Unit 3 Building Block 1

Tensions Grow Between the Colonies and Great Britain

Big Idea:

  • Individuals influence government in a variety of ways.
  • Unresolved differences between groups of people have led to citizens rebelling against governments, affecting history in different ways.
  • People express their culture in history through art, architecture, literature and music.

Building Block Overview:

Students compare the tense relationship between the colonies and Great Britain before the American Revolution to a strained relationship between a parent and a child. In the Preview, students discuss an instance in which an adult has given them an order. In an Experiential Exercise, students relate to the feelings of the colonists and then match metaphors of a parent-child conflict with key historical events. In Reading Further, students learn about King George III and how his point of view differed from that of the colonists. As an Alternative Group work Activity, the students can work together in teams to create a newspaper to include an article demonstrating one of the events from this chapter, a Fast Facts section, and a book review.

Student Outcomes:

  • I can identify and discuss the causes and effects of events leading to the American Revolution.
  • I can explain how examples of art, music, and literature reflect the times during which they were created.
  • I can identify and analyze the causes and effects of events prior to and during the American Revolution.
  • I can explain how supply and demand affects consumers in the United States.
  • I can identify the Founding Fathers, discuss their motivations and contributions including: John Adams, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Nathan Hale, Thomas Jefferson, The Sons of Liberty and George Washington.

1.  Lesson Guide Preview p. 125

2.  Lesson Guide Building Background Knowledge p. 125

3.  Lesson Guide Experiential Exercise Phase 2:  Analyzing a Metaphor to Understand Historical Events.

4.  Lesson  Guide Reading Further p. 128

Extension Lesson:  Analyzing Primary Sources

1.  Analyze and compare primary sources (click on button) to discuss perspectives about the events leading to the conflict and tensions between the colonies and Great Britian.


Alternate Group Work Activity:
Creating a Newspaper of the Time Period

  • 1. The students will be assigned literacy groups of 2 or 3 to complete this activity.
  • 2. Students will complete KWL chart, focusing on questions to ask to guide their learning…inquiry based.
  • 3. Each group will read one of the children’s books about one of the events leading to the American Revolution.
  • 4. After reading, the students will create a list of words representing ideas from their book. They will then create a word cloud such as Wordle on their tablets.
  • 5. The students will create a Newspaper page to include Fun Facts, a newspaper account, and a book review, to be completed on Publisher or Word on their tablets.
  • 6.  Use handouts attached to the back of the building block.  It will include instructions and grading rubrics.

Extension Activity:
A Hero for Liberty

Students will research and nominate Founders for the Liberty Medal as if it were 1788, the year after the Constitution was signed. This research can be done in pairs – Each group or pair is assigned one of the founding fathers. Students will research how this person contributed to the forming of our new nation and create a poster (half sheet) or PowerPoint stating why this person should win the Hero For Liberty Medal. The class or another class votes for the Liberty Medal recipient.