Lesson 2 Revolutionary Ideas
Students will be able to:
· Understand that new political ideas led to a desire for independence and democratic government in the American colonies.
· Pick out the following key philosophies in the Declaration of Independence as it proclaimed independence from England:
o People have ―certain unalienable rights‖ (rights that cannot be taken away)—to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
o People establish government to protect those rights.
o Government derives power from the people.
o People have a right and a duty to change a government that violates their rights.
· Identify the following key individuals in the American Revolution, and describe the role they played:
o Thomas Jefferson: Major author of the Declaration of Independence
o Patrick Henry: Outspoken member of House of Burgesses; inspired colonial patriotism with his ―Give me liberty or give me death speech
· Interpret Patrick Henry’s speech and the Declaration of Independence.
The student will demonstrate responsible citizenship and develop skills for historical and geographical analysis, including the ability to
a) identify and interpret primary and secondary source documents to increase understanding of events and life in United States history to 1865;
h) interpret patriotic slogans and excerpts from notable speeches and documents;
The student will demonstrate knowledge of the causes and results of the American Revolution by
b) identifying how political ideas shaped the revolutionary movement in America and led to the Declaration of Independence;
c) describing key events and the roles of key individuals in the American Revolution, with emphasis on George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry;
· Visual Arts Standard 5.8
The student will defend a position regarding a historical or contemporary issue through the production of a work of art.
Computers, Smartboard, headphones, Revolutionary Thinking worksheets, copies of Patrick Henry’s Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death speech, several sheets of colored paper, colored pencils/markers/crayons, and copies of the Declaration of Independence (the Worksheet can be found and downloaded at the bottom of this page)..
1. Begin by having students do a think-pair-share about what they learned last lesson about what led to the Revolutionary War. After that, tell students that as the colonists became unsatisfied with Great Britain and ideas about ruling themselves and being independent from Britain came to their minds. Tell students that those ideas influenced the colonists to want to go to war with Great Britain to become free. Let students know that some very influential people that these ideas inspired were Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.
2. Tell students that they will be examining some very important documents created by these people and see why they thought that war was the only way to get what they wanted. The teacher will then split the class into groups and assign half of the class to read Patrick Henry’s Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death speech and the other half to read the Declaration of Independence. Both groups will read their documents and fill in the Revolutionary Thinking worksheet. Both groups will need a short introduction about the authors of the documents they are reading. Students should be given some background knowledge about Patrick Henry and his Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death speech. The group doing the Declaration of Independence also needs to be told first the background of the Declaration of independence. They need to be told about how the American colonies were already at war with Britain but felt they needed to formally declare their independence. So Thomas Jefferson wrote the document.
3. After student fill out their worksheet have students explain the main ideas behind both documents. Ask students to now use those main ideas to create their own piece of art defending a main idea from either Thomas Jefferson or Patrick Henry’s documents. Students can use whatever materials they want to do this. However, they need to write on the back of their artwork whose side they were defending and write a line or two about the role of that person in the revolution. Ask students to share which main ideas they picked. Ask students if those ideas matter today. Ask students why the Declaration of Independence and Patrick Henry’s speech were so important at the time. Then ask “What does it have to do with you today?” After students give responses, let students know that they will be further examining the impact of this war on their lives and the lives of those living during the war.
The are two assessments for this lesson: the Revolutionary Thinking worksheet and the artworks. The worksheet is used to determines whether students can interpret Patrick Henry’s speech and the Declaration of Independence. The artwork that students create is also assesses the same thing, but it is an assessment that determines whether students are also able to identify the roles of Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.
Students for whom reading the documents is too difficult or for whom the level of the texts are too high are allowed to use computers and headphones to listen to the documents read aloud. Students can pair up if they want to or they can work alone. The think-pair-share helps students who are shy in large groups.
You could have students research about Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry's lives.
You could have students create their own decelerations of independence or speeches about something they are passionate about.