Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Six Revolutionary War Figures

from the book by Jean Fritz. Grade level 3-5
summary and suggested activities

Ben Franklin, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, and King George III were all integral in the vivid tale of the American Revolution. The story begins as the revolution-ary conflict was slowly building. As young boys, their perspectives reflected the confusing state affairs, and as these historical figures approached adulthood, strong and stubborn personalities evolved. The conflict heightened, and soon the they were thrust into leadership roles -the fate of the war was in their hands. With great zeal and passion, their actions decided the war.
Children will learn about six important individuals who had important roles during the time of the Revolutionary War.• Children will explore events leading up to the war.• Children will investigate the personalities of important figures in American History.
Perhaps you would like to share the books that make up the video, SIX REVOLUTIONARY
WAR FIGURES, with children. (Fritz’s books are biographies of Ben Franklin, Patrick Henry, Sam Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock, and King George.) Which of the people described in the books was most interesting to you? Why? Talk with children about what America was like just prior to the Revolutionary War. Include in your discussions means of transportation, style of dress, professional occupations, schooling,etc. Then have children draw pictures that represent how America looked at this time. Ask: What would you have liked most about living during this time? What kinds of things would be harder to do than they are now? What would you enjoy then that might be difficult to enjoy now? Have children do some research on Benjamin Franklin. Then have them work in teams to share Franklin’s inventions with the class. Encourage children to make models of these inventions and to use them as part of their demonstrations. Ask: What would life be like now if we could not benefit from Ben Franklin’s discoveries?
Discuss the personality traits of each of the men described in the story. Then supply props children can use to dramatize the lives of each of these people. After the children have had an opportunity to do this, have them pretend to be the six men sitting down together to discuss the war. Before participating in this presentation,encourage children to consider the position each of the men might take and be prepared to defend their positions.Have a special “Colonial Times” day in the classroom. Have children dress as colonists and prepare a meal that the colonists might have enjoyed. Prepare simple dances and music that may have been popular at the time. You might want to invite other classes to join you in your “Colonial Times” celebrations. Talk with children about the Boston Tea Party.Then have children debate whether or not this was an appropriate way to object to the tea tax. Ask: What would you have done to try to prevent England from taxing the colonies? What would your arguments to King George have been like? Have children write their ideas as position statements and share them with the class. Be sure children sign their statement with their “John Hancocks!”


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