Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal

Role Playing History : Patriots and Independence, part VII Presentations Celebration


Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, pgs 314 -317

Shoebox Museum Displays

Now it is time for students to make small replica items and share them along with all the other things the students have made throughout this unit. Everything should fit in a shoebox and everything should replicate something that one would find in a colonial-period museum display.
Museum card includes a list of everything in the box with a description of the item and it's significance.

Students also prepare a brief oral report to accompany your Shoebox Museum Display and card. The report should include an introductory paragraph, a short paragraph on each item, explaining detailed information about each item and a conclusion that also gives three reliable research resources. For the oral report, as well as clearly explaining the significance of every item the student presents, he needs to speak loudly and clearly enough to be heard, make eye contact with the audience and use body language to effectively capture your audience 's attention.

Celebrity Autograph Gala

In addition, or as an alternative to, the Shoebox Museum Displays, you could hold a Celebrity Autograph Gala in which students take on the personalities of a person they have researched. In advance, they will create a message for each of the other participants, keeping in mind what experiences the two famous characters could have had together had fate put them together. On the night of the party, the participants will dress up in costume and mingle with each other, "signing" each other's autograph books by giving them their prepared entries. Once they are all collected, they are bound together into an autograph book. Once the books are complete, guests can mingle and enjoy period treats, keeping in character the whole time.
When students write in their autograph book entries, they are to write a paragraph that captures the essence of their person, reflecting the Era and his role in the era. They are to include references to events and phrases or slogans used during the period. They can include advice, acknowledge help, express appreciation or refer to events that you might have shared with the other characters they interact with. They can practice writing an authentic looking signature.


  • Renaissance, Peter Cakebread and Ken Walton 
  • Patriots, A Simulation and Resource Notebook on the American Revolution, Bill Lacey and Terry Handy, Interaction Publishers 
  • Independence, A Simulation of the American Revolution, 1763-1776, Charles Kennedy and Paul DeKock, Interaction Publishers, Inc.

Role Playing History : Patriots and Independence, part VI The Aftermath

Reading Assignment for the Week:

  • Read George Washington's World,  Genevieve Foster,  part VII When George Washington was President.
  • Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, pgs 310-313

Day 1: Valley Forge Writing Assignment

The winters of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and 1779-1780 at Morristown, New Jersey,  we're horrendous ordeals for George Washington 's soldiers. "These are the times that try men's souls..." Thomas Paine said in 1777. Imagine that you are in winter quarters with the soldiers. Decide how to best describe life in the winter camps using your choice of writing activities.  You could write a series of journal entries writing about the hardships you are facing while enduring the bitter cold, inadequate rations and clothing,  disease  and the heartache of being away from friends and family.  Or, you could write a letter to send to a friend or loved one from a winter encampment.  In whatever writing activity you choose, use lots of emotion to show your understanding of the ordeal of Valley Forge or Morristown for the Patriot soldier.
Valley Forge Trip, 2016
Optional: Field Trip to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Drill Procedure with and without weapons

Beginning drill procedures without weapons, 2009.
In February of 1778, in the depths of that bleak winter at Valley Forge,  Pennsylvania, Baron Frederick von Stuben arrived at the Continental Army's encampment. Baron von Steuben had fought with the Prussian Army for Frederick the Great during the Seven Year's War (1756-1763), and so was hired to be Inspector General for the American Army.
When Baron von Steuben arrived,  the American Army was starving,  ill clad, and low in morale. They were also poorly disciplined and inadequacy trained.  He immediately selected and trained 100 men in the drill techniques proven so effective in earlier wars. These soldiers returned to teach their comrades the new drill techniques.  By June, when they went again into battle, the  British faced a vastly improved Patriot Army. Pretend that you are among the 100 Baron von Steuben initially trained. Your teacher will act as Baron von Steuben and teach you drill techniques with and without weapons. You, in turn will teach the techniques to others just as the original 100 soldiers did.

Day 2

Hands-on Gunnery Drill

You serve on an American Privateer ship. As part of your continuing practice for battle, your watch must drill on effective gunnery techniques but first you must construct a cannon model. Gunnery drills begin by clearing the ship for action. Crew members extinguished all lanterns and cooking fires. The Tars drilled for hours until loading and firing became second nature. Learning to fire a large cannon quickly and safely took hours and hours of practice. Speed of loading and accuracy when aiming in a pitching sea spelled the difference between success and fortune,  or defeat and death.
All gunners stand around the cannon. Usually there were 6 people on each gunnery team. The gunnery captain stands at the back of the cannon. The powder monkey stood behind and to the right of the captain. The firer is on the left and loader is on the right, both at the rear area of the cannon. Toward the front of the cannon are two more gunners, one on the right and one on the left. When ready, the Captain gives the order to "Commerce Firing!" The Gun Captain gives the following commands. (When a gunner completes a task, he always returns to attention, facing the enemy awaiting the next command.):
"Run out your guns." The gunners at the front of the cannon pull back the gonna from the firing holes in the ship.
"Sponge your guns." Front left gunner sponged by ramming home the plunger twice and then calls, "Ready."
"Load" The gunner in the back eight position  gets the powder cartridge from the Powder Monkey, runs up to the front of the gun and places the powder cartridge inside the barrel. The front right gunner then rams home the cartridge to the back of the barrel. While this is happening,  the gunner in the back left position must close the vent with his thumb to prevent venting of the barrel, in case there are sparks left from the last firing.
"Shoot your guns." The front left gunner loads the cannonball into the barrel of the cannon. The front right gunner rams home the cannonball to the back of the barrel.  The rear left gunner continues to close the vent with his thumb.
"Run out your guns." The gunners pull the gun back up to the firing holes in the side of the ship.
"Prime" The gunner in the rear right position pushes a pick through the vent hole to break the powder bag inside the barrel.  The gun captain places a fuse inside the vent, then aims the gun, getting help from the gunners.
"Fire" The rear left gunner blows on the end of the linstock to get the match hotter, brings the end of the linstock to the vent hole and touched the fuse with the slow match, igniting the powder and firing the cannon.
Everyone covers their ears as the cannon fires and then the process begins again.

Jack Tars and Landlubbers Role Play

It is late October and the privateer ship Pilgrim lies anchored in the harbor at Salem, Massachusetts, twenty miles northeast of Boston. The much larger British Royal Navy has dominated the sea war with most of America's small official navy captured or destroyed. The Americans have had some success with privateers, private ships fitted out with cannon, that prey on British merchant ships. In one fierce battle, the now famous A John Paul Jones, with his ship the Bon Homme Richard defeated the British ship Serapis off the English coast.  His victory gave the Americans a needed boost. With both France and Spain entering the war on America's side, the British navy must now protect their possessions in the West Indies, as well as try to provision their armies on the continent. For the privateer captains, the fat convoys of British merchantmen offers a double opportunity - to capture and sell valuable British cargo, thereby making their fortunes and help the war effort against the British.
The scenario opens on board the privateering ship Pilgrim. We used the guidelines for ships from the Colonial Gothic Gamemaster Guide, which takes into account anything you might encounter on board a ship, including wind, weather, types of ships and their good and bad traits. It also covers how to handle combat aboard ships in a game setting, including visual aids that you can cut out and use for role playing. As far as the scenario goes, I let it play out naturally and my student -players gain some British cargo as well as get captured. They then figured out a means for escape back to America. All exciting and historically possible plot lines.


