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Grade 5 3-7 Instructional Resources

Page history last edited by pam merrill 3 days, 13 hours ago


Lesson Ideas

Inquiry Tasks

  • Encourage students to examine the motivations of American colonists who chose to remain loyal to British rule by exploring two documents and the guided lesson, Loyalists: Read Like a Historian, from the Stanford History Education Group. Ask students to draw conclusions explaining why Loyalists opposed independence. Invite students to compose a letter from a Loyalist to family members in England, describing the causes for the revolution and why he opposes taking up arms against the king.

  • Toward Revolution, created by Digital History, offers excerpts from multiple primary sources, reflecting differing views toward independence, following by guided questions for classroom discussion and writing exercises. Ask student partners to demonstrate their understanding of the views of patriots versus tories by creating a Poem for Two Voices. Advise students to use factual information and ideas from the primary sources and provide time for students to perform their poems for the class.

  • Encourage students to make connections between the promises of equality and freedom presented in the Declaration of Independence and ideas expressed by African Americans seeking the same opportunities. Ask students to analyze the Slave Petition to the Massachusetts Assembly and make predictions regarding the extent to which free or enslaved blacks would have supported the revolution.

  • The C3 Project offers an extended inquiry, entitled Betrayal, which uses the compelling question “Is betrayal always bad?” Students compare and evaluate the actions of King George III and George Washington through analysis of primary sources in order to understand the motives of patriots and loyalists. As a concluding task, encourage students to create an evidence-based argument about whether an act of betrayal is always bad. 

  • Choosing Independence, an inquiry lesson from the Yorktown Foundation, asks students to consider the motivations of four groups of people- farmer, merchant, colonial official, and enslaved African American- in order to analyze the prospects of independence and its potential impact on their lives. Provide class time for groups to prepare major points to support their decision, using the guidelines provided in the lesson.  



Primary Sources 

Secondary Sources 




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