The American Revolution is a subject close to my heart. My mother was able to trace our ancestors back to pre-revolutionary war days in the United States. It made me excited to know that my family had fought for my independence. Although I am not officially a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, I know that I am one. The research on this project was overwhelming. The Internet provides a thousand times more information that any one person can process in a limited amount of time. I would love to delve more thoroughly into it at a later date.
I chose to start the unit with the recitation of the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. This poem captures the essence of why the colonists fought for their freedom. The recitation does not have to be from memory, but makes it more personal if it is. I wanted to have the students understand what life was life during that time.
There is a lot of dry information about the war. I didn’t want the students to only know the dates and events. I chose to make the lessons real and allow the students to become a part of what was happening. To do this, they had to get out of their chairs and participate. My goal was to make this history lesson come alive. I believe it will mean more if the students physically participate in the events. I also chose several hands on art projects to accompany the lessons. I did this to make the unit more fun for the students who do not like, or appreciate, the events from the history books.
There are two ongoing projects during the unit. The first is a time line, the second a colonial map. These two will be added to every day during the lessons. The final project done by the students will be a letter written from a patriot’s point of view to relatives in England. This letter should explain why the student supports the colonists’ decision to revolt. The students will be able to draw from topics discussed in class to pen their letters. These will be posted along side of the flags created by the students during lesson 10. The final assessment is a comprehensive multiple-choice test on the information studied during the unit. Although this is not the most fun way to assess, it ensures the EALRS for the American Revolution are met.
The last day of the unit is titled President George Washington and other information. The little known facts about the revolution are things that make studying this the most fun for me. I love finding out new facts that as a students I assumed the opposite. Little known facts or the rest of the story are what makes the history more real to me. I wanted to make sure the students knew information that maybe their parents didn’t. It was always fun for me to go home and stump my parents with a new piece of information. I wanted to be able to pass that fun along to my students.
The process of putting all this together was a daunting task to say the least. At first it seemed insurmountable, but after taking the time to research and learn about my topic, the outline given helped to organize the plethora of information I had collected. As far as being a guinea pig for the uploading part of this project, that was difficult. I was not able to download Netscape onto my own computer at home, which meant I had to organize myself at home and bring it all to class. At first, I didn’t like this idea, I work well at home. After a while, though, it became apparent that I would get so much more done if I stayed in class. There was plenty of time allotted to accomplish research and web transmission (whatever the cut and pasting is called). I was extremely confused at first, but working hands on made all the difference. This was not an insurmountable task, however, I feel, if given more time, my artifacts would have been better. In my opinion, that was the most difficult part of the assignment, and the part I would want to do over.