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American Revolution Unit Plan

Michael Tomorsky
I.

Descriptive Characteristics
Unit Title: Exploring the American Revolution
Grade Level: 5
Number of Days Required: 14
Unit Overview: This unit will allow 5 th grade students to become immersed in
the people, places, and events that were part of the American Revolution.
This will be achieved by using standard textbooks, primary sources, trade
books, podcasts, and oral presentations,

Nevada Standards Addressed


Standard 1.0: Chronology: Students use chronology to organize and understand the
sequence and relationship of events.

1.5.2 Record events on a graphic organizer, such as a calendar or time line

Standard 2.0: History Skills: Students will use social studies vocabulary and concepts to
engage in inquiry, in research, in analysis, and in decision making.

2.5.1 Ask a historical question and identify resources to be used in research.


2.5.2 Organize historical information from a variety of sources.

Standard 5.0: 1200 to 1750: Students understand the impact of the interaction of
peoples, cultures, and ideas from 1200 to 1750

5.5.8 Describe relationships among Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans.


5.5.11 Describe colonial life in North America.

Standard 6.0: 1700 to 1865: Students understand the people, events, ideas, and
conflicts that led to the creation of new nations and distinctive cultures.

6.5.4 Identify the events that led to the Declaration of Independence.


6.5.5 Identify key people of the American Revolution, including:
o George Washington
o Ben Franklin
6.8.3 Describe the effect of laws and taxes enacted by the British on the American
colonies, including:
o Stamp Act
o Intolerable Acts

II.

o Quartering Act
6.8.4 Explain the major ideas expressed in the Declaration of Independence, including:
o Equality
o Right to change government
o Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
6.8.5 Describe key people and events of the American Revolution, including:
o King George III
o George Washington
o Lexington and Concord
o Battle of Saratoga
o Valley Forge

Scope and Sequence


Day 1 Theme: Life in the American Colonies
Objectives:
o
o

5.5.8 Describe relationships among Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans.


5.5.11 Describe colonial life in North America.

Activities

If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution


As a whole class, read pages 6-13 of the text
Using a Multi-Flow Map, compare and contrast they way we live
today with the way the colonists lived
Language Arts

The Fighting Ground by Avi


Each day of the unit the students will read a required amount of
pages followed by a discussion using a Connections, Noticings, and
Wonderings Chart (C-N-W Chart)
TSW read pages 1-30

Connections, Noticings, and Wonderings Chart (C-N-W Chart)


TSW read from selection, as they read they will write on Post-It-Notes to
show:
Connections: give example any connections (text to text, text to life, etc.) to
the text
Noticings: anything they notice as interesting, wish to discuss, or want to
comment about
Wonderings: any questions, predictions, and thoughts they have about the
text
Transfer key element discussions to butcher paper as a reminder of topics
discussed

Day 2 Theme
Act on It
Objectives:
o
o
o
o
o

1.5.2 Record events on a graphic organizer, such as a calendar or time line


5.5.11 Describe colonial life in North America.
5.5.8 Describe relationships among Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans.
6.5.4 Identify the events that led to the Declaration of Independence.
6.8.3 Describe the effect of laws and taxes enacted by the British on the
American colonies, including:
Stamp Act
Intolerable Acts

Activities
Language Arts

The Fighting Ground by Avi


Each day of the unit the students will read a required amount of
pages followed by a discussion using a Connections, Noticings, and
Wonderings Chart (C-N-W Chart)
TSW read pages 30-60

History

Houghton Mifflin Social Studies


TSW read, in 3 separate groups, the following pages from their
social studies text
o Early Conflicts With Britain p. 234-237
o Conflicts Grow p. 240-243
o War Begins p. 250-255
When in their groups, TSW create a Timeline of significant
events relative to the selection they read
TSW share their Timeline with the class, connecting all
three into one complete timeline of events leading to the
start of the American Revolution
Simulation/Math Activity

The Kings M&Ms

Written Response: TSW explain why Americans were upset with


British Tax laws, such as the Stamp Tax Act, after the French
Indian War. They will also identify two tactics colonials used to
demonstrate their displeasure with these taxes. They will use
math skills to identify percentage of tax to be paid.

Math

Tea Anyone?
TSW create a line graph using the following information
o Year: Pounds of Tea imported from Britain
o 1770: 110,386
o 1771: 363,257
o 1772: 264,882
o 1773: 739,221
o 1774: 73,274

Day 3 Theme
The Times They Are a
Changin
Objectives:
o
o
o
o
o

2.5.1 Ask a historical question and identify resources to be used in research.


2.5.2 Organize historical information from a variety of sources.
5.5.11 Describe colonial life in North America.
6.5.4 Identify the events that led to the Declaration of Independence.
6.8.4 Explain the major ideas expressed in the Declaration of Independence,
including:
Equality
Right to change government
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

Activities
Language Arts

The Fighting Ground by Avi


Each day of the unit the students will read a required amount of
pages followed by a discussion using a Connections, Noticings, and
Wonderings Chart (C-N-W Chart)
TSW read pages 60-90

