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Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

American Revolution, Part 2: Battle of Bunker Hill, Jefferson and The Declaration, Hale and Spying

June 17, 1775
The Battle of Bunker (Breed's) Hill
The British Army Plan
Sam's task was to study the map above and devise a military strategy for General Gage. In doing this, he had to decide whether to 1.)move the troops across the Charles River and land near Morton's Hill, East of Charlestown, 2.) move the troops across the Charles River and land at Charlestown, directly South of Breed's Hill, 3.) Using the HMS Lively, HMS Somerset and HMS Glasglow, you will move 1.550 troops up the Mystic River and unload them behind Bunker Hill near the Charlestown Neck, 4.) attack the redoubt with naval artillery from the HMS Lively, HMS Smerset and HMS Falcon. He had to really think about it, taking into consideration the pros and cons, to give the reasons for his choices.

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July 4, 1776
The Declaration of Independence
The boys listened to a biography of Thomas Jefferson's life and his writing of the Declaration of Indpendence. We reviewed the significance of July 4th (when the Declaration was agreed upon and accepted.)
Sam looked more closely at what the Declaration was saying and why.

August 27, 1776
Battle of Long Island
Nathan Hale is captured and hung for spying.
We learned about spies, codes and ciphers. They got excited about making their own secret messages.

We experimented with invisible ink (lemon juice), drawing military maps...

ciphers, using different letters to substitute for the letters in the message...

Can you decipher this message?

and codes using a mask with holes cut into them that are placed on top of letters. Only a person with the correct mask could read the secret hidden message.

To mislead anyone who might intercept them, the letters usually included false military information, so that the enemy would let the letter go through.
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2 comments:

  1. Awesome! We have not read that Nathan Hale book- it looks like one my boys will enjoy.

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  2. I loved that Nathan Hale book, and the Liberty Kids episode about him. Though I think the book was better for providing a feeling of what he was like.

    I love the activities you did, next time around my kids will be old enough for them. They're not quite ready yet for codes and ciphers.

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