Link to MC 3 Unit 6

    Key Concepts

    Declaration of Independence

    government by consent

    military advantages and disadvantages

    Patriot / Loyalist


    right of revolution



    turning point


    unalienable rights

    Additional Key Concepts

    Graphic Organizer


    Unit 6

    Middle School Foundations (see Grade 8, F1.2)


    Using the Declaration of Independence, including the grievances at the end of the document, describe the role this document played in expressing

    ·   colonists’ views of government

    ·   their reasons for separating from Great Britain.



    Unit Abstract:

    In this unit students explore the actions of people and the policies of nations during the Revolutionary War. Students begin by creating a timeline of events leading to the Declaration of Independence. They explore colonial experiences with self-government, including the Continental Congress, the influence of political ideas, and role of the press in unifying the colonies to support independence.  Throughout the unit, students examine primary source writings including Common Sense and the Declaration of Independence.  After considering the philosophical and political ideas about government contained in the Declaration of Independence, students analyze the colonists’ grievances in terms of unalienable rights, government by consent, and limited government.  Next, students explore the course of the Revolutionary War. They evaluate the strengths and weakness of the British and colonial armies and investigate the course of the war with special emphasis on the winter at Valley Forge, the Battle of Saratoga, and the Battle of Yorktown. Students examine the influence of key individuals and other nations during this era, and compare perspectives of Loyalists and Patriots during the war. They also assess the role of women, African Americans, and American Indians on the outcome of the war and the impact of the war on their lives. The unit concludes with students assessing the Treaty of Paris, as well as the short and long term consequences of the American Revolution.



    Content Expectations 

    5 – U3.1.4:     Describe the role of the First and Second Continental Congress in unifying the colonies (addressing the Intolerable Acts, declaring independence, drafting the Articles of Confederation).

    5 – U3.1.5:    Use the Declaration of Independence to explain why the colonists wanted to separate from Great Britain and why they believed they had the right to do so.

    5 – U3.1.6:    Identify the role that key individuals played in leading the colonists to revolution, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, John Adams, and Thomas Paine.

    5 – U3.1.7:    Describe how colonial experiences with self-government (e.g., Mayflower Compact, House of Burgesses and town meetings) and ideas about government (e.g., purposes of government such as protecting individual rights and promoting the common good, natural rights, limited government, representative government) influenced the decision to declare independence.

    5 – U3.2.1:    Describe the advantages and disadvantages of each side during the American Revolution with respect to military leadership, geography, types of resources, and incentives.

    5 – U3.2.2:    Describe the importance of Valley Forge, Battle of Saratoga, and Battle of Yorktown in the American Revolution.

    5 – U3.2.3:    Compare the role of women, African Americans, American Indians, and France in helping shape the outcome of the war.

    5 – U3.2.4:    Describe the significance of the Treaty of Paris (establishment of the United States and its boundaries).




    Constructed Response Items
    5 - U3.1.6 - Match each individual with their role in the Revolution
    George Washington                            
    Represented Virginia in the 1st and 2nd Continental Congress and helped to write the Declaration of Independence
    Patrick Henry
    Scientist, publisher, and statesmen who was sent to secure a formal alliance with France
    Samuel Adams
    Commander of the Continental Army
    Benjamin Franklin
    orator who strongly urged people to arm themselves against the British troops and was famous for speaking the line, "Give me liberty or give
    me death."
    Thomas Jefferson
    nominated Washington general of the Continental Army and later became his vice-president and succeeded Washington to the presidency
    Thomas Paine
    originator of the "Loyal Nine" in Boston (later known as the Sons of Liberty) and helped to plan the Boston Tea Party
    John Adams
    his pamphlet entitled, "Common Sense," enflamed the passion for independence in the American colonies
    5 - U3.1.5 - The colonists wanted to separate from Great Britain and thought that they had the right to do so.  Using the Declaration of Independence, explain why the colonists wanted to be independent.    In planning your response, think about what we learned during the "Grievances Against the King" activity - see activity described below.  Activity should  be inserted into Lesson #2.) Be sure to include some of those grievances in your essay. 

    • Activity - Given a copy of the Declaration of Independence, rewrite in your own words four of the "grievances against the king" on a sticky note.  Stick your grievances onto a blank poster at the front of the room .  After everyone has placed his/her "grievances" to the poster, choose a signer to represent.  One at a time students introduce themselves and sign the Declaration. 

    5 - U3.1.7 - Describe the following influences on the decision to declare independence

    Experience with self government         

    Influence on decision to declare independence                                                    

    town meetings



    Mayflower compact



    House of Burgesses



    Ideas about government
    individual rights



    common good



    natural rights



    limited government



    representative government




    5- U3.2.1 - Construct a 2 column table and list the advantages and disadvantages of the Continental and British armies.  Be sure to consider leadership, geography, resources and incentives.
    5- U3.2.2 - Write a three paragraph essay describing the importance of Valley Forge, Saratoga, and Yorktown in the American revolution.


    Extended Response Items


    5-U3.1.4 - RAFT -You are on the Committee of Correspondence and you are writing a letter to the colony of Georgia trying to persuade them to come to the next meeting of the Continental Congress.  (Make sure you address the Intolerable Acts, declaring independence, and the drafting of the Articles of Confederation.)

    5 - U3.2.4 - Students will write a period newspaper article reporting on the importance of the Treaty of Paris in establishing the United States and its boundaries.

    Performance Assessments



    Related 6th Grade MEAP Released Questions:
    1. Which event from the American Revolution happened first?
    A. victories at Saratoga and Yorktown
    B. battles at Lexington and Concord
    C. beginning of the Second Continental Congress
    D. signing of the Declaration of Independence
Last Modified on February 14, 2018