Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Patriots' Day - 7 Revolutionary War Resources

Today is Patriots' Day in New England. Patriots' Day is a holiday to commemorate Paul Revere's midnight ride to warn Colonial Minute Men that the British were mobilizing toward Lexington and Concord. Because it is Patriots' Day I think it is timely to share some good resources for teaching and learning about the American Revolution.

Pictures of the Revolutionary War is a compilation of images about the Revolutionary War. The images in the collection chronicle the stirrings of rebellion in the pre-revolution years, the war from both American and British perspectives, and events following the Revolutionary War.

The US Library of Congress website is a fantastic place to find digital copies of more than ten million primary sources. In the past I've mentioned that the teachers page on the LOC website is a good place to find daily history lessons through the "Today in History" section. The Map Collections on the Library of Congress website is divided into seven categories including Military Campaigns and Battles and Discovery and Exploration. The Discovery and Exploration section includes maps of the journey of Lewis and Clark. The Military Campaigns and Battles section features an extensive collection of Revolutionary War era maps and charts.

Revolutionary War Animated is a great place to find nice animated maps of troop movements throughout the Revolutionary War. I've used this resource with one of my classes for a couple of years now and while the animations are simple, they do a great job of illustrating the battles. Take a look at the Lexington and Concord Animation here

America, A Narrative History is a text published by WW Norton. As a free supplement to the book, Norton has published ten Google Earth tours. These tours include major themes and events in US History. The list includes the Revolutionary War, the path to the Civil War, WWII, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, Lewis & Clark's expedition, the Indian Removal Act, Pre-Columbian North America, the national parks system, and the 20th Century power grid. All of the tours include multiple images and references. Some of the tours also have "tour questions" for students to answer.
Teaching American History has a series of interactive lessons about the American Revolution that are suitable for middle school and elementary school use. The lessons are divided into three chronological sections; 1775-1778, 1778-1781, and Treaty of Paris 1783. All of the lessons in the first two sections ask students to locate a place on a map. Students then answer a question about that place. After answering the question students are given a short text lesson. The lessons appear in chronological order. In the section on the Treaty of Paris students move through a series of placemarks on a map to learn about the terms of the Treaty of Paris.

Here are two videos that tell the story of the Revolutionary War through maps.

And good luck to my brother Patrick Byrne who is running in the Boston Marathon today. He's aiming to finish in the top 300 while representing the Manchester Running Company.