Thursday, February 6, 2014

Point of View with Primary Sources and American Revolution Articles

Hey there!

I wanted to share something we did recently that I was really excited about!!

We've been learning about the American Revolution in Social Studies.

I'm sure you know what a primary source is, right?  It's basically an artifact from history that's real.   It was created by someone that lived during that period or around it.  Yep, that's my official definition.  :O)

I usually use photographs or paintings, etc, as a primary source document.  Or, a copy of the Declaration of Independence.  Something like that.

Well, we were talking about the Boston Massacre, and did you know that Paul Revere used propaganda???  Yep.  He did.  And I totally used that word with my students.   They were like, propa what?  I was like PROPAGANDA - because saying it louder means they'll understand it, right?

Um, no.  They didn't.  So we talked about it.

Here's the picture that Paul Revere engraved (yes engraved) in 1770 about the Boston Massacre and then copied it for all of the colonies to see.

So, in this picture it would appear that the British lined up and started shooting at the poor unsuspecting colonists.  However, this is not how it REALLY happened, which Paul Revere knew since it happened in his home town of Boston.  But, he wanted to fuel the flame of anger and discontentment with Britain so he swung it the way he wanted to...which = propaganda!

What REALLY happened was that the colonists way outnumbered a lone British soldier (Redcoat) and they were taunting him, throwing snowballs, sticks, and rocks at him until he called for help.  A few more Redcoats came to help and the colonists continued their mob like mentality until they clubbed a soldier, he fell, and his gun went off (or at least that's one theory).  The general yelled DON'T fire but maybe they didn't hear right and so a few more fired. 

But that didn't quite play into Paul Revere's hand, so he dubbed this a massacre and it spread through colonies like wildfire. (again- propaganda)

Well, I also found another picture (primary source) when I was creating my Causes of the American Revolution Articles that I found interesting.  


This was created in 1868 by Alonzo Chappel.  It was about 100 years later, but this picture tells a different story.  So, I had my students compare and contrast the two pictures.  They did really well!!  Here are a few of their sheets!
They really nit-picked what was different and why.  I was very impressed with the conversations going on!!  And, they were totally engaged and LOVED it!!  (This activity is in the Articles and Activities pack that I mentioned above!)

We are also about ready to test on the Road to Revolution so we are having our students make picture notecards of the events to help them study.  Basically, they can draw anything they want on the front of the index card that represents that event to them and then they just label it on the back.  Here is an example:

So, we'll be moving into important events of the American Revolution and I'm excited to say, I have finished the articles that are a sequel to my Causes of the American Revolution set!!

As you can see, I have another activity in this pack that also uses a primary source (plus all of the articles have primary sources in them as well) and this one is on the painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware (because you know it didn't really happen this way, right?  I doubt he was standing in the boat!)

File:Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze, MMA-NYC, 1851.jpg

I wanted to note that these articles are perfect for grades 4-6!  For grade 4, you'll probably want to read it with them and do much of it whole group.  5th and 6th grade would be more independent, and you can always use this to differentiate within your classroom!

So, since I have finished these articles, I would love to give some away!

You can pin it to win it!!  Yep, you got it!!  You have the chance to win them!!

Here is the pin:

Click on the pin and repin it.  Then, copy the URL of your pin and paste it in the comments.  Also, leave your email address so if you win, I know where to send it!  I'll choose two winners!!  

Thanks so much for reading about how I used primary sources!  I'm linking this up with my friend Erin for

Be sure to check Erin's blog for more ideas!


  1. I LOVE this idea so much, I pinned it on 3 different boards! :) Such an amazing pack! I know my students would really benefit from all of the primary sources. Here's one of the pins:

    Awesome product! :)


  2. The amount of time ya'll always put into your units is so impressive. I look forward to "Must Read Mentor Texts" and the freebies that you include are top notch! Pick me, choose me! I would love this unit and so would my kiddos!

  3. I love it! I can remember seeing that photo in the social studies book in 4th/5th grade and NEVER knowing that it didn't even happen that way. What a fabulous lesson on PROPAGANDA!!! I love it!
    :) Erin
    Here's my pin:

    :) Erin


    Another amazing set! Thanks for the giveaways! It is so fun and exciting to try and win.

  5. Looks like a great idea.
    Thanks for sharing:)

    Me again!! I forgot my email above in case I win.
    Thanks for all the work you put into these things! I wish my own two kids were in your class!!!!

    This is fantastic! Although I teach 3rd grade, we do discuss the cause of the Revolution and how it relates to South Carolina. I could totally adapt some of these ideas to fit my students' needs!

  8. I love this propaganda lesson!!

  9. I love teaching about the American Revolution, and I love your new packet. Here's the pin:

    I'm going to send you a link to my post on our field trip to the Old South Meetinghouse/Boston Tea Party ship.

  10. This is my favorite unit to teach in Social Studies! Here is my link

  11. Hello again! I found a throwback link-up so I re-posted the Old South Meeting House field trip post. Here's the link:

    I'm still amazed by the vial of tea leaves from the original Boston Tea Party.

  12. I repinned this fabulous resource! Thank you so much for sharing this. I really like the idea a lot and would hope to use it in the future. Here's my pin link:
    and my email is
    I would love to win this amazing resource!

  13. I just started our Revolutionary War unit in social studies a week ago and I am *absolutely* going to use these ideas with my students! Thanks for sharing this! Oh, and here's my pin:

  14. I can't believe how much work and thought you put into these activities - amazing!! Are you sure you are not working on one for ancient civilizations or medieval times - it would be a huge help!!

  15. I'm always impressed with your work! I pinned it to 5th grade Social Studies ( ! Thank you for taking time to help students all over the country. I'm a drowning teacher of a two year old girl with a traveling husband. Thank you so much for taking time to create awesome products!

    Elementary Teacher Files


    This looks amazing. Hope I win it!

    this unit is amazing!

    this unit is amazing!

  19. I just stumbled upon your blog and have been devouring each article. I am so glad I found it. I love this unit!! What I have seen so far is amazing. I love the Mentor Text articles also. I am always looking for ways to incorporate text into my lessons. Thank you so much for the chance to win and I will be surely following your blog :)

    Here is my pin:

  20. I was first caught by the Point of View and the Propaganda.. great connections ladies!! Then I kept reading and said Holy Guacamole, this is hot!! Awesome examples of primary sources bringing an event that happened so long ago to life!! High five gals!! Pinned it a few times because it is THAT good!!


  21. Love it! Can't wait to give it a try with my own students. Thanks!



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