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«Educational materials developed through the Baltimore County History Labs Program, a partnership between Baltimore County Public Schools and the UMBC ...»

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Day Six: Debate Students will synthesize multiple perspectives in order to develop and support an argument to answer the overarching question, “Should the colonists have revolted against Great Britain?”


 RS#44 Revolution History Lab PowerPoint 6  History Lab Bulletin Board  RS#04 Strategies Historians Use to Analyze Historical Documents (displayed in room)  RS#28 Historical Debate Rubric

For Students:

 History Lab notebook  RS#28 Historical Debate Rubric (one copy per student or group)  Writing paper (one piece per student)  Chart paper (one piece per group, usually 2 pieces total)  Markers Motivation - Initiate the History Lab: Address the overarching question. Have students synthesize the information gained during the History Lab to address the overarching question.

Begin: Historians, the time has come to take all of our evidence to answer our big question, “Should the colonists have revolted against Great Britain?” Let’s take a look at our primary source documents and the perspectives that each one represents.

Call on students to briefly summarize each primary source and perspective.

Before Writing - Frame the History Lab:

Assess students’ understanding of the historical content and the process used by historians.

State: As a historian, you are now going to demonstrate the new learning you have gained this week.

We will hold a debate to answer our overarching question, “Should the colonists revolt against Great Britain?” Considering all the perspectives we have analyzed and explored this week, take a minute to reflect on each one to form your own opinion. Whether you say yes or no, write down your three strongest points or pieces of evidence that support your thinking. You should look over your historical document logs to find specific evidence from the many perspectives we have examined.

During Writing: Model the historical process by doing a close reading.

Give students 5-10 minutes to complete this task.

After Writing - Continue to model aloud:

Continue: Now is the time to get ready for our historical debate. Historians often disagree about past events, even when presented with the same historical documents. You will get into teams with the other historians who share your interpretation.

Educational materials developed through the Baltimore County History Labs Program, a partnership between Baltimore County Public Schools and the UMBC Center for History Education.

Distribute the rubric and review it together.

Say: You should be sure to address your topic and support your opinion with facts. Try to persuade the other students to understand your point of view by making a clear and convincing argument. Each team member will participate in the debate, whether speaking or working with the team to come up with the arguments for your side.

We are following the agenda below the rubric. First you will record your ideas on chart paper to make an electrifying opening statement. You need to really grab your audience and convince them that your position is truth. The Pros will open first followed by the Cons. Neither side is allowed to interrupt the other. Then, you will have time to prepare a rebuttal. A rebuttal is your chance to respond to opinions or evidence the opposing side is stating. It would be a good idea to assign some of the students in your group to be secretaries and record statements that the opposing side is making so you can refute them.

After the rebuttals, each team will have a chance to form its closing argument. In the closing arguments, you will summarize your points. Emphasize your most persuasive points and be convincing to your audience. This is also a chance for you to refute the rebuttal, which could be fun!

Divide the students into two groups, based on a show of hands, one for those who are in favor of the colonists revolting (the Pros), and the other for those who do not think the colonists should revolt (the Cons). Monitor students working.

Ready, set, debate!

Summary - Assessment (optional) Conclude: Well, historians, this week we have learned how to analyze primary source documents in order to answer a question. That certainly was a very heated debate. Have any of your minds been changed? Most students will say no, but even people constantly disagree but as citizens of this country we have the opportunity to participate in public debates, vote, write letters to the newspaper, or contact their representatives.

We learned that you don’t just stop after reading one person’s opinion. You need to look at a variety of perspectives to get the big picture before you form your opinion. And even when you do form your opinion, you need to stay in conversation with other people and respectfully listen to what other people have to say.

References Books

Berkin, Carol. Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence. New York:

Vintage Books, 2006.

Kaplan, Sidney and Emma Nogrady Kaplan. The Black Presence in the Era of the American Revolution, revised ed. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts, 1989.

Nash, Gary B.. The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America. New York: Penguin Books, 2005.

Raphael, Ray. A People’s History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence. A New Press People’s History, ed. Howard Zinn. New York: New Press, 2001.

Educational materials developed through the Baltimore County History Labs Program, a partnership between Baltimore County Public Schools and the UMBC Center for History Education.

Online Resources Adams, Abigail. “Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 March - 5 April 1776.” Adams Family Papers an Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. Available from www.masshist.org/digitaladams/aea/cfm/doc.cfm?id=L17760331aa. Accessed 7 August 2012.

"Battle of Bunkers Hill." AMERICANREVOLUTION.ORG. Available from http://www.americanrevolution.org/bunksm.html. Accessed 29 June 2011.

Brant, Joseph. "The Disturbances in America Give Great Trouble to All Our Nations: Mohawk Joseph Brant Comes to London to See the King, 1776." History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web. Many Pasts. Available from http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/8071. Accessed 29 June 2011.

Chalmers, James. Plain Truth. Open Library. Available from http://openlibrary.org/works/OL15254378W/Plain_truth_addressed_to_the_inhabitants_of_A merica_containing_remarks_on_a_late_pamphlet_intitled_Common_sense. [sic] Accessed 28 June 2011.

“Deborah Champion: American Patriot.” History of American Women. 2 April 2009. Available from http://www.womenhistoryblog.com/2009/04/deborah-champion.html. Accessed 9 August 2012.

“The Delaware Indians.” Legends of Kansas: History, Tales, and Destinations in the land of Ahs. Available from http://www.legendsofkansas.com/delawareindians.html. Accessed 30 June 2012.

"The Edenton ‘Tea Party’." Learn NC. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Available from http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-revolution/4234. Accessed 9 August 2012.

"George III, King of Great Britain &c." Library of Congress. Available from http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3a45431/. Accessed 12 August 2012.

"George Washington, First President of the United States." Library of Congress. Available from http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3a09915/. Accessed 9 August 2012.

“James Forten.” Gilder Lehrman history online. Available from http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/abolitionists3.html. Accessed 12 December 2012.

“Lord Dunmore's Proclamation." Black Loyalists: Our History, Our People. Canada's Digital Collection Program. Available from http://www.blackloyalist.com/canadiandigitalcollection/documents/official/dunmore.htm.

Accessed 10 August 2012.

Paine, Thomas. Common Sense. Project Gutenberg. Available from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/147/147-h/147-h.htm. Accessed 9 August 2012.

“Petition of 1779 by Slaves of Fairfield County for the Abolition of Slavery in Connecticut.” World History Archives. The History of Slavery in the United States. Available from http://www.hartfordhwp.com/archives/45a/021.html. Accessed 8 August 2012.

"A Society of Patriotic Ladies, at Edenton in North Carolina." Library of Congress. Available from http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ppmsca.19468/. Accessed 9 August 2012.

“Temple’s Diary: A Tale of Benjamin Franklin’s Family in the Days Leading up to the American Revolution.” 23 June 1775. Independence Hall Association, 1999. Available from http://www.ushistory.org/franklin/temple/part3_062375.htm. Accessed 29 June 2011.

“Treaty with the Delawares (1778) (Transcript).” Ohio History Central. Available from http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=441. Accessed 30 June 2011.

Vanderlyn, John. “The Death of Jane McCrea.” Digital image. The Athenaeum. Available from http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/full.php?ID=15812. 29 June 2011.

Zweig, Wendy. “Debate Rubric.” The Big Rainforest Debate: A Webquest by Wendy Zweig. Available from http://www2.lhric.org/ertc/Wendy/Wzrubric.htm. Accessed 9 August 2012.

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