Revolutionary War

No More King! - Schoolhouse Rock!!!

No More King! Pavement Version (Mr. Symes Personal Favorite)

Essential Question

How did the tiny, undisciplined group of farmers, known as the Continental Army, defeat the greatest army on the face of the earth and their paid mercenaries, the British army, in the Revolutionary War?

Standards Addressed in this Unit:

  • WMAS 8.1 - Interpret the past using a variety of sources and evaluate the credibility of sources used
  • WMAS 8.3 - Describe the relationships between and among significant events, such as the causes and consequences of wars in United States and world history
  • WMAS 8.7 - Identify significant events and people in the major eras of United States and world history
  • WMAS 8.10 - Analyze examples of conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among groups, societies, or nations


For this unit the topics that you take on and consider when trying to answer our question are almost limitless. We have provided a list below of potential ideas, but be sure that new topics can develop with initial discoveries.

Printable Set of Directions for this project to keep with you can be found HERE.

  • Stage 1
    • Research Question Development (Formative Assignment) - Due on Tuesday, December 10th
      • Choose Topic (Use the resource books in class or links at the bottom of the page to help with this part.)
      • Preliminary Research
      • Narrow your topic
        • Start asking questions (4-5)
          • Opened ended
          • How's and Why's
            • Evaluate Your Questions
              • Is it clear? Will it help direct your research?
              • Is it focused? Is it a topic that can be addressed in a paper?
              • Is it complex? Make sure it requires both research and analysis to answer.
  • Stage 2 (Formative Assignment) - Due on Friday, December 13th
  • Stage 3
    • Presentation of Learning (Summative Assignment) - Due on Monday, December 16th
      • Poster
        • Title
        • Answers
          • Who, What, When, Where, Why etc..
          • Why is this information helpful to answering the essential question?
        • Visual that helps understanding
        • Typed List of Citations
        • FOR A 4 - Primary Evidence should be used consistently through writing.
  • Stage 4
    • Bringing it all together (Summative Assignment) - Due on Friday December 20th
      • MELCon Formatting
      • Answer the Essential Question, How did the Continental Army defeat the British Army during the Revolutionary War?
      • Use evidence from three posters of work to form your argument that will answer the question.
      • Standard MELCon rubric will be used to assess writing.
      • Essay should include:
        • Title
        • In Text Citations
        • Works Cited Section - Use Easy Bib
        • Transitions between sections
      • FOR A 4 - Primary Evidence should be used consistently through writing.

List of Potential Topics:

This is not a be all, end all of topics. If, during your initial discovery you find something else, just let me know.

    • Valley Forge
    • Bunker Hill
    • Lexington and Concord
  • New York
  • Trenton
    • King’s Mountain
    • Cowpens
    • Saratoga
    • Fort Ticonderoga
  • Seige at Yorktown
    • General George Washington
    • Benedict Arnold the Traitor and Hero
    • Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys
    • Swamp Fox - Francis Marion
  • General Howe
  • General Cornwallis
  • John Paul Jones
  • The ‘Turtle’
    • Revolution in the South
    • Spying and the Revolution
  • Loyalists
  • British Failures
  • Marquis de Lafayette
    • Naval Battles
    • Guerilla Warfare
    • Women
    • African Americans
    • French alliance and assistance
    • Continental Army
  • The ‘Turtle’
    • Revolution in the South
    • Spying and the Revolution
  • Loyalists
  • British Failures

Historical Fiction Readings of Interest

An asterik (*) indicates a Mr. Symes seal of approval

Below you can find links to resources and documents that were used during the Revolutionary War Unit

Chronicles of The Revolution — Describes the main events of the war from 6 different cities.

Credibility Checklist.doc — Use this form to check for a level of credibility when using internet resources. Topics Page - American Revolution — Gives an overview of the Revolutionary War, with links to pages with more specifics.

History Detectives - PBS Video - Valley Forge Map — Is the map of the Valley Forge encampment a true primary source that would have been in the hands of General Washington during the Revolutionary War?

Impact of the Revolution on Women and African Americans — Primary Source Excerpts regarding Women, African Americans and the Revolutionary War. Account Info 1776Rocked!

Library of Congress - Revolutionary War Overview — Breaks the war into segments, with an overview of each. Also contains primary source documents that relate to many of the specific events. Great "Go for a 4!" resources.

Military Perspectives — Gives differences between the two forces in five areas.

Mount Vernon - Revolutionary War — Has videos, links and descriptions of many of the people, battles and events of the Revolutionary War.

National Park Service - Restoration Work at Valley Forge — Gets into some of the restoration work being done at Valley Forge.

National Park Service - Valley Forge - History & Culture — This has many of the stories, people and places within Valley Forge that made it such an important piece of the Revolutionary War.

National Parks Service — Has links to many of today's parks that work to preserve the history of the Revolutionary War.

Of Rocks, Trees, Rifles, and Militia — 18th Century Military Tactics

Our American Revolution — Gives introductory looks at some of the larger time periods of the Revolutionary War. May help direct to secondary level topics with links.

Pictorial American — Images that cover aspects of the struggle for independence from beginning to end.

Primary Source - George Washington - Writing From Valley Forge — George Washington asking for more supplies and men during their stay at Winter headquarters at Valley Forge. Primary Source material. Account Info 1776Rocked!

Primary Source Letter about the Battle at Bunker Hill — Letter from William Prescott to John Adams

Primary Source Letter Regarding the Battle at Bunker Hill — Letter from James Warren to Mercy Otis Warren

Primary Source Material - Various Topics — Account Info 1776Rocked!

Revolutionary War Battles - Animated — See the blood and gore of the Revolutionary War. Be prepared to be shocked and disgusted by the graphic nature of these animations.

Spy Letters of the American Revolution — Tips and Tricks of spies during the Revolutionary War era.

Two Views of the Battles of Lexington and Concord — Two primary source accounts of the battles of Lexington and Concord

US - Timeline — Contains links to more information from US pages on specific topics.

Valley Forge Fact Sheet — Fact Sheet

Valley Forge - Muster Roll — Site has a good overview of the Valley Forge period in the Revolution.

Video - Lecture on Washington's Crossing the Delaware — This video is about 1 hr. long and pretty dry, but it does have a lot of interesting information about the event.

Wikipedia Timeline of Revolutionary War Events — Wikipedia's list. Remember you can use the links they cite to find more or confirm information.

Women and the Revolutionary War — Account Info 1776Rocked!