The Break Up Letter


The teacher will use the Teaching the Declaration of
Independence Lesson from the Speaking of History podcast
o TTW find a note on the floor and read to the class
o As the teacher reads the students discover it is a
breakup letter between 2 students
o TTW then ask if they know who it belongs to
o TTW let the cat out of the bag and disclose that the
letter is from the colonies to the King George
o TSW then get a copy of the Declaration and review it
with the teacher
o After discussing the elements of the document the
students will choose a basic right stated in the second
paragraph that they feel is the most important right
listed (Have a condensed easy to read interpretation
available for the students)
o TSW then right a sort essay explaining their decision
Math
Many Mouths To Feed
The Continental Armys cook made a recipe for you to fix for
the soldiers
If it would feed 4 soldiers, how much of each ingredient would
be needed to feed 640 soldiers
o Pepper Pot Soup

1 lb. beef
2 celery sticks ,chopped
4 potatoes, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
2 tsp. each parsley and marjoram
tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
tsp. allspice
3 whole cloves

Answer Multiply each by 160

Day 5 and 6 Theme


War is Tough
Objectives:
o
o
o
o

2.5.1 Ask a historical question and identify resources to be used in research.


2.5.2 Organize historical information from a variety of sources.
5.5.11 Describe colonial life in North America.
6.5.5 Identify key people of the American Revolution, including:
George Washington
Ben Franklin

Activities
Language Arts

The Fighting Ground by Avi


Each day of the unit the students will read a required amount of
pages followed by a discussion using a Connections, Noticings, and
Wonderings Chart (C-N-W Chart)
TSW read pages 90-125

Technology/Primary Sources/
Spy Letters of the American Revolution
TSW break into pairs and jigsaw information from each
subcategory of the Spy Letters of the American Revolution
website.

Spy Networks
o Take the Money and Run
o The Mad Scientist
o The Culper Gang
o Georges Teeth
Saratoga Miscalculations
o Saratoga Background
o William Howe Goes his Own Way
o John Burgoyne Surrenders
The Infamous Benedict Arnold
o Terms of Betrayal
o Military Secrets
o Selling West Point
o The Death of John Andre
Women Spies
o Ann Bates
o Miss Jenny

TSW read the web age of their topic, summarize, identify the
secret method used for spying and then share what they have
learned with class

Science

Making Invisible Ink

Use one of the following mixtures to make your own Invisible Ink:

lemon, grapefruit or orange juice, milk, sugar or salt water (teaspoon in a


cup of water) white vinegar

Use any kind of heavy white writing paper, paper with lines is best kind.
Dip a clean pen (not a ball-point) or any instrument with a smooth point,
like a toothpick, into the ink. As you write the words will disappear, so
hold your finger at the end of the last word to mark your place. When
its dry, hold the paper over a bright electric light or a heated pop-up
toaster

Language Arts
Great Moments In History Podcast
Yorktown: Victor and Vanquished
TSW listen to the podcast
TSW take notes about the information given in the pod cast,
noting names and places studied in this unit
TSW then write in a sort essay if they feel it is an effective
way of teaching history
Language Arts
Using Primary Sources in the Classroom
o TSW develop an understanding of the sacrifices and
struggles that general Washington and his soldiers
experienced at Valley Forge completing a Multi-Flow map
analyzing the cause and effect of the primary source
document : Washingtons letter to Gov. G, Clinton
(Lesson available in Using Primary Sources in the Classroom text)

Art

Medal of Honor
TSW design a medal that a Revolutionary War veteran would
be proud to wear

Day 6 and 7 Theme


Independence Rules!
Objectives:

Activities

History

Houghton Mifflin Social Studies


o Winning the War
o TSW read pages 286-289
o TSW then create a Flow map to show the sequence of events
that end the Revolution

Language Arts

The Fighting Ground by Avi


Each day of the unit the students will read a required amount of
pages followed by a discussion using a Connections, Noticings, and
Wonderings Chart (C-N-W Chart)
TSW read pages 125-160
TSW then choose, with a partner, a main character from the
story and brainstorm what characterizes this person
TSW then create a Body Biography based on this
characters traits
Body Biography
1. Students in small pairs or groups place a 7-foot long piece of butcher paper on
the floor and have one student lie down on it. Another student needs to draw an
outline of the students body on the butcher paper.
2. Students then fill in the body outline with artistic representations of the
characters traits, relationships, motivations, and experiences. These can be
drawings, clip art or other multimedia. The biography should also include relevant
quotations and original text about the character. The following details are
important to consider in the development of a well designed body biography and
could be included on a rubric for grading:

Placement of the art (e.g., the characters heart could feature


important relationships)

The biography should help an audience visualize the characters


virtues and vices

Effective use of color to help symbolize elements of the


character personality

Effective use of symbols and objects that help capture the


characters traits

Poetry can be used to enhance the biography

Try to portray contrasting views of the character


Use text and artwork to show transformations of the character of the course of the
story

TSW then cut out Body Biography and hang on the wall for
display
TSW then present their Body Biography to the class as part
of a gallery walkthrough

Culminating Activity
American Revolution Foldable
Based on the information in the unit TSW create a 3 Tab
Foldable on an event that they felt was an important part of
the revolution. The foldable will contain:
o A summary of the event and why it was an important part
of the American Revolution
o The effect this event had on the colonies or colonists
o Accurate dates
o Pictures, maps, graphs, or charts