Lesson plan: 1

Unit Name: Road to the Declaration of Independence

John and Abigail Adams' Contributions

School District: Tyngsborough, MA

Date: September 1, 2009

Class and Grade: Social Studies/Grade 5

State framework standard:

5.15 Explain the reasons for the French and Indian War, how it led to an overhaul of British imperial policy, and the colonial response to these policies.

5.16 Explain the meaning of the key ideas on equality, natural rights, the rule of law, and the purpose of government contained in the Declaration of Independence.

5.17 Describe the major battles of the Revolution and explain the factors leading to American victory and British defeat.

5.18 Describe the life and achievements of important leaders during the Revolution and the early years of the United States.

Historical thinking standard:

1. Chronological Thinking

4. Historical Research Capabilities

5. Historical Issues-Analysis and Decision-Making


John Adams

Benjamin Franklin

King George III

Alexander Hamilton

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

George Washington

Enduring understanding:

Several events led to the Declaration of Independence.

Essential Questions:

What are the events leading to the signing of the Declaration of Independence?

Development and selection of activities and resources:

In pairs, students will use their prior knowledge to review and discuss the events leading to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. After discussing, the students will check their understanding utilizing the website:


Students will be taking notes to discuss with the class.

Student will be assigned an event and a domino. They will put their domino in chronological order based on their event. Students will then let the dominos go!

Students will be given a vocabulary word from the unit and become an expert on that word, teaches to the class, and throughout the unit will “own” that word-making a connection to it when it is discussed in class or in readings.


l  Essential questions

l  Timeline of Events

l  Vocabulary for unit


Based on notes and discussions with the students, I will be able to check their level of understanding.


The French and Indian War (1754-63)

The Sugar Act (4/5/1764)

The Stamp Act (3/22/1765)

Patrick Henry's "If This Be Treason" speech (5/29/1765)

The Stamp Act Congress (10/7-25/1765)

Townshend Acts (6/29/1767)

The Boston Massacre (3/5/1770)

The Boston Tea Party (12/16/1773)

The First Continental Congress (Philadelphia, 9/5-10/26/1774)


The Rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes (4/18)

The Battles of Lexington and Concord (4/19)

Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys Seize Fort Ticonderoga (5/10)

The Second Continental Congress (met in Philadelphia, 5/10)

George Washington named Commander in Chief (6/15)

Battle of Bunker Hill (fought on Breed's Hill) (6/17)

Montgomery captures Montreal for Americans (11/13)

Benedict Arnold's failed attack on Quebec (12/30)


Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" punished (1/15)

Patriot triumph at Moore's Creek, NC (2/27)

The British evacuate Boston (3/17)

Richard Henry Lee proposes Independence (6/7)

Declaration of Independence adopted (7/4)

Declaration of Independence signed (8/2)

Continental Congress The group of lawmakers that governed the country before the United States was formed.

Contraband Things the British forbid the Patriots to have without paying a tax to the King for them.

Drill Practice by soldiers, marching and using muskets.

Federalist A citizen who was in favor of ratifying the Constitution.

Justice Fair treatment or punishment following the law.

Lobsterbacks, Insulting nicknames for British soldiers based on their bright red uniforms.

Redcoats Tern used to refer to the British

Militia A military unit that is not part of a regular army and may be called together in

an emergency.

Musket A colonial weapon similar to a rifle. Fires one shot at a time and needs to be

reloaded after each shot.

Muster A gathering of soldiers for drill or inspection

Patriot One who loves, supports and defends one's country.

Ratify To agree to something and so make it a law

Refugee A person who is forced to flee their home due to harsh and cruel treatment.

Stockpile Supply of things stored for the future or for emergencies.

Tory American colonists who remained loyal to the King of England during the

American Revolutionary War.

Typhoid Fever A disease transmitted by contaminated food or water and characterized by rashes and high fever

Tyranny A government in which a single ruler has complete power and is often cruel and