One of my favorite units to teach (as you probably know because every.single.time I talk about it I shout that to the roof! hee hee) is the American Revolution. At the beginning of the unit, I ask my students to find artifacts that would represent the time period, and then write WHY they believe these artifacts are appropriate. In doing this, the students are not only getting their brains focused on the American Revolution and what we are going to be studying, but also begin the process of critically thinking about objects, making inferences about them, and justifying their answers to others (just like they will on the state test....ahhh....always trying to make connections....)
this sheet. They then set out to find things that really, truly help tell the tale of the Revolution and set the stage for our future learning.
The students came up with a variety of different things. Some of the objects were homemade, like these tea bottles/bags. I thought these were SO clever! I love how each of the students put something on the label identifying it as being from the time period...especially the "Tax" sign.
A book, of a song, that was a popular "dig" on the often disheveled Americans during the French and Indian war and Revolutionary time period.
An actual $2 bill! (though we did make a photocopy of it for the bulletin board...didn't want money hanging up there) We had a much greater discussion than the actual writing that this student had written. What was the scene? Why was this important? Why was Jefferson important enough to have a unit of money?
For more posts on this era, click here and here.
What do you do to introduce this unit of history?