Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

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

Renaissance Role Play: Patriots and Independence, Introduction

We are starting a new series of role-play scenarios, this time focusing on the Revolutionary War Era of US history. The role-playing,  however, is just a part of our history studies and with this new series of posts, I will show how we combine the traditional studies with reports and projects and role-playing to make a thorough and complete US history program. This history studies has several parts. Depending on the student's abilities and grade, you can do some of the sections or all of them. This flexibility can also take into account your student's learning style or you can pick the sections that you feel your student needs more work in.

Listening and Note-taking.

I will be lecturing on various topics throughout the program because this is one of the major ways that information is passed in college and my aim is to prepare my students for college. I will guide them as they learn how to take notes from an oral presentation.

Oral Presentations.

Conversely, I want my students to be able to organize information into an interesting oral presentation.  I will require them to include a visual aid to illustrate the oral presentation such as a poster or visual project. They will also be able to practice oral presentations with activities such as Patrick Henry's speech and the Second Continental Congress debate speech. Students could also read a novel or biography relating to this time period and have another student interview the reader. The interview could explain the origin of the person they read about's views on independence. Students could also present an oral report contrasting the Declaration of Independence with the Communist Manifesto. Another option is for the student to make a 3-4 minute video showing how the life of one revolutionary era person changed because of his political views.

Hands-on Projects.

Throughout the week, they will participate in various hands-on projects that will relate directly to the role-play that week. These projects will include things like creating a replica of a Revolutionary War personality, play a Rank "War" card game, create a military map, participate in drill procedures,  a Bunker Hill reenactment or negotiating a peace treaty. I will be giving directions on how to do each of them. They could also make a museum diorama of a Revolutionary Era event, or of Independence Hall or another famous building of the period. If a student plays an instrument or sings, he could perform a song and explain something about the song such as what it meant to Colonial Americans. They could even try their hand at composing their own song in the style of colonial songs. Students could learn early American dancing and hold a Minuet Ball. As you can see, the project possibilities are many and can be tailored to your student's interest or the goals you have for your student. 

Writing Projects:

Timeline and History Notebooking:

During this unit, students will be writing in their history notebook a paragraph or two about each of the following events, after they have read about them in history text or books from the library:
1763 The Royal Proclamation of 1763
1764 Currency Act
1764 Sugar Act
1765 Stamp Act
1765 Quartering Act
1765 Virginia Resolution
1765 The Sons of Liberty
1766 The Stamp Act
1766 Declaratory Act
1767 Townshend Acts
1770 Boston Massacre
1770 The Townsend Acts
1772 Committees of Correspondence
1773 Tea Act
1773 Boston Tea Party
1774 The Intolerable Acts
1774 Quebec Act
1774 First Continental  Congress
1775 Lord North's Compromise
1775 Acts of Parliament
1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord
1775 Battle of Breed ' s Hill (Bunker Hill)
1775 and 1776 Second Continental Congress, before and after Common Sense was published

They will also notebook about what events were happening around the world at the same time, using The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia as reference.

Varied Writing Projects:

In addition to their usual history journal entries, my students will be completing a variety of writing projects such as poetry writing, writing a Bunker Hill British Army Plan, and creating Political and Cultural broadsides or Almanacs. Students could compile a  Who's who in Colonial America. They could write a short story or a book report.

Research Papers:

Additionally, your students can write as many research papers as you feel is needed. Here is a list of possible topics to get you started:
Albany Plan of Union
Architecture in Colonial America
Art in Colonial America
Committees of Correspondence
Common Sense
Crispus Attucks
Galloway Plan
General Thomas Gage
James Wilson
John Dickinson
Lord North
Reverend Muhlenberg's Dilemma
Thomas Paine
Triangle Trade
William Pitt
Wyoming Valley Massacre

I will be posting about how to grade the papers, including a rubric for grading.

Reading Assignments

In addition to the reading students will have to do in order to complete their writing assignments, they will also be asked to read George Washington's World by Genevieve Foster.  We also use the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia for their history notebook entries. You, of course, can substitute any book(s) you feel is appropriate to give a background to everything that was going on at the time. 

Within the Role-Play Scenario.

During role-playing, there will be educational props to use such as a letter from George Washington letter that the characters receive and a mask which enables the characters to read the coded message within the letter. They will take an Oath of Patriotic loyalty and become an American spy. They will also learn through the role-playing, what it was like for the Tories after the war.

Role-Play Character Creation.

During this scenario the students will play the role of a colonists, and whether they be a merchant,  a farmer or a ship builder, they will belong to a political faction of either a Loyalist, a Patriot or a Neutralist. Each character will begin with a number of Righteousness points, ranging from 5-100. Righteousness points are a measure of a character's passion for a faction or his religious and political affiliations which represent a character's core beliefs.


We begin our scenario in a tavern. In fact my student's first assignment is to create their own tavern to include with the taverns I  have included in the scenario.



  1. How interesting! Looking forward to this series!

  2. This is definitely a thorough history unit! I love how you're teaching them to take notes and preparing them for college! Great ideas. I'm wishing you guys a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!

  3. Oh this looks super fun! I love the writing assignments you've come up with, okay just the whole thing.


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