Unit Title: Interpreting the Past – The Case of the “Bloody Massacre” Designed by: Fran O’Malley Director, Delaware Social Studies Education Project
Then, ask students, “What do you WANT to learn about the Boston Massacre”? and fill in the W column of the KWL.
Expert groups: Place students in 5 expert groups and assign each student to a letter A–E. Give each group one of the following to research:
Expert group tasks:
Then, direct students to background materials regarding that time period. They may use their textbook and/or the following websites:
Mixed Groups: have students move into mixed groups so that each group contains one person from the A–E expert groups. Have those in the mixed groups share and record their findings. Students can record their findings in a chart like that presented below.
Then, ask the students to create a timeline of the events that they just discussed. Ask what trend developed over time [deteriorating relations between the colonists and British authorities].
After students complete their timeline, they should fill in the “L” column in their KWL charts. When students finish, lead a class-wide debriefing around the following questions:
Content Note: You may want to discuss the colonists’ ideological (“republicanism”) suspicion of standing armies and their fears of imminent tyranny once standing armies were introduced. Historians Bernard Bailyn and Gordon Wood had convincingly demonstrated the fact that colonial radicals had a deep-seeded paranoia about standing armies. Some radicals believed that the British ministry was unraveling a well-designed plot to strip the colonists of their liberties. This anxiety helps to explain some of the colonists’ deep resentment toward the presence of British troops in America.
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