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Teaching Guide: Exploring the Road to Revolution

This teaching guide helps instructors use a specific primary source set, Road to Revolution: 1763-1776, in the classroom. It offers discussion questions, classroom activities, and primary source analysis tools. It is intended to spark pedagogical creativity by giving a sample approach to the material. Please feel free to share, reuse, and adapt the resources in this guide for your teaching purposes.

Discussion questions

  1. Describe the Proclamation Act of 1763. Reflect on the reasons the Crown and Parliament would have felt a law like this was necessary. Why would this have frustrated the American colonists?

  2. Reading several pages of the 1765 Stamp Act. What kinds of products was it taxing? What was the response of the “Congress” in the journal from the Congress? What actions did colonists take? Examine the teapot. What does it tell us about the relationship at this point between the colonists and the British?

  3. Reading several pages of the British text justifying taxation. What kind of reasons and justifications are provided for the Parliament's taxation of the colonies?

  4. Compare and contrast the 1770 illustration of the Boston Massacre and the Washington Irving illustration. Given your background knowledge, which depiction is more accurate? What reasons might have motivated the other depiction?

  5. After reading the letter from Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and others, reflect on what events or actions may have been planned or considered at this meeting. What organizations may have attended or planned the meeting?

  6. Describe the actions and information provided in both the Committee of Correspondence letter and the minutes from the meeting.

  7. Provide five observations from the four plates depicting the battle at Lexington. How do these match the firsthand account in the deposition of a colonial militiaman? Select a passage from the sermon. Given your knowledge of Lexington and Concord and the plates and deposition, explain the selected sermon passage.

Classroom activities

Divide the class into groups. Use the events, Acts, and accounts from this set of sources, together with your outside information, to create a timeline on a poster paper. With the dates 1763-1776 as your date set, place the documents onto the timeline. Fill in the gaps with outside information, include at least ten other items. For each document and extra item, draw a picture or graphic as a representation. Below the timeline, use a color-coded graphic to indicate the changing attitude of the colonists towards the British Crown and Parliament (for example: an increasingly red thermometer).

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