Day 3: Continental Army Roleplay

It is early June, 1778. The Continental Army is camped near the Schuylkill River at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. They have spent a terrible winter with little food and clothing, poor shelter and much sickness and disease. Many soldiers have perished, but somehow the army has survived. The spring gives them hope as the organization of the veteran Continental Army has vast improved. The quartermaster and commissary departments have been reorganized  so that more food and clothing is beginning to reach the soldiers. Enlistmens are up due to the bounties offered by the Continental Congress. The most remarkable change, however, is the new drill technique taught to the soldiers by the new Inspector General Baron Friedrich von Steuben. This drill makes the various complicated maneuvers of the army much easier and more streamlined. General Washington is confident that his reorganized army is ready to begin it's new campaign against the British, camped in and around Philadelphia. In this scenario, the student-players are able to participate in the secret attack of the Hessian soldiers after crossing the Delaware River. This is a great opportunity to create lots of  mood and tension for your student-players.


Day 4

Surrender at Yorktown Role Play

It is October 20, 1781. One day earlier Lieutenant General Lord George Cornwallis surrendered his army of over 7,000 British and Hessian soldiers to General George Washington's allied army of 16,000 Continental and French soldiers.
For seven long years,  the war of American Independence has largely been an exhausting and drawn-out series of small battles. During the past several weeks the combined American and French army maneuvered the British Army onto the York peninsula in southeastern Virginia. When the British fleet under  Admiral Graves was turned back by the French fleet led by Admiral de Grasse, the British Army was trapped on the peninsula.
After enduring a three week siege with the British army sick, short of food and almost out of ammunition,  Lord Cornwallis was forced to surrender his entire force to the victorious Allied army led by George Washington.  This disaster may well mean the defeat of British hopes of victory in America.
After yesterday's surrender of the British army,  the troops on both sides are resting. Though still wary of each other, soldiers from each army begin to talk and some even discuss the war. You are in a mixed group of soldiers near a small creek, about a mile behind the American lines at Yorktown,  Virginia. In this scenario, your student-players get to relax some and perhaps meet new non-player characters. 


Day 5: Negotiating a Peace Treaty

As a band played The World Turned Upside Down, General Benjamin Lincoln, second in command, accepted the British surrender at Yorktown on October 19, 1781. When news of the surrender reached London it was enough to convince Parliament to end activities in North America. Over 30,000 British troops remained in America and fighting continued for nearly a year, especially in the south where Loyalist -Patriot warfare turned savage.
On February 27, 1782 the British House of Commons voted against any further war in North America and authorized the crown to make a peace treaty with the Americans. The British sent representatives to Paris to start the negotiation process. Congress authorized four commissioners to negotiate with the British on the issue of recognizing the United States as a free and independent nation. The senior American Representative was Benjamin Franklin, who had been in Europe since 1776 arranging a French alliance.
You will now act as a member of the delegation sent to negotiate the Peace Treaty. You must first decide on proposals which are either the most important or ones the other side might agree to include in the final peace treaty. You might also want to consider the French and Spanish viewpoints on the situation. Spain,  for example,  was not an ally of the United States but was an ally of France and wants some sort of prize for its participation. Spain, who was already in Florida,  wanted that. The entire Mississippi Valley is also on their wishlist. The Spanish also want Britain to return strategically located Gibraltar to them as promised by France in the Franco - Spanish alliance. The British does not want the Franco - Spanish alliance to continue, so they may be inclined to align with the Americans with generous terms.
Your goal in the negotiations is to get your opponent to agree on your highest priority proposals without your opponent knowing exactly what that highest priority is. The final treaty must include at least 10 negotiated articles. You may, however   have to give up something to get something in return. Try to give reasons for your acceptance or refusal of the British's proposals.

"Let's put aside our differences for the cause of peace and consider my first proposal. .."

For the Teacher

Your goal is to steer, but not require your students to negotiate the proposals that we actually adopted, and drop the proposals that did not actually make it to the peace treaty.  In this way, you will be helping to facilitate their understanding of how we came to the peace treaty that was adopted. Here is the actual articles of the Peace Treaty of 1783.
His Britannic Majesty acknowledges that the United States are now free, sovereign and independent states.
Great Britain recognizes the boundaries of the United States as excluding Canada, to extend westward to the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, southward to the 31st parallel, and eastward all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.
Americans have the right to continue to fish off the banks of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland,  a region considered to be one of the world's best fisheries.
All legal debts incurred during the war will be honored by both countries.
Americans will make strong efforts to cease persecution of Loyalists,  hopefully redress their grievances and restore lost property and assets.
Navigation of the Mississippi River (source to ocean) will be open to both American and British subjects.
All remaining British troops will evacuate from the United States.

Oath of Patriotic Loyalty  

(an excerpt based on a Rhode Island Oath)
"I (name), in the presence of Almighty God,  do swear that I will neither directly or indirectly assist the wicked instruments of tyranny and villainy, commonly called the King's Troops and navy, by furnishings them with provisions and refreshments of any kind.
Nor will I convey any intelligence,  nor any advice to the enemies described; and further I pledge to inform authorities immediately if I should get knowledge of such treason.
I do further swear that when asked I will take up arms and subject myself to military disciple in defense of the rights and liberties of America.
So help me God!

Don't want to sign this? Then prepare to lose your assets and your life
source: Wikipedia
Tory refugees going to Canada.

Tory Role Play

A Loyalist, also called a Tory after the Conservative political party in England, was often identified by reusing to take a patriotic oath, singing God Save the King, celebrating the King's birthday  (June 4th) and continuing to buy British goods and drink British tea. You are going to now explore what it was like for the Tories after the war. In your role-play scenario,  your students will meet with a Tory who is willing to pay you for protection. Josiah Thornton was the owner and editor of the Hartford Chronicle. At first, Josiah,  a Yale graduate, and his wife, Rebecca, tried to remain neutral observers, but  after the Boston Massacre,  it was impossible for him to be unmoved or unbiased   He began writing editorials in support of  Parliament ' s laws and acts and this rubbed the Patriots the wrong way. Josiah was upset by the propaganda used by the Patriots after the massacre, especially Paul Revere's engraving of the incident. In a series of editorials,  Josiah described the Boston mob to be inciting, unruly and clearly the cause of the outbreak of violence. After these editorial ran, Josiah's life became unbearable. At first the Patriot neighbors just harassed him, refused to include him socially. The young boys taunted their 10 year old son and the women refused to include Rebecca in their social activities. But as Josiah continued to support the King, things turned more violent.
On the night of June 3, 1770, Josiah was taken from his home, bound and gagged, and dragged to his newspaper office.  There he watched the whole destruction of his office   printing press, records and furniture. He was released but as he went home, he discovered that his wife's garden was destroyed, his six horses missing and anti-King slogans painted on the side of his barn. With his newspaper effectively shut down, he had to a job in a stable in a nearby town. He is appealing to you for your help as he has received several threats.

