate and relevant explanation.
1 – This response gives a valid example with an inaccurate, irrelevant, or no explanation.
Students consider the 10 causes, then choose only three as the most important. Have students share their selections. Emphasize that students will have different answers; which events are most important is a matter of interpretation.
Review Action Timeline (Handout 1). This is similar to plot diagrams students have used in ELA: Initiating Action, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, Resolution. Explain that we can use this same diagram to understand stories in history.
Ask students to complete the left hand - Rising Action - side of the graphic organizer with the three events that they identified. Students explain why these three events are most important.
Check for Understanding #1
If you had to choose just one, which event was the most important in leading to conflict between England and the colonies? Explain your answer.
2 – This response identifies an event with an accurate and relevant explanation.
1 – This response identifies an event with an inaccurate, irrelevant, or no explanation.
Check for Understanding #2
Show students No More Kings (2:59) from Schoolhouse Rock
What does the video identify as the main cause of the Revolution? Do you think this is a fair and accurate explanation of the Revolution? Explain your answer.
2 – This response identifies taxation with an accurate and relevant explanation.
1 – This response identifies taxation with an inaccurate, irrelevant, or no explanation.