Friday, December 3, 2010

American Revolutionary War Unit Study

The American Revolutionary War, which began in 1775 and concluded in 1783, was a war that was fought between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the thirteen American colonies.  In 1775 the colonist established the Second Continental Congress, which instituted an army for the Patriots.  Then in 1776, the congress declared independence from Great Britain.

The British had an excellent naval force. So they were able to conquer and occupy many costal towns, but they had difficulty capturing areas that were more inland, which was where a huge majority of the population resided.  Once the Americans had won the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, the French entered the war as an ally for the Patriots, which greatly effected the outcome of the war.  If it wasn't for the French navy, there would not have been a victory at the Battle of Yorktown.  The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which recognized the independence of the new country.

This unit study is a list of ideas and resources to help you as your children study the Revolutionary War. There is a lot of information here, so don't feel pressured to use it all, just pick and choose what will work best for you and your kids. Have fun learning!

Table of Contents:
I hope you have enjoyed this study of the American Revolution!  Please feel free to add a comment if you have any feed-back (good or bad).  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Timeline of Events: American Revolutionary War Unit Study

                             Stamp Act Video: Part 1
                      Stamp Act Video: Part 2
                             Stamp Act Video: Part 3
                             Liberty's Kids - Part 1
                             Liberty's Kids - Part 2
                             Video - Part 1
                             Video - Part 2
                             Liberty's Kids - Part 1
                             Liberty's Kids - Part 2

                             Liberty's Kids - Part 1
                             Liberty's Kids - Part 2
                             Download a Free Copy of "Common Sense" Audiobook
                             A Brief History of the Drafting and Signing of The Declaration of Independence
                      This video shows what some of the signers gave up by signing the Declaration of    
                             Video - Part 1
                             Video - Part 2 
                            Liberty's Kids - Part 1
                            Liberty's Kids - Part 2
                             Liberty's Kids - Part 1
                             Liberty's Kids - Part 2

Activities by Subject - American Revolutionary War Unit Study

  • Using an outline map of the 13 colonies, label the colonies and capital cities.  Click here for an outline map of the 13 colonies.
  • As you read and learn about different places from the Revolutionary War, label them on your 13 colonies map.  You could also print out a map for individual colonies so you have a more room for labeling all these great places. You can download individual states here.
  • There are a couple geography minibooks included in the free lapbook above.
Timeline: If you are not planning on using the lapbook that is provided with this study but would like to create a timeline, here are a few suggestions.
  • Use 3x5 cards and card file box to write a few things about each person or event from this time period. have your child illustrate the person or event or find illustrations online to glue to the card.  Place the cards in order in the card file.  You can use labeled tabs to separate them by year.
  • Cut a long piece of butcher paper (6-8 feet) or tape standard size paper together , and have your child illustrate a timeline.  You could have them illustrate 3x5 cards and have your child put the timeline together at the end of your study as a review.
  • Instead of butcher paper, you could use clothes line and put the cards up with clothes pins.
Literature: Read aloud at least one of the literature selections above.
  • Do a character study of the main characters in your book.  Compare some of the characters in your book.
  • Keep a log of new vocabulary words yo find in your literature study.
  • Write a book review about your book.
  • If a DVD is available, watch it and compare the book to the movie.
  • Read all or part of the Declaration of Independence
  • Read Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and have your child narrate and/or illustrate the story.
  • Read some of Phillis Wheatley's Poetry
  • Copy all or part of The Declaration of Independence using this copywork notebook from the Notebooking Nook.
  • As you read different biographies throughout this study, have your child write short narrations about some of those they read bout.
  • Read Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech. Have your child write a speech about liberty or defending their rights and freedoms.  Have them give their speech to the family pretending they are colonists from the Revolution time.
  • Study one of the major events from this time period and write a report about it.
  • Create a Power Point presentation about either one event or an overview of this time period.
  • Write a poem about the Revolutionary War.

General Resources: American Revolutionary War Unit Study

General Resources:
Books: You will find most of these books at your public library along with many more that I'm sure are great!  Some of these titles you might want to add to your family library, so I've added links so you can check them out. Children love hands-on activities, so I suggest you find at least one book with activities for your children to go along with this study.
Story of the American Revolution Coloring Book (Dover) by Peter F. Copeland

Historical Fiction: I encourage you to choose at least one of the literature books below.  I've added links to purchase audiobooks as this might be a better option for many parents.  You might want to check your library for availability, as well.
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (Audiobook)
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier (Audiobook)
Carry on, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (Audiobook)

Biographies:  Try to fit as many biographies into your study as you can.  The people that lived during the time of the Revolution were very principled and can be great examples to your children.     
Benjamin Franklin by Ingri & Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
Thomas Jefferson (DK Biography) by Jacqueline Ching
In Search of Molly Pitcher by Linda Grant De Pauw
Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Mr. Revere and I by Robert Lawson
George Washington by Ingri & Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
Meet George Washington by Joan Heilbroner

Liberty! The American Revolution (Netflix/Amazon)
The History Channel Presents: The Revolution (Netflix/Amazon)

Lapbooking and Notebooking:
Free Revolutionary War Lapbook from the Notebooking Nook:
Downloads for Lapbook:

Low-cost Resources from the Notebooking Nook:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Vocabulary: American Revolutionary War Unit Study

  1. revolution - a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system
  2. tax - impose a tax on (someone or something)
  3. representation - a action of speaking or acting on behalf of someone
  4. petition - make or present a formal request to (an authority) with respect to a particular cause
  5. patriot - a person who strongly supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies
  6. boycott - to join with others in refusing to deal with a person, organization, or country usually to express disapproval or to force acceptance of terms
  7. liberty - the condition of those who are free and independent
  8. parliament - the supreme legislative body of various political units in the United Kingdom
  9. import - to bring (goods or services) into a country from another country usually for selling
  10. treason - the crime of betraying one's contry
  11. massacre - deliberately and violently kill (a number of people)
  12. quarters - rooms or lodging, esp. those provided to servicemen or to staff in domestic service
  13. Patriot (or Whig) - American colonist who supported the American Revolution
  14. Loyalist - a colonist of the American Revolution period who supported the British cause
  15. Tory - An American colonist who supported the British side during the American Revolution
  16. delegate - a person sent or authorized to represent others, in particular an elected representative sent to a conference
  17. cargo - goods carried on a ship, aircraft, or motor vehicle
  18. barracks - a building or group of buildings in which soldiers live
  19. independent - free from outside control; not depending on another's authority
  20. declaration - a formal announcement of the beginning of a state or condition
  21. freedom - the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without restriction or limitation
  22. committee - board or council
  23. traitor - a person who betrays a friend, country, or principal
  24. sympathizer - agreeing with a sentiment or opinion
  25. legislative - having the power to make laws
  26. orator - a public speaker, esp. one who is persuasive and skilled
  27. company - a body of soldiers, typically commanded by a major or captain
  28. platoon - part of a military company consisting of two or more squads
  29. sentry - a soldier standing guard at a point of passage
  30. resolution - the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter
  31. monarchy - absolute rule of a country by a single person, such as a king
  32. republic - when a country is run by the people and their representatives and have an elected president rather than a king

People: American Revolutionary War Unit Study

This is a small list of important people who lived during the time of the Revolutionary War. There are so many great people who lived during this time; it ended up being very difficult to narrow it down! You will come across many more names in your readings. I would encourage you to do some research on your own and YOU pick and choose whoever you would like to study, even if they aren’t on the list. Above, in General Resources, you will find a list of more in-depth biographies.