It is now October and he is now being asked to take the Loyalty Oath, with an angry mob following. What do you do to help him?
If you are unable to appease and disperse the angry mob then frustrated,  Josiah shouts, "It is better to be ruled by a so-called tyrant 3,000 miles away than by 3,000 tyrants one mile away!" This set off the mob and unless you are able to do something the mob holds you back, strips Josiah of his clothes, dislocating his arm in the process and then they pour hot tar and dumped feathers over his body. They then turn to you, accusing you of being a Tory and unless you can convince then that you are not, you find yourself being knocked out and wake up with Josiah five hours later alongside the road a mile from town.


  • Renaissance, Peter Cakebread and Ken Walton 
  • Patriots, A Simulation and Resource Notebook on the American Revolution, Bill Lacey and Terry Handy, Interaction Publishers 
  • Independence, A Simulation of the American Revolution, 1763-1776, Charles Kennedy and Paul DeKock, Interaction Publishers, Inc.
  • Colonial Gothic, Gamemaster Guide, Rogue Games

Biology 101: Learning How to Use a Microscope

"The child should never be required to learn the name of anything...but the name should be used so often and so naturally in his presence that he will learn it without being conscious of the process."
-Anna Botsford Comstock, Handbook of Nature Study, p.11.

In order to study microorganisms,  students must first learn how to use a microscope properly. To do this, your student needs to learn the proper vocabulary associated with the microscope. I was most impressed when I was first reading both Charlotte Mason's and Anna Comstock's works how they treated the task of memorizing these types of terms. They suggest that you leave a drawing of the object with the terms labeled on it up in the school area and that, combined with the teacher's proper use of the terms, will lead to the student naturally learning and using the appropriate terms without any special attention paid to the memorization process itself. This was very useful for me because I happen to be that kind of learner myself, having huge difficulty with memorizing lists of things, but not nearly as much trouble memorizing in context.

I have noticed the same is true for many students, even those who find memorizing lists of facts rather easy. When I  taught a group of students biology several years ago, I gave all my students an unannounced end of the year final. I found that a few of the students who excelled on the chapter tests really bombed the final and a few who had only average grades on the chapter tests, received higher marks on the final. After talking to the students,  it seems that the answer was that the students that memorized for the chapter tests used their short term memory, and this information was dumped when the task of memorizing for the next test came along. The students that learned by doing and immersing themselves in the unit only received average grades because they had only been learning about and using the terms for a short two weeks, and hadn't yet completely mastered them yet. By the end of the year, however, they had used, applied and built off of what they had been learning all year and did really well on the cumulative test.

If your student, however, prefers the memorization method, you can practice this with the terms written on Post-it notes and have them put the terms on the correct area of the microscope. Make sure you read through the manual that comes with your microscope to learn the specifics of your instrument.Whatever method you use, make sure you, as the teacher, know and use the correct terms.

To begin your microscope studies, have your student plug in and adjust the brightness of the illumination intensity, and then place the chosen specimen on the mechanical stage and secure it. Make sure that the mechanical stage is farthest position from the objective so that the objective does not touch the specimen slide. Now adjust the x and y stage movement with the knobs so that the specimen is in the center of the viewing area.

Begin with the lowest magnification setting. In our case it was 10x. Next, using the course focus knob, raise the mechanical stage (or lower the objective, if that is how your microscope works) until the objective is close, but not touching the specimen slide. If the student starts with the objective as far from the specimen as he can, the student could accidentally hit the objective against the slide as he goes too close and possibly scratching the lens as well as ruining the specimen or slide while trying to focus the image.

Now your student can focus the image using the coarse focus knob, moving the objective and the mechanical stage farther from each other until the specimen is in focus. Once the specimen is in focus, he can use the fine focus knob to get a sharp image.

Your student can follow the same procedure for the various objectives your microscope may have.

This is the most basic outline of microscope use. Your microscope may have additional features that will need adjustment such as the diopter eyepiece, the iris aperture or the installation of glass filters. You can refer to the manual that came with your microscope to see how to adjust your microscope for these features.

What are some good things to look at initially? 

Starting with a piece of newspaper or a dollar bill can be interesting because it quickly shows the student not only the amount of magnification but also that the images are upside-down and backwards. The student can see that if he moves the paper to the left, the image moves to the right. When he moves the image toward him, the image moves away. Practice with a specimen that is easy to tell this with will make it easier for your student when he gets to specimens for which this fact seems less obvious.

The second specimen I like my students to look at are threads. If you use small pieces of different colored thread, you can show your student how depth of field can affect the image. Have your student put a drop of water on a blank slide sitting on the table. Using tweezers have him place down the first thread. 
Next have him place the second thread on the slide in the same manner, but this time have him place it perpendicular across the first thread so that it makes a cross or X. 
Now have him place the third thread so that it crosses the middle of the X, making a small sunburst type pattern. Now have him place a cover slip over the threads. 
Teach him how to put on a cover slip so as to reduce the possibility of bubbles. To do this carefully place the cover slip so that it is at the edge of the area you want it to go, holding it carefully by its edges. Now, carefully let it fall over the area.
Now have him focus on each thread separately. When one is in focus, the others are out of focus. This will happen when your specimen is not flat.
photo of a "gray" hair, by James using a smart phone camera.
Lastly, I would like to tell you that you can take photographs of the specimens you look at using just a smart phone camera. Just put the camera up to the microscope eyepiece and snap a shot, making sure that the flash has been turned off. As you can see, the photos are not professional quality, but they are nice and can be included in your student's notebook pages. If you print the photos out on regular blank paper, he can make notes or label the parts right on the photo.

High School American Government, part 4: Federalism, Dividing Governmental Power

1. Why federalism? Evaluate the arguments in favor of federalism. Give the argument for a compound republic.

Your student should list some of the following benefits of federalism.

  • division of power between nation and state
  • enforces its own laws directly on its citizens
  • neither the nation or state can change the division of power without the consent of the other
  • increases opportunities to hold public office
  • improves governmental efficiency
  • ensures policy responsiveness
  • encourages policy innovation
  • manages conflict
2. What was the original design of Federalism? How does it differ from how it is carried out today?

The US Constitution originally defined American federalism in terms of powers that belong or denied to the national and state governments. The Founders placed a larger emphasis on the powers of state and local governments to make public policy than is placed on them today.

