Examining Our History: American Revolution

Students examine the ideas and values behind the American Revolution, and what drove the colonists to seek independence, through nonfiction texts including Liberty! How the Revolutionary War Began.

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ELA

Unit 2

4th Grade

Unit Summary


In this unit students continue the exploration of factors that influence change by examining the events that led up to the American Revolution. Over the course of the unit, students will build a deeper understanding of the significant ideas and values at the heart of the American Revolution, what drove the colonists to seek independence, and how conflict between England and the colonists ultimately influenced change in our country. Students will see the American Revolution from multiple perspectives, starting with analyzing the difference in perspectives between the British and the colonists and how each side’s actions often instigated each other. Students will also explore how class structure influenced colonists perspectives. Later in the unit, students will think about the perspectives of black people, women and Native Americans who were forced to choose a side and why they may have had a different point of view of the events of the revolution. 

An important part of this unit is pushing students to focus on seeing history from multiple different perspectives. The core text Liberty! How the Revolutionary War Began offers one perspective on events, however, the perspective is limited to that held by white elite colonists. Therefore, students also read excerpts from A Young People's History of the United States in order to build a deeper understanding of all sides of the Revolution.

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Texts and Materials


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Core Materials

Supporting Materials

Assessment


These assessments accompany this unit to help gauge student understanding of key unit content and skills.

Additional progress monitoring suggestions are included throughout the unit. Essential Tasks can be found in the following lessons:

Unit Prep


Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

Prepare to teach this unit by immersing yourself in the texts, themes, and core standards. Unit Launches include a series of short videos, targeted readings, and opportunities for action planning.

Essential Questions

  • What key events led to the outbreak of the American Revolution? 
  • How did opinions differ on the idea of independence? 
  • Were the colonies really a land of equality and liberty? 
  • Why is it important to look at history from multiple perspectives?  

Vocabulary

Text-based

allies authorized bombarded boycott class condemn delegate defied desert demonstrations disguise elite enforce enlist heroines insults infuriate intolerable indentured jeer lanterns liberty loyal loyalists local militia mourn monopoly mutiny neutral oppression possessions rebel rebellion repeal riot seize settle steeple tyranny unite

Root/Affix

-sion -tion en- in-

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 2, view our 4th Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Content Knowledge and Connections

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Lesson Map


Common Core Standards


Core Standards

L.4.1
L.4.1.f
L.4.2
L.4.2.a
L.4.2.c
RI.4.2
RI.4.3
RI.4.6
RI.4.7
SL.4.1
SL.4.3
SL.4.4
W.4.1
W.4.1.a
W.4.1.b
W.4.2
W.4.2.a
W.4.2.b
W.4.2.d
W.4.5
W.4.6
W.4.7
W.4.8
W.4.9

Supporting Standards

L.4.1.a
L.4.3
L.4.4
L.4.4.b
L.4.6
RF.4.3
RF.4.4
RI.4.1
RI.4.4
RI.4.9
RI.4.10
SL.4.2
SL.4.6
W.4.4
W.4.9.b
W.4.10
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Unit 1

Preparing for the Worst: Natural Disasters

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Unit 3

Politics and People: U.S. Government