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American Revolution

Lesson Plans by Richard Cleggett

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American Revolution Lesson Plans


The American Revolution was a turning point in the history of the United States. Throughout the Revolution, countless key figures influenced the colonies as British forces pressed on. Starting with the infamous Shot Heard Round The World, American colonists defended the country and ultimately helped the United States become independent from England. Although many American colonists lost their lives defending their country, the American Revolution brought true freedom to the United States. These activities will help students understand key events and people in the greater context of the war.


Student Activities for American Revolution Include:



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American Revolution

Before the United States of America existed as a country, the people who lived in the area were colonists from Great Britain. Great Britain commanded the largest empire the world had ever known, and the American Colonies were just a part of it. As colonists, the American people were not given the same treatment and consideration as “true” British citizens. The colonists did not have representation in Parliament, they had to pay different taxes, they were prohibited from expanding into new territory, and they were forced to house and feed British soldiers after the Quartering Act of 1765. The American people eventually fought to be free from oppression.

The war began with what many call “The Shot Heard Round the World”, which may indeed be true, since the British Empire controlled vast land across the entire world. American colonists began their fight for self-control and independence at the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and from there, history was forever changed. To grasp the holistic perspective of how the war was fought as well as its significance in history, one must understand pivotal battles, the men that led each nation’s forces, and what ultimately brought on the demise of the British forces and the welcoming of an entirely new nation: The United States of America.

Tactics, advantages, defeats, deaths, and victories all defined how and why the war was won. The British Empire, the most powerful military in the world, and American colonists, veterans of years of fighting and oppression from the British, were soon pitted against each other in battle after battle. Despite mounting victories, military superiority, and confidence, the tide of the war shifted from the British to favor the colonists. With French aid and will-power and fueled by the ideas of liberty, the Americans proved victorious at pivotal battles, such as Yorktown, effectively triggering full British surrender. The eventual signing of the Treaty of Paris not only helped punctuate a victory in war for the Americans, but also signaled the birth of their new nation.


Essential Questions for the American Revolution

  1. What is the significance of major, pivotal battles, including Lexington/Concord, Bunker (Breed’s) Hill, and Yorktown?
  2. What were the major advantages and disadvantages of both the British and American forces during the war?
  3. How did each side perform in pivotal battles?
  4. Who were the major key figures and leaders of the revolution?
  5. What roles did the key figures play and how did their actions affect the outcome of the war?
  6. How did the American colonists eventually achieve victory?
  7. How did ideas of independence, nationalism, patriotism, and civil liberties serve as driving forces for the Americans during the revolution?
  8. What is the significance of the Treaty of Paris?
  9. How did Americans initially handle their new-found independence?

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