3. Trace the evolution of American Federalism.
  • Supreme Court's broad interpretation of national power
  • national government's victory over the secessionist states in the Civil War
  • the establishment of a national system of civil rights based on the 14th amendment
  • growth of national economy governed by Congress under its interstate commerce power
  • National government's accumulation of power through its greater financial resources
4. Describe how the use of federalism leads to theories of political behavior.
  • Expansion of national government authority in the 1960's
  • Growth of new areas of government involvement
    • fiscal federalism
    • environment federalism
    • competitive federalism
  • Existence of problems that affect multiple and different levels of government
5. Assess how court decisions in recent decades have impacted federalism.
  • Gun Free School Zone act of 1990; 1995 was found unconstitutional because it exceeded Congress' powers under the Interstate Commerce Clause
  • Seminole Tribe v. Florida, 1996, 11th amendment shields states from lawsuit by private parties that see to force states to comply with federal laws enacted under the commerce power.
  • Alden vs. Maine, 1999, states are shielded from lawsuits in which private parties seek to enforce federal mandates.
  • Supreme Court invalidated the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act in 1997, siting that the law's command to local law enforcement officers to conduct background checks on gun purchasers violated the principle of separate state sovereignty.
6. What is direct democracy, who is responsible for it and how does it impact the distribution of power between the federal and state governments.  
  • direct democracy: people can initiate and decide policy questions without the intervention of elected officials
  • populists and progressives responsible for the widespread adoption of three forms of direct democracy: the initiative, referendum and recall.

7. Assess how federal grants have had an impact on state-national relations.

expanded powers in areas previously reserved to the states

8. Describe coercive federalism and explain how it has altered state-national relationships.

federal powers in local affairs has grown as a result of federal rules, regulations and guidelines established as conditions for the receipt for federal funds

High School American Government

Middle School Medieval History (grade 4-8)

Inexpensive Middle School Medieval History Curriculum

  1. Pick an interesting text to be your spine. For this grade/age range, we have used Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World HistoryA Child’s History of the World by V.M. Hillyer and Greenleaf Press' Famous Men of the Middle Ages and Story of the World, Volume 2: The Middle Ages by Susan Wise Bauer.
  2. Make notes of key words as you read. Begin by the teacher modeling this, and gradually have the student take over this activity. Have your student write a few sentences about what he has learned in his history notebook. If desired, add an illustration to the page, either sketched or copied from the internet. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey, which gives specific directions on what to write about and illustrations to add to the notebook pages.
  3. Read additional fictional books of the time-period. (Examples below.)
  4. Color and label an appropriate map and add this to the notebook so that it is across from the page he has just completed.
  5. Begin a timeline that covers the period you will be covering. After each notebook entry, mark significant dates on your timeline.
  6. Optional: Create a hands-on project that relates to the topic studied. (Examples below.)
  7. Feel free to further explore topics that come up during the study.

Early Middle Ages

Lesson 1: The Byzantine Empire 

Lesson 2: Monasticism

  • Fictional Book: Read The Holy Twins, Benedict and Scholastica by Kathleen Norris
  • Hands-On Project: Follow a monk's schedule for one day.

    A Monk's Schedule

    1:45 am - Wake Up
    2:00am - Church service: singing and prayers (Matins)
    3:30am - back to sleep
    4:00am - church service: singing and prayers (Lauds)
    5:00am - private scripture reading and prayer
    6:00am - Church service, then breakfast
    7:00am - Work
    8:00am - Church service: singing and prayers (terce)
    9:15am - work
    11:45am - Church service: singing and prayers (Sixtus)
    12:00pm - Midday meal
    1:00pm - Private reading and prayer
    1:45pm - sleep
    2:45pm - Church service: singing and prayers (Nones)
    3:00pm - Work
    5:45pm - Meal
    6:00pm - Church Service: singing and prayers (Vespers)
    7:15pm - Private reading and Prayer
    7:45pm - Church service: vespers
    8:00pm - Bed 

Lesson 3: Sui and Tang China

map from History Odyssey, Pandia Press

Lesson 4: Islam

Lesson 5: Persecution of the Jews

Lesson 6: North America

Lesson 7: The Bulgars and the Slavs

  • Topics for Study: Learn about Byzantine architecture.
Lesson 8: Carolingians

  • Hands-On Activity: Create an illuminated letter.
  • Questions to encourage deeper narrations:
    • What areas did the Muslims (Saracens) intend to conquer?
    • Describe the character of the French kinds of this period. What were they interested in? Describe the duties of the Mayor of the Palace.
    • Name two famous Mayors of the Palace and tell about what made them famous.
    • What was the significance of the Battle of Tours?
    • What does "Martel" mean and why was this name given to Charles?
    • Who interacted with the Saxons and the Lombards and what was the nature of the interaction?
    • Describe Charlemagne's attitude toward learning and in what ways did he attempt to further education in France?
    • Compare Charlemagne to Alexander the Great. How were they alike and how were they different?
Lesson 9: The Abbasid Dynasty

  • Read The Thousand and One Arabian Nights and The Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher.
  • Question to encourage deeper narrations: Discuss the relationship between Harun-al-Rashid and Charlemagne.
Lesson 10: Ghana

Lesson 11: Fujiwara Japan

  • Read "The Tales of Gengi." 
  • Explain how the Fujiwara family came into power and how the family ruled through regents. What is the Tales of Gengi? Include Fujiwara Yoshifusa and Lady Murasaki Shikibu. 

Lesson 12: Magyars and Bohemians 

Lesson 13: Anglo-Saxon Britain

  • Suggestions for narrations: the conflict between the Britons and the Saxons, comparing and contrasting them, how Christianity came to the British Isles, Egbert and what kind of ruler he was, including which ways Charlemagne influenced him and about Alfred the Great. Both Alfred and Clovis are considered by historians to be Christians. How would you compare these two men? Describe the rulers of England after the time of Alfred the Great.
  • If you have not already read Beowulf and the story of King Arthur, this would be a good time to read them. It is particularly fun to read Beowulf around the fireplace with the lights out to get in the mood.
  • Read Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Lesson 14: The Holy Roman Empire

Lesson 15: Capetian France

  • Example of a simple middle school narration:
Early Middle Ages: Capetian France (987-1328)
Capet was the nickname given to a Hugh Capet because of the short cape he wore. He was a French king and he aimed to gather the dukedoms into a united France. Louis the Fat made alliances with the church leaders against the Germans and the English. In 1152 King Louis VII's wife, Eleanor divorced him and married Henry II, the French-Norman king of England, putting Aquitaine under Norman rule. This began a conflict that lasted even after the Capetian rule fell.

Lesson 16: The Americas- Toltecs and Later Maya

Lesson 17: The Vikings

  • Example of Notebook pages.Quentin's (age 10) notebook, with notes of his narrations.Quentin's (age 10) notebook, with notes of his narrations.

