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American Revolution, Investigation 1, Events of the Revolution

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Social Studies Age Level Elementary (9 to 12 years old)

This collection is intended to accompany a study of the major events of the American Revolution. In this study the following goals are targeted: 

Big Ideas: 

  • We must be alert, questioning, and thoughtful readers of history. 
  • All retelling of history is an interpretation. 
  • Historical context is critical for understanding artifacts and historical interpretations. 
  • History is multifaceted and can be understood differently from multiple perspectives. 
  • Historical events are connected to current events.

Expert Thinking: 

  • Analyze primary and secondary sources for relevant historical details.
  • Synthesize details to understand the story of America’s founding.
  • Explain and analyze cause and effect relationships across historical events. 
  • Interpret history using a variety of sources and understanding of perspectives, including: personal stories, events, and factual knowledge.

Guiding Questions: 

  • What forces affect historical change? (i.e. people, events, and ideas)
  • What are the important historical facts in the American Revolution? 
  • What events led to the American Revolution?

Standards: 

Section 1:  Colonial America and the French and Indian War

  • 4.7.1. Locate and identify the first 13 colonies and explain how their location and natural environment influenced their development. 
  • 4.7.10. Explain how the British colonial period created the basis for the development of political self-government and a free-market economic system. 
  • 4.8.2 Explain how political, religious, and economic ideas and interests brought about the Revolution. 

Section 2: Conflicting Interests 

  • 4.8.2 Explain how political, religious, and economic ideas and interests brought about the Revolution (e.g., resistance to imperial policy, the Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts, taxes on tea, and Coercive Acts). 
  • 4.8.3. Describe the significance of the First and Second Continental Congresses and of the Committees of Correspondence.

Section 3: Declaring Independence 

  • 4.8.4. Identify the people and events associated with the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence and the document’s significance, including the key political concepts it embodies, the origins of those concepts, and its role in severing ties with Great Britain. 
  • 4.9.6. Explain how the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence changed the way people viewed slavery.

Section 4: The Revolution, Briefly 

  • 4.9 Describe the course and consequences of the American Revolution. 
  • 4.9.1. Locate and identify the major military battles, campaigns, and turning points of the Revolutionary War. 
  •  4.9.2. Understand the roles of the American and British leaders, and the Indian leaders’ alliances on both sides. 
  • 4.9.3. Understand the roles of African Americans, including their alliances on both sides (especially the case of Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation and its impact on the war).

Section 5: Building the New Nation 

  • 4.10. Students describe the people and events associated with the development of the U.S. Constitution. 
  • 4.10.1. Describe the significance of the new Constitution of 1787, including the struggles over its ratification and the reasons for the Bill of Rights.  
  • 4.10.2. Describe the direct and indirect (or enabling) statements of the conditions on slavery in the Constitution and their impact on the emerging U.S. nation-state. 
  • 4.10.3. Describe how the Constitution is designed to secure our liberty by both empowering and limiting central government. 
  • 4.10.4. Understand the meaning of the American creed that calls on citizens to safeguard the liberty of individual Americans within a unified nation, to respect the rule of law, and to preserve the Constitution.

Usage: 

These artifacts are intended to provide students with a consistent opportunity to examine historical artifacts in order to make observations and connections to events of the time period. it is suggested that students examine 1-2 items at a time on a regular basis in order to evaluate each item as a historical source using a See-Think-Wonder routine. 

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Iron Nail, Colonial United States, 17th-18th Century

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Portrait of a Lady

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Woman's Dress, 1750-1780

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No Stamp Act Teapot

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Stamp Act Box, 1766

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Pamphlet, "Common Sense", 1776

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Jonathan Sheldon's Freedom Suit

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Print, Declaration of Independence, 1823

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Declaration of Independence Desk

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Grenadier

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American Infantry Musket

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Dragoon Pistol

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George Washington's Uniform

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George Washington's Camp Stool at NMHT

Smithsonian Archives - History Div

George Washington's Camp Chest

National Museum of American History

George Washington's Battle Sword and Scabbard

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The American Crisis

National Museum of American History

1p Stamp Act of 1765 proof

National Postal Museum

Pamphlet, Townshend's Revenue Act, 1767

National Museum of American History

Constitutional Convention Box

National Museum of American History

See/Think/Wonder: Project Zero Visible Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access