Lesson Plan

Fighting for Independence

Students use a video and a role-playing game to explore the colonists' different perspectives on their relationship with Great Britain and why people supported or didn't support a war of independence.
Jessica L.
Classroom teacher
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Social Studies
Digitial Citizenship and EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

*Understand that people in the colonies changed from taking pride in their relation to the mother-country and their place in the British Empire to wanting their independence and Revolution 

*Understand historical events have more than one cause and be able to explain the some of the different causes for the American Revolution

* Develop historical thinking skills that increase historical understanding and critical perception 

Social Studies
Grades 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Free, Paid

Using socrative short answer question format, have the students respond to the following question: is violence ever justified?

Using the student responses as a starting point, transition the students into the topic for the unit--the American Revolution. Why do some people support going to war against Great Britain and why do some want to remain British citizens?

2 Direct Instruction

Let the students know the learning goals:

*To learn the story of America and the ways Americans struggled to realize the ideals of liberty 
and equality 
*To understand the role of ordinary men and women---including young people---in history 
* To develop historical thinking skills that increase historical understanding and critical perception 

Students will watch the BrainPop movie: Causes of the Revolution

They will take notes on the movie, using their Notability app.

3 Guided Practice

Students play the game Mission US: For Crown or County. Independently, on a computer or laptop (or another device capable of running Flash-based games), students complete the introduction, the 5 sections, and the epilogue. There are many activities you can do with the students before, during, and after the game (and between each section) to increase understanding--it all depends on how much time you have.

At the very least, have students complete observations about the different characters and their points of view while completing each section. Students should download the daily observations into their Notability app and fill it in as they process.

In addition, introduce the vocabulary to the students so that they use the vocabulary in the their observations. Set up a Quizlet vocabulary flashcard set so that students can practice their vocabulary. Let the students know that you will be testing them on the vocabulary at the end of the unit.

4 Independent Practice

Google Drive
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Have your students create a google doc and share the doc with you. 

Have the students complete the "Dear New Apprentice" letter assignment (Mission 1 Educator Guide, Activities for Part 5 and Epilogue, Epilogue Writing Prompts). In this assignments, students pretend to be Nat. They need to inform the new apprentice about what has been happing in Boston, utilizing vocabulary words from the mission.

You are evaluate student understanding of the events that took place and if students are able to identify the central events of the conflict.

They should complete their writing assignment on the doc. Once they have completed the assignment (written below), they should share the document with at least one other student. Students should engage in a peer review process, giving feedback on the writing format and craft.





5 Wrap-Up

Quia Web
Free to try, Paid

Using Quia, create a vocabulary and content quiz for the sudents to complete. Also have students reflect on their learning process and how effective the different activities were for them in terms of learning content and meeting the units objectives.