Lesson 18: The Normans, pt. 2, pt. 3

  • Go through the story, making maps using maps (Medieval Maps) as a guide. 
  • Interview your student based on this lesson plan at Thinking History: Changes and Continuity: The Impact of the Norman Conquest. Have your student read the quotes and come up with questions that the interviewer could use with each of the quotes. Then, if your student wishes, have him dress up as a peasant and hold the interview, with you asking the questions he had written and take pictures.
  • Hold a historical inquiry.
  • Include appropriate dates on your timeline.
  • Sources and Resources for further study: Hastings (Battles) (Battles That Changed the World) by Samuel Willard Crompton, 1066: The Crown, the Comet and the Conqueror Paperback – January 1, 1996 by David Hobbs, Heritage History: William the Conqueror by Jacob Abbott, Heritage History: Days of William the Conqueror by E. M. Tappan, Thinking History: The Battle of Hastings Decisions on the Spur of the Moment?, Thinking History: The Events of 1066: Could it have ended differently?, Thinking History: Why Did William Want to Conquer England?, Battle of Hastings 1066 at History Learning Site, Battle of Hastings, Junior General.
Lesson 19: The Seljuk Turks

Lesson 20: China: The Song Dynasty

The Middle Ages

Lesson 21: The Crusades

  • Questions to think about: Why was Jerusalem considered the Holy Land? Imagine traveling to the Holy Land. Write a letter home telling about what you saw and heard. Who fought in the Crusades? Why did people join the Crusades? Why didn't more peasants serve in the Crusades? Some knights brought their entire families along. Why did they do that? Discuss the positive results of the failed Crusades. What did the Abbasids, Seljuk Turks, and the Fatimids have in common? (their religion) Why might they struggle to unite to fight against the Crusaders? (rivalries for power)
  • Duplicate a map of Europe and draw a routes of the pilgrims to the Holy Land. ( Damascus, Acre, Tyre, Tripoli, Hattin, Antioch, France, German Empire, Asia, Mediterranean Sea, Italian States, Rome, North Africa, Palestine, Egypt, The Balkans, Syria, Anatolia, Byzantium Empire, Byzantium, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Crusader States, Outremer, Holy Land.)
  • Additional Resources: Thinking History: Getting Started with the Crusades

Lesson 22: Knighthood


Lesson 23: Henry of Anjou

Lesson 24: Ireland

  • Read about Saint Patrick and record what you have learned in your history notebook.
Lesson 25: Shoguns and Samurai

  • Describe the feudal society of Japan by defining:
    • shogun
    • Code of Bushido
    • daimyos
    • samurai
    • hara-kiri
    • Minamoto Yoritomo
    • Zen Buddism (When the Chinese first introduced Buddhism to Japan, they rejected its harsh principals, so it was altered into Zen, which seemed gentler and kinder. It meshed well with their ancient religion, Shinto. It became the religion of the samurai.)
  • Read Tales of the Heike from Tales from Japan. There was a turning point in Japanese history during the early part of the 12th century. The power of the Fujiwara faded and the Gempei civil war broke out. Two warrior clans grew in power, the aristocratic Heike and the Genji. Each clan had massive armies. Tales of the Heike is a long narrative epic that was sung and recited long before it was written down. The moral that the proud will surely be destroyed comes from the Buddhist religion. The tales glorify the samurai while the proud aristocratic family is destroyed. As you read, look for the moral and evidence of the Code of Bushido. The Code of Bushido:
    • loyalty to one's lord
    • denial of self
    • self sacrifice and bravery
    • live a simple life
    • control emotions
    • mental and physical discipline
    • desire an honorable death
  • Compare Medieval Japan and Medieval England. (islands, castles, military overlords, religions introduced, minstrels, feudal system. Compare the levels of the Feudal systems of both countries.
  • Compare and contrast a samurai to a knight, using Tales from Japan and King Arthur. including the characteristics of each.
Lesson 26: European Trade

Lesson 27: Venice

Lesson 28: Charter and Parliament

Lesson 29: Mali and Ethiopia

Lesson 30: Benin and Zimbabwe

Lesson 31: Religion in the Middle Ages 

Lesson 32: The Mongol Empire

Lesson 33: Aztecs and Incas

Lesson 34: Medieval Explorers

Lesson 35: The Hundred Years' War

Lesson 36: The Black Death

Lesson 37: China: The Ming Dynasty

Quentin (age 11) decided to make a timeline that shows what was happening in the West on the left and the Chinese Dynasties listed on the right, with the approximate dates in the middle.

Lesson 38: Constantinople

Lesson 39: The Khmer Empire

Role Playing History : Patriots and Independence, part V: The Second Continental Congress

Reading Assignment for the Week:

  • Read George Washington's World, Genevieve Foster, part V When George Washington was just a Citizen
  • Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, pgs 306-309
  • Common Sense, Thomas Paine (Lesson plan on this can be found here and could be included in this week's lessons.)

Day 1: Patrick Henry's Speech, March 23, 1775

"Give me liberty or give me death."

The 28 year old Patrick Henry first caught public attention when, opposing the Stamp Act, he said, "If this be treason, make the most of it!" Now it is ten years later, and events are propelling Americans toward armed conflict with Britain, and Patrick Henry rises before 122 fellow Virginians in St. John's Church to deliver the following speech. (The following words are actually just excerpts from his speech.) Students can now feel a part of this exciting event by role-playing Patrick Henry delivering the speech and the patriot men in attendance at the church. Students should be encouraged to practice and deliver this speech, keeping in mind volume, clarity and eye contact with audience.  They should also make sure the delivery is with passion, and that they use of gestures and dramatic pauses to have an effect on the audience. Most importantly, your students should have fun with this. If it helps them to deliver the speech, they can even ham it up!

(Looking toward the presiding officer) "Mr President,  it is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. Let us not, I  beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.  Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned;  we have remonstrated; we have prostrated ourselves before the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. ..and we have been spurned,  with contempt, from the foot of the throne. ...In vain, after all these things...there is no longer any room for hope. 

If we wish to be free...we must fight. I repeat it, sir, we must fight!
(audience pounds tables vigorously)
The battle...is not to the strong alone; it is also to the vigilant,  the active,  the brave...The war is inevitable -and let...it...come! 
(audience pounds table vigorously)
Gentlemen may cry peace, peace -but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms!
(audience pounds tables vigorously)
Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish?  What would they have?  Is life so dear,  or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? 
(audience pounds tables vigorously)
Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me,  give me liberty or...give me death! 
(audience yells, "To arms!" "To arms!") 

Day 2: Note-taking and Oral Presentations

Research and Timeline Activities

For the Teacher: Have your students complete research and prepare an oral presentation on the following  topics. The oral presentations should be seven to eight minutes long and I encourage students to also prepare a poster or other visual to illustrate their event. The other students are to take notes during the oral presentations and keep these notes in their notebooks. I like to begin this series of presentations with one of my own for the students to model. I also guide them through note-taking using either my presentation or a student's. Monitor student progress continually. You are there to advise, encourage and guide student work. Remember, you will be giving out Righteousness points for their work.

For the Students: You will only be able to make compelling arguments if you understand the events that led up to each Continental Congress and how these events caused the colonists to suggest the proposals. You need to read, discuss the events and determine how these events probably affected the colonists in the 1700's. You have to think about what impact it had on the Patriots, the Loyalists and the Neutralists and whether the event affected those who lived in cities,  or rural areas or in the Northern, Middle or Southern Colonies. Would each event be a win or loss? Be prepared to defend your position.

You now may be feeling more on the side of the Patriots, so I want to remind you of the Patriot position.

  • The British government is corrupt from to bottom and is incapable of governing with justice. America is morally superior. 
  • George III is incompetent. 
  • Seats in Parliament are openly bought and sold.
  • Parliament shows disregard for the plight of the English masses. 
  • Bribery and corruption are commonplace in the British government. 

