Events Leading to the American Revolution Newspaper Activity

For students of 4th to 6th grade.

Background Information
Grade Level: 4th - 6th
Subject:  Social Studies
Lesson Title:  Events Leading to the American Revolution Newspaper Activity

Content Standard 2:  Students analyze how people create and change structures of power, authority, and governance to understand the operation of government and to demonstrate civic responsibility.

1. Students will be able to describe three historical events leading up to the American Revolution (French and Indian War, Sugar Act, Stamp Act).
2. Students will write a one paragraph newspaper article about one of the events mentioned above focusing on the 5 w's (Who, what, when, where, why)

Previous Knowledge Needed:  Students need to have read Sections 1 and 2 of Chapter 7 in our Social Studies Text for background information.

Newspaper Worksheet
6 Posters for graphic organizers
An overhead of an example of the newspaper activity
An overhead of the 5 w's questions
Treaty of Paris Overhead
Sugar Act Overhead
Stamp Act Overhead
Paper copies of each to distribute for Newspaper Article
Overhead Highlighter

Instructional Method
Anticipatory Set
Close your eyes and imagine yourself back in 1764.  Picture the area around you.  There are no paved roads, playgrounds, McDonalds, or malls around you.  You are a British colonist.  Use what we have learned this week to help you imagine.  Turn to your neighbors and tell them what you see.  Share with the class.

Development of Concepts
Today we are going to continue our study of the events that led up to the American Revolution.  By the end of this lesson, you will be able to describe all three historical events that we have studied so far, and you will be able to write about one that you choose:  The French and Indian War, the Sugar Act, and the Stamp Act.  Class, which three events will you be able to describe by the end of today?
To begin, you will be split into groups to brainstorm with group members onto posters.  You will need to choose a writer to write neatly on the posters.  As a group, come up with as much information as you can think of that relates to each event.  You will have a certain amount of time at each event's poster and then we will rotate.  Do not rewrite any information that is already on the poster by another group.
Set groups and begin
After all groups have had a chance at each poster, have the class look at all the information they came up with.  Discuss the three events and the effects they had on the British colonists.  
After discussing the class's background knowledge of the three events, have students analyze three primary sources on overheads, one from each event - Treaty of Paris (F&I War), Sugar Act, Stamp Act.
Have students search these documents for similarities and connections that support their brainstorming lists.  Students will highlight phrases on the primary sources that would have caused discontent among the colonists.

Have each person turn to the person next to them and discuss each of the three historical events (one at a time on cue).  The partners should be able to describe what the event was and the effect it had on the colonists.

Participation and on-task behavior in groups and discussions.
Students will write a one paragraph descriptive news story about one of the three events.  Students will use information found in the primary sources to support their news article.  They will need to draw a “photograph” to go along with their news story.  Students can use the 5 w's prewrite to help them get started.
Who - Who was involved and affected by the event?
What - What was the event?
When - When did it happen?
Where - Where did everything take place?
Why - Why did the event cause problems for the colonists?  Why did the event occur?

Extension - Students can create a letter to the editor taking on the perspective of a colonist affected by the new taxes.

Students can add a political cartoon to their newspaper from the perspective of either the British or colonists.

Adaptation - Students can create a graphic organizer for an event utilizing the 5 w's.