Wayne RESA
Unit Abstract

In this unit students explore the actions of people and the policies of nations during the Revolutionary War. Students begin by creating a timeline of events leading to the Declaration of Independence. They explore colonial experiences with self-government, including the Continental Congress, the influence of political ideas, and role of the press in unifying the colonies to support independence. Throughout the unit, students examine primary source writings including Common Sense and the Declaration of Independence. After considering the philosophical and political ideas about government contained in the Declaration of Independence, students analyze the colonists’ grievances in terms of unalienable rights, government by consent, and limited government. Next, students explore the course of the Revolutionary War. They evaluate the strengths and weakness of the British and colonial armies and investigate the course of the war with special emphasis on the winter at Valley Forge, the Battle of Saratoga, and the Battle of Yorktown. Students examine the influence of key individuals and other nations during this era, and compare perspectives of Loyalists and Patriots during the war. They also assess the role of women, African Americans, and American Indians on the outcome of the war and the impact of the war on their lives. The unit concludes with students assessing the Treaty of Paris, as well as the short and long term consequences of the American Revolution.


Stage One - Desired Results

Compelling Question

How did colonial experience and ideas about government influence the creation of a new nation?

Supporting Questions
  1. How did the colonists justify their right to rebel?
  2. In what ways was the American Revolution a war of ideas?
  3. How did people influence the course of the war?
Content (Key Concepts)

Declaration of Independence

government by consent

military advantages and disadvantages

Patriot / Loyalist


right of revolution



turning point


unalienable rights

Skills (Intellectual Processes)

Stage Two - Assessment Evidence

Unit Assessment Tasks

Stage Three - Learning Plan

Lesson Plan Sequence
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 – U3.1.4 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 – U3.1.5 Use the Declaration of Independence to explain why the colonists wanted to separate from Great Britain and why they believed they had the right to do so.
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 – U3.1.7 Describe how colonial experiences with self-government (e.g., Mayflower Compact, House of Burgesses and town meetings) and ideas about government (e.g., purposes of government such as protecting individual rights and promoting the common good, natural rights, limited government, representative government) influenced the decision to declare independence.
U3.2 The American Revolution and Its Consequences
Explain the multi-faceted nature of the American Revolution and its consequences.
5 – U3.2.1 Describe the advantages and disadvantages of each side during the American Revolution with respect to military leadership, geography, types of resources, and incentives. (National Geography Standard 4, p.150, E)
5 – U3.2.2 Describe the importance of Valley Forge, Battle of Saratoga, and Battle of Yorktown in the American Revolution.
5 – U3.2.3 Compare the role of women, African Americans, American Indians, and France in helping shape the outcome of the war.
5 – U3.2.4 Describe the significance of the Treaty of Paris (establishment of the United States and its boundaries). (National Geography Standard 13, p. 169, C)
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Wayne RESA