First and foremost, here is a picture of my room. I know how lucky I am to 1) have such a big space and 2) have such a beautiful building. The wood floors were amazing and the high ceilings to die for. (I say "were" because I have moved schools this year and no longer have the luxury of this wonderful room....though my school is amazing nonetheless ;) )
Research abounds in my class during this unit. To kick it all off (working on the computer, finding information in research books, etc...) the students work in groups to find information about some important battles of the war. I give them this criteria chart (that I DID NOT create...another teacher posted it online. I did change it to fit my needs, but when I find her, I will credit it), which basically outlines everything I want them to find for their map, and they are off. In their groups, the students discover some basic information about the battle, and create a chart with it all. There is a lot of discussion and teamwork during this project. One website that was particularly helpful was The American Revolution. I also really liked these three books:American Revolution (DK Eyewitness Books) and The American Revolution (Landmark Books) and American Revolution from A to Z, The(all above are affiliate links)
Click here to access the chart document.
Click here to access the criteria chart.
Of course we needed to write the "My Side of the Story" pieces. The students decided if they were a Patriot or Loyalist and why, after reading both If You Lived At The Time Of The American Revolution (affiliate link)and The Night the Revolution Began (which is about the Boston Tea Party). We used tea to age the papers...which the students LOVED!
I have this great book called Heroes of the Revolutionary War, which has about 15 biographies of influential Americans during the war. The students were each assigned one of the people, looked up additional information in the library, and wrote a biography of that person. We worked together on the prewrite (setting up the categories they needed to find out) and then they were off and writing. To display it, the students created these "Hanger People". Using an old wire hanger, the arms and shoulders of the person was formed. They then added a head, torso, and legs. Using any art materials we had, they created the people. The students were SO creative! They used yarn to create the wigs that men of that time wore, fashioned buttons out of brads, and generally went above and beyond to make their hanger person resemble the hero as much as possible. Here is a link to the organizers and exact directions if you would like them. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how this project turns out each year.
For math, I have the students research the various battles of the war. They need to find out the numbers of people on both sides (American and British) who fought in the battle and were either unharmed, or a casualty. Then, for the casualties, they had to further research and discover the people who were killed, hurt, and captured. Now, I know people could fall in more than one category, but for the purposes of this activity, we just went with the theory that everyone fell into only one category.
|This picture is from a different years' display. Same idea, just a different way to show it off!|
Here is the document I created for the students to house their graphs and the information. They did end up needing extra paper to do all of the math work involved, but this at least made the final products look nice for the bulletin board.
Here are the websites my students used to research:
The American Revolution Battles
War Stats -- This was THE best for the above activity
This document from Enchanted Learning was great for helping them decide upon colors.
We also made this AWESOME quilt using fractions. The basic idea is that the kids had a 20cm by 20cm square of graph paper. They drew classic designs of the time period and then figured out the fraction of each color they used on the quilt. Gosh, it came out GREAT!
Want even more ideas? Click the picture to the right to take you to some more activities that you can use in your classroom.
OK...that about covers it. I told you, I LOVE this unit. :)
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