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The American Revolution: A 2nd Grade Unit


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Title: The American Revolution: A 2nd Grade Unit

The American Revolution A 2nd Grade Unit
  • The American Revolution plays a key role in the
    understanding of the history of the United
    States. The goal of this unit is to encourage
    the students to ask questions and inquire about
    certain events surrounding the American
    Revolution. This process enables students to
    gain key perspectives on justice, rights, and
    responsibilities. In addition, the students will
    learn about what it means to be free, or if such
    a word even exists, in comparing the rights that
    people had before, during, and after the American
    Revolution. This unit will hopefully serve as a
    bridge between the teaching of one single
    viewpoint of the past and the current belief that
    history should be taught from multiple viewpoints.

Concept Map
4th of July end of unit party
Monarchy vs. Democracy
American Revolution
Declaration of Independence
Taxation Now and Then
Causes and Effects of the American Revolution
The Geography of the American Revolution
Essential/Driving Questions
  • Why do people revolt?
  • Why do we have government?
  • What is freedom?

Enduring Understandings
  • Differences between a democracy and a monarchy
  • Rights and freedoms that we have now
  • People revolt or rebel when their rights or
    freedoms are not protected

Assessment Strategies
  • Re-enact monarchy
  • Written response for the simulation activity
  • Biography
  • Draw a picture of an event
  • Class book of the American Revolution
  • Sequencing of important events

Integrating Socially Phases
  • Phase 1 Tuning In
  • Monarchy vs. Democracy simulation
  • Lesson Plan
  • Time
  • approximately one week
  • Objective
  • Students will be involved in a simulation that
    mimics the unfairness of some monarchy
  • ISBE Standard
  • 16.B.2b (US) Identify major causes of the
    American Revolution and describe the
    consequences of the Revolution through the early
    national period, including the roles of George
    Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin
  • NCSS Standard
  • Power, Authority, and Governance
  • Social studies programs should include
    experiences that provide for the study of how
    people create and change structures of power,
    authority, and governance.

Lesson Plan continued
Materials Coins, stickers, stars, etc.
  Procedure In this simulation, the teacher
becomes the king/queen of the classroom. He/She
will make up the rules, collect taxes, and order
subjects to perform tasks with no input from
the students. In the first phase, the teacher
will require the students to do routine classroom
things. Students will abide by the normal
classroom rules. Additionally, they will receive
money for doing normal classrooms jobs that can
be used at the end of the week for certain items
or rewards. In the second phase, the teacher
will become more restrictive and begin adding
rules without input from the students. He/She
will begin collecting taxes from the students.
The taxes will be somewhat reasonable. In the
third and final phase, the teacher will become
very restrictive and unfair. He/she will begin
taking things away from the students (recess,
group time, free time). They will begin adding
more rules and collecting more taxes. Teachers
might even consider privileging some students
and oppressing others. At this point,
students will hopefully begin to recognize the
unfairness going on in the classroom and stage a
revolt. Examples of reasons to collect
taxes         to go to the bathroom for
wearing certain types of clothing (blue shirts,
gym shoes)         to go to recess for
having certain characteristics (brown eyes, long
hair) for not raising your hand
       Examples of additional rules
using king/queen to address the teacher
no drawing or coloring        no recess

bowing before the king/queen      
Lesson Plan continued
Assessment Students will write in the journals
daily about the events taking place in the
classroom. Also, after the simulation is over,
the class will discuss their feelings about what
happened and make a list of how it felt to live
in a classroom monarchy.   Adaptations It is a
good idea to send a note home to parents before
doing this simulation. Parents should be
notified in case students become upset about the
unfairness in the classroom. Also, all students
should be told that this is only a simulation and
it will only take place for a week. After this
week, students will be treated fairly again.
This simulation could be very upsetting for
students will emotional disabilities. These
students will most definitely need to be notified
of the events before they occur. They could be
used as loyalists and not be subjected to the
same treatment as the other students. Those
students who have trouble expressing themselves
through written work could draw a picture of
their feelings during the simulation. Those
students who have trouble expressing themselves
orally could choose to have their journals read
during whole class discussions.
Integrating Socially Phases
  • Phase 2 Preparing to Find Out
  • What is a King?
  • As a whole class, the students will brainstorm of
    known kings and qualities of kings. This will be
    tied to the colonial times and how the colonists
    may have felt about their king.
  • Show movie, Disneys Robin Hood
  • Students will write a journal entry following the
    whole class discussion. The students can then
    draw a picture of a king (i.e. King Henry, Martin
    Luther King, Lion King, Burger King, etc.)

Integrating Socially Phases
  • Phase 3 Finding Out
  • The students will read the story, The Boston Tea
    Party, and explore the ideas and concepts
    surrounding the book. The students will re-enact
    the story.
  • The teacher will introduce the word, revolt,
    and discuss possible explanations for why the
    colonists revolted against their king.
  • As a minilesson, the students will discuss the
    Native Americans role in the Boston Tea Party.

Integrating Socially Phases
  • Phase 4 Sorting Out
  • The students will choose one of four books
    Revolutionary War on Wednesday, Katies Trunk,
    George the Drummer Boy, or Sam the Minuteman. In
    small groups, the students will read their
    selected book and then present the book to the
    rest of the class.
  • The students will also learn and perform the
    poem, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere and will
    create an art project afterwards.

Integrating Socially Phases
  • Phase 5 Going Further
  • Biographies
  • The teacher will work with small groups to
    investigate famous people of the American
    Revolution time period. Examples include
    Phyllis Wheatley, Benjamin Banneker, Betsy Ross,
    George Washington
  • The class will discuss these individuals roles
    in the Revolutionary time period.
  • The students will present these biographies to
    the whole class through skits, mobiles, written
    reports, posters, etc.

Integrating Socially Phases
  • Phase 6 Making Connections
  • Foreshadowing Other Revolutions
  • Discuss the phrase, All Men Created Equally.
    For instance, what groups or minorities were left
    out in the concept of the word men. Examples
    women, Native Americans, African Americans, and
    so on.
  • As a writing prompt, the students will write in
    their journals about what it means to be free or
    if that word even exists today. Then, as a
    class, the students can create a list of their
    ideas surrounding the word freedom.

Integrating Socially Phases
  • Phase 7 Taking Action
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • What was the purpose in writing the Declaration
    of Independence? What was the need? How should
    people live their lives? What would happen if
    there were no laws or rules?
  • As a whole class, touch on these essential
    questions, possibly generating a list of why the
    students believe that this important document

  • Revolutionary War on Wednesday by Mary Pope
  • Katies Trunk by Ann Turner
  • George the Drummer Boy and Sam the Minuteman by
    Nathaniel Benchley
  • The Boston Tea Party by Pamela Duncan Edwards

  • Students with difficulty sitting still during
    classroom discussions or stories can hold onto a
    stress ball or silly putty in order to release
    extra energy and prevent the student(s) from
    distracting others.
  • Students from non-American cultural backgrounds
    can choose to incorporate pieces of their own
    countrys history in the biography portion of the
    unit. Rather than selecting a person from the
    American Revolutionary time period, the
    student(s) can choose an individual during the
    same time period, but from their country.
  • During the re-enactment parts of the unit,
    students who are overcome with shyness or stage
    fright can opt to be the director rather than
    an actor/actress.
  • As an extension for gifted students, they could
    do a report on a famous king for extra credit.
    They would have to describe in their paper the
    characteristics that make them a king, how they
    became king, and their duties to their country.
    Compare and contrast their king and the king of
    the Revolutionary War.

THE END!!!!!!!!