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Tagged with "american revolution"
American Revolution: Domino Effect
Category: Social Studies
Tags: american revolution causes of the american revolution american revolution timeline

Show how one thing led to another with these free resources exploring the causes of the American Revolution: 

Differing Points of View - Visit Project Look Sharp for an elementary teaching kit on the Causes of the American Revolution. For each cause, there's a downloadable teacher's guide and student worksheet, plus a list of supplementary resources. The materials include accounts of incidents from different viewpoints -- for example, a description of the Boston Massacre from both the colonist and British perspectives. Other lessons include analyzing a Phyllis Wheatley poem, and comparing two 18th century "George" portraits (George Washington and King George III).

Chain Reaction: Make various mini lapbooks and foldables for each cause using this Hands-On-History download. Includes instructions for: a Q & A flip book on taxes; Boston Tea Party step book; mini book of Paul Revere's ride; and other projects.

  

Download a Grade 4 reader on the American Revolution, with nine chapters. Download the accompanying Activity Book, with review questions, vocabulary, grammar, and writing activities.

                                

More American Revolution Resources:

Animated Battles:

Interactive Game:

 



Learning History Through Role-Playing
Category: Social Studies
Tags: history games simulation games american revolution boston massacre underground railroad cheyenne indians immigration

(Eastman Johnson (American, 1824-1906). A Ride for Liberty -- The Fugitive Slaves (recto), ca. 1862. Oil on paperboard, 21 15/16 x 26 1/8 in. (55.8 x 66.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Gwendolyn O. L. Conkling, 40.59a-b)

Learning about a historical period or event through a computer game simulation has been proven wildly popular, judging from the success of programs like Oregon Trail. There’s something compelling about stepping into a character’s shoes, and knowing that the choices you make will ultimately determine that character’s fate. And if you happen to learn some history along the way, well that’s a bonus.

Attempting to take the role-playing experience to the next level, with better interactivity and even more history thrown in, is a “documentary adventure game” called Mission US. This free series of games allows players to step into a historical setting, assume the role of a period character, and experience events as they happen. The objective is to get kids to think critically about historical events by presenting them with different perspectives, and showing how everyday people were affected.

Four separate adventures are currently available, each one emphasizing a particular historical concept. They are targeted at upper elementary through high school ages.

For Crown or Colony: This mission focuses on life in pre-revolutionary Boston, culminating in the Boston Massacre. Events are experienced through the eyes of  Nat Wheeler, an apprentice in a printing shop. The main historical concept is “multiple perspectives” -- the differing viewpoints of Patriots, Loyalists, and others during this period.

Flight to Freedom: Focusing on resistance to slavery in the years preceding the Civil War, the game’s action is experienced through Lucy, a 14-year-old slave residing in Kentucky. As the narrative progresses, Lucy escapes to freedom in Ohio, and begins to work with a group of abolitionists. The core historical concept is cause and effect, specifically, how the actions of many people in many places over time (including slaves, abolitionists, politicians, etc.) brought an end to slavery in the U.S.

A Cheyenne Odyssey: This mission explores the impact of westward expansion on the plains indians, specifically the northern Cheyenne tribe. The action is seen through the eyes of Little Fox, as the player experiences the effects of white settlers encroaching on the tribe’s homelands. Main historical concepts include an examination of the conflict between Plains Indians and European Americans, and how cultures sustain themselves during times of dramatic change.

City of Immigrants: This game focuses on immigration to the U.S in the early part of the 20th century. The main character, Lena, sets out on a transatlantic voyage to NYC from Russia. She arrives and is processed on Ellis Island, then makes her way to her brother’s apartment on the Lower Eastside to start her life. The core historical concept is turning points in history. The narrative explores how immigrants adapted to life in the U.S., the working conditions they encountered, and  how women’s roles were changing in society during this period. The narrative culminates in a women’s strike known as the Uprising of the 20,000.

The games are divided into chapters that take from 5 to 20 minutes or so to play. Register for a free account to save your progress, and you can complete a game in one day or over a series of days. Click on the image below for an example of how the games are laid out:

Each game has an educators guide that provides background information on the historical period, plus activities based on primary documents, discussion questions, vocabulary activities, and writing prompts.

Throughout each game, there are also tasks for players to complete or decisions they must make that affect the outcome of the game. For example, during the pre-Civil War game, Flight to Freedom, if you have a task to perform, such as washing clothes, you can do the task well, or resist by not doing such a good job; you can decide to send your brother north to Canada, or try to keep him with you and risk seeing him sold off elsewhere.

Since a player's choices result in different game outcomes, you can use these games in a group setting, like a co-op, and players can compare and contrast their experiences which could lead to some good discussions.

My 13-year-old son has enjoyed playing the first two Missions. He especially likes controlling the actions of the characters, (kicking a Redcoat in the first Mission; running away several times during the second Mission); and meeting various characters who present differing viewpoints. It's been a great way to get him thinking and talking about what it must have been like to live during these historical periods.

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