Prospecting For Treasure

Always prospecting for the next treasure of an idea.

An Update On Our American Revolution Webquest

After completing our research, students wrote persuasive letters.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the webquest we are working on:  A Revolution is Coming!  Which Side Will You Be On?  We finished our webquest last Friday.  This week I have been looking at everyone’s work.  This includes their webquest notes, graphic organizer, and letter.  The kids did a great job reading on-line information and taking notes about the causes and events that led to the beginning of the American Revolution. 

 
It is important for students to understand that support for separating from England was far from unanimous.  We talked about how the war divided families, pitting father against son, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor.  After taking notes, we formed teams, and students drew slips of paper to determine if they were going to write their letter from the viewpoint of a patriot or a loyalist. 
 

The art work was done by my son, Michael Day and his friend, Brandon Archer, when they were in fifth grade. They are now 22.

This is where we began to have problems,  The half of the class that were to argue from the perspective of the loyalist were very upset.  They all wanted to be patriots.  We also found that information for the loyalist perspective was much more sketchy, since historians have done better record keeping for those who supported the revolution. 
 
We also ran into problems as teams began to use the Read, Write and Think Persuasion Map    I could not find a way of saving their work, so they had to complete the entire task in one sitting, which our schedule did not permit.  I solved this problem by printing off a copy of the final organizer, and having teams work on it with pencil and paper.  
 
 Overall, it has been a good project.  It just needs some modification.  Next year I think I will model and write the letter from the viewpoint of the loyalists.  then the students can all be patriots.  To encourage them to give more details, they can write to their cousins in England describing the events taking place in the colonies, and explaining why they are patriots, and wish to fight for independence.
 
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February 21, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. This sounds like a wonderful history activity! Could you – or your students – interview someone from the UK who might have a different perspective on the revolution? I was a visiting teacher years ago in Scotland and found their history books did not describe the American Revolution in quite the same way as those here in the US do. Maybe you could connect with a teacher there who could share information and materials with you. Good luck!

    Comment by Mary Kreul | February 22, 2010 | Reply

    • That is such a good idea! I never thought of that, and it is so doable now that I’m using Twitter. I have some teachers that I follow in the UK that might be willing to help. That would give the whole project such authenticity, and the kids would be excited about connecting with someone in another country. Thank you for the great idea.

      Comment by iageode | February 22, 2010 | Reply


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