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Lesson Plan

Learning About Research and Writing Using the American Revolution

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Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Seven 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Renee L. Glover

Beaufort, South Carolina


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology






  • If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution by Kay Moore (Scholastic, 1998)

  • Chart paper or transparencies

  • Computer with Internet access

  • LCD projector

  • Overhead projector

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1. Obtain and familiarize yourself with If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution by Kay Moore. This book contains a great deal of information; depending on the age and ability level of your students, you may choose to read only excerpts, focusing on the pages that deal with the British loyalists and the colonial patriots. Issues to consider include:

  • How could their contemporaries tell what side people were on?

  • Who were the most well known people on each side?

  • How did life change for these two groups after the war?

You will want to make sure you point out the differences between the two sides and what types of people were included in each group.

2. Gather resources for students to use to research the American Revolution; these can include websites, trade books, and encyclopedias. American Revolution Research Project: Suggested Resources is a list of books and websites that might be helpful; your school librarian or media specialist may have additional suggestions. You should have the books available in the classroom and the websites bookmarked on your classroom or computer lab computers.

3. Make sure that students have permission to use the Internet, following your school policy. If you need to, reserve two sessions in your school's computer lab (see Sessions 3 and 4).

4. Use the American Revolution Research Project: Historical Figures list to assign each student a research subject. You may want to assign more prominent figures with shorter last names to lower-level students (so they can find information and write their poems more easily). You can have each student research a different person or put students in pairs or groups to complete their research. Do not assign George Washington to any of your students.

5. Transfer a blank copy of the American Revolution Research Project Organizer onto chart paper or a transparency. You will use this and the American Revolution Research Project Sample Organizer to model note-taking for students. Print the sample organizer, which has the information from one website filled in, as an example. Fill in the second resource using one of the books you have chosen for students to use. Print off the American Revolution Research Project Sample Poem for your own reference as well (see Session 5).

6. If you have access to a computer with an LCD projector, arrange to have them in your classroom for Session 2. If not, print out and make copies of the Biography of George Washington website for each student in your class.

7. Make copies of American Revolution Research Project Organizer, the Peer Editing Checklist, and the Using the American Revolution to Teach Research and Writing Rubric for each student in your class.

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