Wayne RESA
Unit Abstract

In this unit, students explore the causes of the American Revolution. Focusing on the period from the Seven Years’ War to the battles at Lexington and Concord (1756 to 1775), students trace the disputes between the British government and her colonies. They examine the British Parliament’s attempts to tighten control from the early Navigation Acts and the Proclamation of 1763 to the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, the Townsend Acts, the Tea Act, and the Intolerable Acts. Students explore how colonists responded to the increasing control by Britain and analyze conflicting accounts of a variety of events such as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. In doing so, students analyze how colonial and British views on authority and the use of power without authority differed. They read biographies of significant colonial leaders and compare their contributions during the Revolutionary War era. Students also focus on the role of political ideas, such as liberty (unalienable rights), representative government, and consent of the governed (social compact) as they analyze colonial disputes with Great Britain. They assess how colonial experiences with self-government, including the Committees of Correspondence and the First Continental Congress united many colonists from different colonial regions. Students also explore loyalist and patriot perspectives as the colonies moved closer towards declaring independence. The unit culminates with students constructing a chronology of events. Students then analyze the causes and effects of these events and assess their significance in leading to armed conflict at Lexington and Concord. Historians generally refer to the French and Indian War as the Seven Years’ War.



Stage One - Desired Results

Compelling Question

Why did some colonists from different regions join to create an independent nation?

Supporting Questions
  1. How did economic issues and political experiences and ideas affect the relationship between Great Britain and the colonies?
  2. Why were some colonists unhappy with British rule after the French and Indian War?
  3. How and why did people in different colonial regions unite against Great Britain?
Content (Key Concepts)


cause and effect





limited government



representative government



trade policies

Skills (Intellectual Processes)

Stage Two - Assessment Evidence

Unit Assessment Tasks

Stage Three - Learning Plan

Lesson Plan Sequence
  • Chart paper
  • Document Camera or Projector
  • Map of the United States
  • Markers or crayons
  • Tissue boxes, one per student
MI: ELA & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, & Technical Subjects K-5
MI: Grade 5
Reading: Literature
2. Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
RL.5.2. Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
3. Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
RL.5.3. Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).
Reading: Informational Text
Key Ideas and Details
1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
RI.5.1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
3. Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
RI.5.3. Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.
Craft and Structure
4. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
RI.5.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
6. Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
RI.5.6. Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
RI.5.7. Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
9. Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
RI.5.9. Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
Reading: Foundational Skills
Phonics and Word Recognition
RF.5.3. Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
a. Use combined knowledge of all letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology (e.g., roots and affixes) to read accurately unfamiliar multisyllabic words in context and out of context.
RF.5.4. Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
c. Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.
Text Types and Purposes
1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
W.5.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
W.5.1a. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
W.5.1b. Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
W.5.1c. Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).
W.5.1d. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
Production and Distribution of Writing
4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W.5.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
W.5.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Speaking and Listening
Comprehension and Collaboration
1. Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
SL.5.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
MI: Social Studies (2007)
5th Grade
US History & Geography
U3 USHG ERA 3 Revolution and the New Nation (1754 - 1800)
U3.1 Causes of the American Revolution Identify the major political, economic, and ideological reasons for the American Revolution.
5 – U3.1.1 Describe the role of the French and Indian War, how British policy toward the colonies in America changed from 1763 to 1775, and colonial dissatisfaction with the new policy. (National Geography Standard 13 p. 169 C, E)
5 – U3.1.2 Describe the causes and effects of events such as the Stamp Act, Boston Tea Party, the Intolerable Acts, and the Boston Massacre.
5 – U3.1.3 Using an event from the Revolutionary era (e.g., Boston Tea Party, quartering of soldiers, writs of assistance, closing of colonial legislatures), explain how British and colonial views on authority and the use of power without authority differed (views on representative government).
5 – U3.1.4 Describe the role of the First and Second Continental Congress in unifying the colonies (addressing the Intolerable Acts, declaring independence, drafting the Articles of Confederation).
5 – U3.1.6 Identify the role that key individuals played in leading the colonists to revolution, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, John Adams, and Thomas Paine.
5 – U3.1.8 Identify a problem confronting people in the colonies, identify alternative choices for addressing the problem with possible consequences, and describe the course of action taken.
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Wayne RESA