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Causes of American Revolution

Subject:

Social Studies  

Grades:

4, 5  

Overview

This kit provides teachers and other educators with the materials and guidance to help fourth grade students understand the reasons that the British colonists elected to declare their independence from King George III between the years 1763-1776. As a part of these lessons students will be encouraged to consider the intent and impact of media documents from a variety of points of view including those of the colonists, King George, patriots, loyalists, slaves and Native Americans. Students will engage in comprehension skill activities in map reading, editorial cartoon decoding and in the analysis of poetry and text. Students will also consider techniques used by the media makers of the time to convey their message to a wider public.

Objectives

  • To teach core background information about the causes of the American Revolution. • To train students to understand and evaluate purpose, credibility, historical context and point of view in different media sources and forms.
  • To teach students to analyze how the portrayal of the American Revolution has been constructed differently and gives different meaning to history depending upon: who was doing the constructing, for what purpose, for what audience, with what bias, using what techniques, and using what media form. • To engage all students, and particularly those disengaged from traditional school work, in complex critical thinking and the development of reading, listening and visual decoding skills and attitudes that support life-long democratic citizenship.

Design of the Curriculum Kit

This kit was designed by educators in Ithaca, New York. These lessons were intended to integrate media literacy and critical thinking skills into a study of the history and ideas of the Revolutionary War period into the social studies curriculum. The content and document-decoding approach makes the lessons usable (or easily adaptable) for middle school through high school level classes in history, social studies, English, politics, and media.

Teacher Guides and Student Handouts

Teachers will want to print and review the Teacher Guide for each of the lessons, and to make copies of student handouts prior to instruction. The Teacher Guide includes background information for students in gray boxes. There are also lists of vocabulary, suggestions for extending discussion with questions related to historical content, media literacy questions and additional resource links for further information on the documents and historical events. Additional resources include a timeline and glossary at the end of the kit.

These materials may be downloaded free-of- charge and/or print copies may be purchased from the Project Look Sharp website.

Technology Needs

Educators will need access to a computer and projector for projecting the PowerPoint slides, and a DVD player (if you have a copy of the DVD that accompanies this kit). You will also need speakers for your computer to be able to play the audio and video clips. If you wish to purchase a copy of the kit or DVD, visit the Project Look Sharp website for more information: www.projectlooksharp.org

Please download this kit for free here.

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Resource:

A kit of 10 lesson plans combining media literacy with history of American revolution  [DOWNLOAD]