Lord North's Compromise of 1775
Parliament will not tax any colony whose inhabitants tax themselves for the purpose of contributing to the common defense.

1775 Acts of Parliament
New England is hereby excluded from the Newfoundland fisheries and prohibited from all trade except with England and the British West Indies. Also, no arms or ammunition may be imported by any of the colonies.

Battles of Lexington and Concord,  1775
On April 19 the fighting begins. British casualties : 73 killed, 174 wounded,  26 missing;  American casualties: 49 killed, 39 wounded. Boston is under siege by the Americans.

Battle of Bunker Hill (Breed's Hill)
On June 17 the fighting resumes. British casualties: 2,226 killed, 828 wounded;  American casualties: 140 killed, 271 wounded, 30 captured

The Battle of Bunker (Breed's) Hill 

Role Play: Bunker Hill, Patriot Spies and General Gage ' s Plans

It is June 17, 1775 in Boston, Massachusetts. The 10,000 troops of General Gage occupy the city. American forces have established a redoubt at the top of Breed's Hill, on the Charlestown Peninsula, across the Charles River from Boston with several hundred troops in the redoubt and secured behind barriers and fences on the slopes. With the Patriot forces occupying the heights at Breed's Hill, the British army is vulnerable to attack, especially by cannon fire. By now I would expect that your student-Players are Patriots, working as part of a spy network and have each gotten conflicting information with regards to separate battleplans which have fallen into the Patriots hands and they have to decide which one they think the British are going to actually use. Student-Players need to study a map and determine which military strategy they think General Gage is actually going to use.

1. Move troops across the Charles River, and land near Morton's Hill, East of Charlestown. After forming ranks, General Gage will send 1,550 men against the American positions, holding 700 troops in reserve. Half of the troops will attack the American right flank along the beach and the rail fence, hoping to turn the rebel's left flank. While the main attack is along the beach, also attack the American redoubt atop Breed's Hill from the southeast. This attack is a diversion so the Americans cannot help their left flank near the beach. When the breach attack breaks through and moves behind the redoubt to the north, the frontal attack will trap the Americans between the two bodies of troops. The 700 reserve troops will follow up the attack and mop up any American stragglers.

2. Move the troops across the Charles River and land at Charlestown, directly South of Breed's Hill. Send 1,550 men directly through the streets of Charlestown, form up east of the cemetery and make a general attack on the American's right and rear flank. Meanwhile, 700 troops will attack the front of the redoubt to pin the Americans down. The HMS Lively and HMS Somerset will bombard the American left and rear from the Mystic River side of the peninsula. The hope is to break through the American's right flank, send their troops fleeing to the rear, all the while exposed to the cannon fire of the ships in the river.

3. Using the HMS Lively, HMS Somerset and HMS Glasgow, move 1,550 troops up the Mystic River and unload them behind Bunker Hill near the Chrarlestown Neck. The troops will move on Bunker Hill and, if the Americans do not defend it, entrench in two different directions. The entrenchments will face south towards the redoubt on Breed's Hill and north against possible enemy reinforcements from Cambridge. Meanwhile, from the south, 700 men will pin down the Americans in the Breed's Hill redoubt. Trapped on the peninsula, the Americans must surrender or be destroyed.

4. Attack the redoubt with naval artillery from the HMS Lively, HMS Somerset and HMS Falcon. There is no evidence of artillery that the Americans could use to fire into your troops stationed in Boston. After several days of intense bombardment by forces, the Americans will have to retreat back to the mainland or be destroyed. The army then can leisurely move into the Charlestown Peninsula and entrench the hills of Bunker and Breed's, thus sparing the army any casualties and win the battle.

For the Teacher:

If you need help guiding your students in deciding which plan General Gage will actually use, you can give them the appropriate pro and cons to each plan.

Plan 1

  1. By breaking through the beach and rail fence defences, Americans can be trapped.
  2. The American defense at the beach and the rail fence appears weak and lightly defended.
  3. The main attack is not against the fortifications on Breed's Hill.
  4. The inexperienced Americans will be scared of the massive attack formations and possible retreat in disorder.


    1. The size and strength of the American forces at the rail fence and the beach is unknown.
    2. The plan requires splitting the forces with your back to the Charles and Mystic Rivers.
    3. Attacking is harder than defending.
    4. The plan requires marching out int he open directly at an entrenched foe.

    Plan 2

    1. By attacking the American's left flank, the Rebels will be hit in their most lightly defended area.
    2. The Rebels are being hit from three sides.
    3. By marching through town, the army is shielded from observation.
    4. Navy artillery is not vulnerable to attack by the Americans.
    1. By marching through Charlestown, the troops are exposed to snipers hidden in the city which demoralizes the troops.
    2. The plan splits the forces. Troops unable to see each must coordinate their actions.
    3. There are not troops directly attacking the enemy at the beach.
    4. The attack takes a lot of time for preparation.

    Plan 3

    1. By attacking from the rear you may win the battle without firing a shot.
    2. By not attacking the redoubt, there main be fewer casualties.
    3. If successful, every American on Breed's Hill can be captured.
    4. The humiliated Americans will be demoralized.
    5. Rebels will learn the costs of their foolish and ill-advised rebellion.
    1. Mud flats, shallows and strong currents make a beach landing dangerous.
    2. Americans may move faster than expected and defend the landing beach.
    3. The 700 men in the American line of fire are vulnerable to attack.
    4. This plan does not kill enough Americans or sufficiently punish the rebels.

    Plan 4

    1. Naval bombardment will avoid troop casualties and still force the Rebels from the Charlestown heights.
    2. Destroying the redoubt by naval bombardment will prove military power and demoralize the enemy.
    3. By ignoring the American Forces, you treat the enemy as an insignificant bunch of hotheads who are not to be taken seriously.
    1. If the Americans manage to get cannons, the troops will be bombarded and forced out of Boston, thus assuring an American victory.
    2. By not immediately attacking the Americans, there is the risk of appearing timid and frightened of the Rebel Army.
    3. Since the Rebels are entrenched behind earthen breastworks, a naval bombardment may not force them out. A delayed army attack may allow them time to strengthen their positions.

    Reenactment for Loyalists, Neutralists or Patriots, an Alternate Activity

    If your students are not yet Patriots, they can do this activity instead. If you have a large enough group, you can run your own reenactment of the actual battle. If not, your student can use plastic soldiers and set up the scenes. He can then photograph them and add them to his notebook with captions (or he could write a blog post with them.) If you are doing a reenactment, ideally you will need a large open space of about 100-150 yards long and if it has an incline, that would be ideal. If you are doing a table-top version, you can convert the yards into inches. Divide your students into British and American forces, with a ratio of two British soldiers for every American soldier. The British should wear red shirts or jackets and white pants. The soldiers will begin behind barriers or on the coastal plain. American militias were behind earthworks and fences, which can be simulated by the use of about 15-20 hay bales. The British will advance at a pace of about 1 yard per second. Rehearse a few times. If you have available to you some drummers and fifers, then use them!

