Thursday, December 19, 2013

American Revolution Unit

During the month of December, eighth grade teachers collaborated on an interdisciplinary unit on the American Revolution.  In civics class, students researched the life of a real or fictional person from the Revolutionary era and the perspective that individual might have had in the debate over independence.  Students then played the role of this character in a “Revolutionary Town Hall” that allowed students to experience the difficult task of forming a consensus for or against declaring our independence. 

In reading class, students continued to practice their close reading skills by grappling with two complex texts, The Declaration of Independence and “A Loyalist’s Rebuttal to the Declaration” by Thomas Hutchinson.   In addition, eighth grade Book Clubs read a historical fiction text that took place during the Revolutionary Era.  Some students portrayed characters from these books during the Town Hall in civics.  In English, eighth graders wrote an argumentative paper that asked them to analyze whether the Founding Fathers should be considered patriots or traitors.  Using evidence from primary source documents, students were asked to build an argument that would depict their own interpretation of historical events.  Finally, Book Clubs generated a background information resource for their historical fiction novel.  Each student researched an American Revolution topic referenced in their Book Club novel.  Then, they collaboratively developed a multi-media presentation using web-based Prezi as a tool to teach their topics to their classmates.  

American Revolution Historical Fiction Book Clubs