American Revolution

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MsK, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. MsK

    MsK Rookie

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    Feb 16, 2009

    Does anyone have an activity to help 4th grade students gain a better understanding of Patriots vs. Loyalists during the American Revolution? I haven't been able to find any activities online and the textbook is so dry I don't think many students get much out of it. I'm trying to find a supplemental activity in which the students take on the roles of the Patriots or Loyalists or use different resources in order to determine which side they would be on.
     
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  3. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Feb 16, 2009

    This is 5th grade in Ohio, so I don't have any ideas I have used. Do you have access to any Social Studies/History Alive materials? They usually have good ideas.
     
  4. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Feb 17, 2009

    There's a American History Simulations book that has an interesting activity.

    Appoint a king and two tax collectors. Hand all the rest of the students a Dixie cup of M & M's. The king announces laws that you've written ahead of time on index cards. The laws are very unfair, such as "All subjects wearing blue jeans must pay a tax of 2 M & M's." The tax collectors go around and get the "taxes" that are due the king. The king puts the M & M's in his "treasure box" for his own use.

    Make up a couple of laws. By the third or fourth, there will be a lot of grumbling and complaining, maybe even a refusal to pay taxes. You may even get a leader on the protestors side who decides to lead the group into a revolt. The tax collectors get very nervous, also.
     
  5. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Feb 17, 2009

    We've done the above activity called "The King's M&Ms"... that really helps them understand how much taxation affected the colonists. We also spend a lot of time talking about the Proclamation of 1763 and the Intolerable Acts. There's a DVD series called Liberty's Kids that starts with the events of the Boston Tea Party and goes all the way through Independence (I only have two DVDs); for some reason all my classes LOVE it.
     
  6. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    Feb 18, 2009

    We are doing The King's M&M's tomorrow.

    We also create timelines so the students have a visual of what happened when. I'm not as worried about dates as I am that they know the order that events occured.

    We also watch some Liberty Kids videos. They love them, and since they think it's a treat to watch a movie, they remember the information pretty well.
     
  7. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    Feb 18, 2009

    I remember watching "Liberty Kids" with my own kids and found them to be historically accurate, educational, and entertaining.
     
  8. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Feb 18, 2009

    Here's a lesson from History Alive! that I did when I taught 4th grade. It worked well. I think I changed it a bit to have "colonist" side be a bit less in number at first. The rest of the "colonists" got to join in after a minute or two. The unequal sides caused more emotion, which was a driving force behind the American Revolution anyway.

    One History Alive! lessons help students experience the American Revolution as a tug of war. The teacher sets up the activity by placing a group of students on one side of the rope and another group behind them watching and cheering them on. On the other side of the rope the teacher places a smaller group of students. The remainder of the class stands in between the two sides cheering their side on. The teacher instructs the on lookers, behind the firsts group of students to run and join in only if their
    side is loosing. The teacher then instructs the group of students standing in the middle to
    run and join the other group at any evidence that they may win this tug of war. The teacher then allows the tug of war to happen.

    An essential element in making experiential exercised meaningful is to make connections between the experience and the content. Back in the classroom the teacher debriefs the activity by explaining that the two sides in the tug of war represented Great Britain and the Colonies, while the on lookers represented Europe.
     

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