    1. It is a hot afternoon on June 17, 1775. About 1,000 yards west, two long lines of British troops three ranks deep. To the North, is the Mystic River. To the south and west is the city of Charlestown, with Boston across the Charles River. The Americans are hot, tired and thirsty. They anxiously await the British infantry who appear ready to attack. 

    2. For the Patriots, General Putnam and Colonel Prescott command somewhere between 1000 and 1500 militia. They face some 2,500 British Infantry. They cross the Charles River in boats to the Charlestown Peninsula. Though Bunker Hill was the original site for the American defense, the Patriots boldly built their redoubt throughout the evening, on nearby Breed's Hill. The trenches overlook the city of Boston, headquarters for the British army in Massachusetts

    3. The British ship HMS Lively fires at the American troops. A Patriot soldier goes down with a gruesome head wound. Patriot soldiers begin to look back and a few start to retreat. 

    4. Colonel Prescott walks along the top of the redoubt, calming the troops. The church bells in nearby Charlestown strike 3:00.

    5. General Howe reads to his troops, "I shall not desire any of you to go a step further than where I go myself at your head. Do your duty and God Save the King!" All British troops begin to slowly move forward, while staying together, moving against the American left flank at the rail fence. As they get closer, a stake is driven in the sand not 30 yards from the American position. Colonel Prescott cautions his men to be steady. So far, the Patriots hold their fire.
    6. Suddenly the American lines erupt with musketry fire. The British lines collapse. Many British troops go down in pain and agony. All British troops begin to retreat in confusion.
    7. As the British move back, the Americans are jubilant, but the British troops start to line up for another attack. General Howe walks out to the front of his troops and waves his sword.
    8. As they come closer, it seems that the British troops are having trouble staying in line, with the swampy land, blackberry bushes and broken fences on the slope. They have to reform several times. Meanwhile, Colonel Prescott tells his men in the redoubt, "Don't fire, men, until you see the whites of their eyes! Then fire low!"
    9. As they form up and continue with the attack, they are now so close that the American soldiers can see the white straps crossed on the British soldiers scarlet jackets. The Patriots fire their muskets towards the British, shredding the British line. Many officers are down, but they are still coming. Patriots again fire toward the British.
    10. British troops begin to retreat in confusion, but then start to line up for another attack. British troops begin to slowly move forward, while staying together. They have received more reinforcements.
    11. The American militia fires into the British again, but this time only a few Patriots fire their muskets. The others look at their muskets, and then turn to their officers and yell for ammo.
    12. The British move in closer, so close the bayonets can be seen, gleaming in the sun. The British troops yell to one another, "Push on! Push on!" They press on to the redoubt and chase the Patriot soldiers out. Several Patriot soldiers die inside the redoubt, including Dr. Warren, and as they are retreating.
    13. The American soldiers run from Breed's Hill to the shelters in the rear on Bunker Hill. The British troops cheer at their victory, but it is a costly victory for them, as hundreds of dear and wounded British soldiers lie on the slopes of Breed's Hill.

    Day 3: Second Continental Congress

    Proposals, 1775

    Students must research the following proposals and take into consideration not only the Loyalist and Patriot Point of views on them,  but also how they affected the colonists in terms of whether they live in urban or rural areas. Your student has the option of remaining Loyalists, becoming or remaining a Neutralist or becoming a Patriot as events may have affected his character and made him rethink his position on the matters at hand.

    • We will give aid and supplies to the colonial militia currently besieging Boston.
    • We will form a Continental Army with George Washington as commander-in-chief.
    • We will issue paper money to support the Army.
    • We will appoint a committee to handle negotiations with foreign countries.
    • We petition King George III to personally promote repeal of the oppressive measures. The Colonies will stop the independence movement if the Intolerable Acts are repealed and Parliament agrees to regulate only trade.

    Proposals after Common Sense was published,  1776

    • We will authorize privateering against British shipping.
    • We will sign The Declaration of Independence : When in the course of human events,  it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another. .." The document recognizes these basic points :
    • The origin of government is in the consent of the governed;
    • The obligation of the government is to protect the natural rights of the people;
    • When a government does not protect these rights, it is the responsibility of the people to abolish that government and institute a new one.

    Day 4: The Second Continental Congress

    For this activity,  it might be fun to dress as a member of the Continental Congress. Tuck sweat pants into long white socks. Attach ruffles to the front of shirts with full sleeves. Wear a suit coat and vest.  Make buckles and attach to dress shoes. Or, borrow a school band uniform.  Gather hair into a ponytail and tie with a ribbon,  if you can or make a wig. 

    As a delegate to the  Second Continental Congress, you are about to debate Mr Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. Remember that if you sign the proposal the King and Parliament will consider you a traitor but you may also change the world. Study your notes, and try to ignore the heat and flies from the stables nearby.

    Mr Thompson rises, rings a bell and says, "The Second Continental Congress, meeting in the city of Philadelphia, is now in session, July, 1776. The honorable John Hancock of Massachusetts Bay, President." Mr Hancock pounds the gavel three times and asks Mr Thompson to call the roll. He calls the roll by naming each colony and waiting for their response. A representative from each colony, upon hearing his colony's name called, rises and says, "Here, Mr Secretary". (You can actually call out the colonies your student-player represents and have them respond.)
    "I, John Hancock, President of the Congress, officially open this session. We will now entertain any motions important to this body. The chair recognizes the distinguished delegate from the Virginia colony. (If your student is this, just give him this speech ahead of time to use.)
    "On behalf of the Virginia legislature and Richard Henry Lee, I move that these United Colonies are and of right out to be free and independent states and these states should now dissolve all connections with Great Britain, form a plan of confederation with each other and take steps to secure foreign alliances."

    Mr Hancock: It has been moved that these United Colonies are free and independent and that these sates should now dissolve all connections with Great Britain, form a plan of confederation with each other and take steps to secure foreign alliances...

    ...It has been moved that these United Colonies are free and independent and that these sates should now dissolve all connections with Great Britain. Do I hear a second? (Ask for student participation by their saying, "I second the motion."

    "The chair recognizes the distinguished delegate from (student's colony). (It is now time for your student to deliver the speech they have made for this proposal.)"

    Hancock: Mr Thompson, we are now ready to tally a vote on this motion. I ask you to call out each colony's name. In turn, each delegate of that colony will stand and say to the motion (whatever motion is on the table, in this case, the motion to separate from Britain. Yea in favor of the proposal or Nay against the measure. You, sir, will tabulate the results on our tally board. You may begin." After the roll is called, "Mr Secretary, what are the results on the vote (on independence)?"
    "The vote to separate from Britain to form our new nation is: _____ votes in support of the proposal and _____ votes against the proposal. The measure is...adopted!" (Have students pound on the table.) Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Gentlemen, Do I hear a second proposal?" This pattern continues for each proposal, hopefully giving each student time to deliver their speeches.

    The debate ended and vote was taken on July 2. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4 and only John Hancock signed on that day. Most of the signers reconvened on August 2, 1776 to walk up and put signatures on the document. Have your student read the Declaration of Independence, out-loud, if possible, and make notations on it. What does it mean?

    RP's, POWs and Pressure Actions

    Students will be given RP'S based on how well they prepared their own notes on the both sides of the arguments, and how they played their roles and followed the rules for the debate. You should give your student a maximum of 10 RP's if he captured the essential points for their position.

    After the proposals have been adopted, announce the actions of the Second Continental Congress and give your students time to mark them in their notes. They can discuss what really happened: All seven proposals were adopted at the Second Continental Congress. Have students determine the number of POWS they gained or lost as Loyalists gain 10 POWs for each proposal defeated, and for each proposal approved, Patriots gain 10 POWs. Neutralists neither gain nor lose POWs.

    They can now decide which Pressure Actions their characters will take. Students then record gains and losses of their own POWs.

    Urban Fates
    1. You are fired from your job because you are suspected of being a member of the Sons of Liberty.  Lose 5 POWs
    2. The Loyalists bankers,  convinced that you are sympathetic to the Patriots,  refuse you a loan. Lose 10 POWs
    3. The Redcoat Army has moved to another town. You no longer have to quarter any troops. Gain 5 POWs.
    4. You are hanged in effigy because you are suspected of being a Loyalist.  Lose 1 POW.
    5. You cannot afford to feed both your family and the British soldiers quartered in your home. You must sell your horses. Lose 3 POWs.
    6. The British commander has many close friends in town.  He refuses to enforce the Intolerable Acts,  Gain 1 POW

    Rural Fates
    1. The drought continues to plague the harvest for the third straight year. Lose 5 POWs
    2. There has been an excellent harvest for the second straight year. Gain 1 POW
    3. The Loyalist bankers, convinced that you are sympathic to the Patriots,  foreclose your mortgage.  Lose 10 POWs
    4. The Indians attack and plunder your land. Lose 3 POWs
    5. You sign a mutual defense pact with the Indians.  They will protect your land and you will give them supplies.  Gain 5 POWs
    6. Due to the Quebec Act of 1774, your land west of the Appalachians is now part of Canada.  Lose 1 POW.

    Day 5: Roleplay: The Philidelphians

    It is July 3, 1776 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The largest city on the continent, and the second largest in the British Empire, Philadelphia is a thriving, prosperous city of 40,000 citizens. Bordered by the Schuylkill River on the west and the Delaware River on the east, it has well lit, tree-lined streets that are wide and paved. It even has "walkways for foot passengers," or what we think of as sidewalks. Philadelphia also boasts seven newspapers, two libraries and the Colony 's first public hospital. The city has a duel personality of Quaker heritage combined with rich art and culture.
    A few days before a large British fleet was sighted off New York City, making everyone consider the fact that the British seem to not only bring war to New England but also to the Middle Colonies.
    The Second Continental Congress has been meeting in the State House, uncertain whether to take the step of declaring the Colonies separate from England. Rumor has it that just yesterday Delagates from 12 different colonies agreed to declare themselves independent.
    You are close to the docks along the Delaware River on 2nd Street. It is a cool Wednesday morning, a welcome relief after the heat and thunderstorms of the last few days.  People are busy about their shopping, for today is one of the two days set aside for public markets. There are many immigrants in the city - Germans, Irish, Swedish and Scots - Irish. There are Quakers,  Angeicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Catholics,  Methodists and Jews. There are also many of all classes here from the well-organized to the indentured servants and laborers, with most of the population being middle class. There are slaves. Your player - characters can buy items such as cornmeal, fish, eggs, flour and beer. There is little mutton to be found, as the wool is being used for uniforms for the Patriots.  There are new papers and broadsides to be bought. 
    Daniel Smyth ' s City Tavern on 2nd Street is one of the places the delegates to the Continental Congress frequent. If your player - characters go to the tavern, they will also meet Tories there. (At any point your student-players can interact with the patrons there, but you may have to make up the dialogue. If they do not, you can read-act the following dialogue between William Lee and Joseph McKean.) A man you recognize as William Lee, will be overheard saying, "I am certainly no friend of the British,  but to risk everything is madness. The British Army and Navy is already in New York.  It is only a matter of time before they are at our doorstep. The colonies fighting the British on the high seas is preposterous!"
    Joseph McKean, a printer, responds,"By, Gad, it's time to stop bein' sheepish and dump 'Ole Georgie and his ministers.  Let's call the revolution a revolution and get on with it. It seems the delegates have finally gotten a backbone and done what needs done! " 
    "You seem to know a lot about what they are doing in those meetings, but those meetings are closed to the public. How do you know so much?"
    "I'm a printer and only three blocks away. They use my shop to print important items like documents and broadsides. I've been a friend of Benjamin Franklin for years, do they trust me. My shop was one of the first to print Common Sense back in January. In fact, the pamphlet is what convinced me."
    People are beginning to hear and respond to the conversation and William Lee's next comment is drowned out by the din the conversation has created. You do here Joseph McKean's response to it, however, "I believe that Mr. Dickinson has said it best,'We are destroying our house in the winter, before we have another shelter.' Most of my business has been with our mother country across the Atlantic, but now with this blasted war, my trading business has all but dried up!"
    Someone in the crowd asks,"Can you tell us something of their deliberations in the State House?"
    "Mind you, I haven't been in the room, but I do know that the President of the Congress is John Hancock and there are between 40 and 50 delegates most of the time. The star of the show in the last few days has been Thomas Jefferson. He was chosen by a committee to write a document, a declaration of independence from England."
    A voice from the crowd says, "Can you tell us about the rumor that the delegates have decided to declare our independence?"
    "Well, I am not supposed to tell anyone but hand it, it'll all be public knowledge in a day or two. Yesterday, the delegates voted and agreed that they will declare their independence. Tomorrow is the day they will vote, and by all accounts agree on Mr. Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. Now all we have to do is actually defeat the British and become a country in deed and not just on paper."

    Second Continental Congress Test

    1. What were the main arguments of Thomas Paine in his booklet Common Sense?
    2. What did the Second Continental Congress of 1775-1776 accomplish?
    3. What were the main ideas about government in the Declaration of Independence?
    4. How did the radicals persuade others in colonial America to join their cause?
    5. What types of individuals formed the leadership of the American "radicals"?
    6. What political faction dominated the Second Continental Congress? What was their main purpose?
    7. Certain Colonial leaders agreed with the Tory viewpoint. Who were they?
    8. Thomas Jefferson borrowed the ideas of others when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. Whose ideas did he borrow? What were some of the sources he used? Was that considered plagiarism at the time?
    9. What other colonial leaders helped Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence?
    10. Who was the leader in Parliament on July 4, 1776


    • Renaissance, Peter Cakebread and Ken Walton 
    • Patriots, A Simulation and Resource Notebook on the American Revolution, Bill Lacey and Terry Handy, Interaction Publishers 
    • Independence, A Simulation of the American Revolution, 1763-1776, Charles Kennedy and Paul DeKock, Interaction Publishers, Inc.