You are here

ELA G4:M3B

Perspectives on the American Revolution

You are here:

The Foundational Reading and Language Standards Resources Package for Grades 3–5

Use this guide to build additional literacy blocks alongside the module lessons.

Download

In this module, students explore perspectives in the American Revolution. Students study reasons why the 13 American colonies decided to declare independence, how colonists’ opinions differed on this decision, and how the perspectives of free and enslaved blacks were both similar and different from the perspective of the white colonists. After a study of these various perspectives, students construct an opinion piece proclaiming reasons to be a Loyalist or a Patriot.

In Unit 1, students build background knowledge on the war itself through close readings of several informational texts. Students will read closely to practice drawing inferences as they begin to think about what events happened in the war and why they happened. They also begin to gather evidence on the perspectives of the Patriots and Loyalists.

In Unit 2, students will read the historical fiction play, Divided Loyalties, to deepen their understanding of the Patriot and Loyalist perspectives. Drawing on their background knowledge about the Revolutionary War (from Unit 1), students will read the text closely, focusing on how one’s perspective influences one’s opinion as well as how one’s perspective can change over time.

Unit 3 allows students to synthesize their research of the Revolutionary War from Unit 1 and their analysis of perspectives from Unit 2 in a final performance task: an opinion piece written from the perspective of a Patriot outlining reasons colonists should join the Patriot cause in the form of a broadside (similar to a modern-day flier). To prepare for this task, students will study broadsides from the Revolutionary period and analyze examples of contemporary opinion writing. This task addresses ELA CCLS W.4.1, W.4.2b and d, W.4.4, W4.5, W.4.7, L.4.2a, c and d, and L.4.3.

Week-at-a-Glance

Each module is approximately 8 weeks of instruction broken into 3 units. The "week at a glance" chart in the curriculum map gives the big picture, breaking down the module into a detailed week-by-week view. It shows how the module unfolds, the focus of each week of instruction, and where the six assessments and the performance task occur.

Big Ideas & Guiding Questions

  • How does a person’s perspective influence her or his opinion?
  • Why should we respect the opinions of others?
  • American colonists had different perspectives on fighting for independence from Great Britain.
  • Black colonists and slaves had unique and different perspectives on the fight for American independence.

Content Connections

This module is designed to address English Language Arts standards. However, the module intentionally incorporates Social Studies and Science content that many teachers may be teaching during other parts of the day. These intentional connections are described below. 

Big ideas and guiding questions are informed by the New York State Common Core K–8 Social Studies Framework:

4.3 COLONIAL AND REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD IN NEW YORK: European exploration led to the colonization of the region that became New York State. Beginning in the early 1600s, colonial New York was home to people from many different countries. Colonial New York was important during the Revolutionary Period. (Standards 1, 3, 4; Themes: MOV, TCC, GEO, SOC, GOV)

4.3d Growing conflicts between England and the 13 colonies over issues of political and economic rights led to the American Revolution. New York played a significant role during the Revolution in part due to its geographic location.

  • Students will examine issues of political and economic rights that led to the American Revolution.
  • Students will examine the importance of New York as a center of Loyalist support, the English plan to gain control of New York and why it failed.
  • Students will investigate the strategically important battles of Long Island and Saratoga.
  • Students will investigate why the Battle of Saratoga is considered by many to be a turning point. A turning point can be an event in history that brought about significant change. 

Texts

Texts to Buy

Texts that need to be procured. Please download the Trade Book List for procurement guidance.


Cover Text Quantity ISBNs
Divided Loyalties: The Barton Family during the American Revolution
by Gare Thompson
ISBN: 978-0792258674

Texts included in the module

Texts that are included in the lesson materials.

Cover Text Quantity Publisher
The Shot Heard Around the World
by Thomas Flemming
Boys' Life, 1997
Loyalists
by The New Book of Knowledge, Grolier Online
Grolier,
Revolutionary War
by The New Book of Knowledge, Grolier Online
Grolier,
Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence
by Kathy Wilmore
Junior Scholastic, 2004
An Incomplete Revolution
by Amy Miller
Junior Scholastic, 1999
Private Yankee Doodle
by Thomas Flemming
Boys’ Life Magazine , 2003

Outcomes

CCS Standards: Reading—LiteratureLong-Term Learning Targets
  • RL.4.1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • I can explain what a text says using specific details from the text.
  • I can make inferences using specific details from text.
  • RL.4.2. Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
  • I can determine the theme of a story, drama, or poem.
  • I can summarize a story, drama, or poem.
  • RL.4.3. Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
  • I can describe a story’s character, setting, or events using specific details from the text.
  • RL.4.5. Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.
  • I can use literary terms to describe parts of a story, poem, or drama (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter, casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions).
  • I can describe the differences in structure of poems, drama, and prose.
  • RL.4.6. Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.
  • I can compare and contrast different narrators’ points of view. 
CCS Standards: Reading—InformationalLong-Term Learning Targets
  • RI.4.1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • I can explain what a text says using specific details from the text.
  • I can make inferences using specific details from the text.
  • RI.4.2. Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • I can determine the main idea using specific details from the text.
  • I can summarize informational text. 
  • RI.4.3. Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
  • I can explain the main points in a historical, scientific, or technical text, using specific details in the text.
  • RI.4.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
  • I can determine the meaning of academic words or phrases in an informational text.
  • I can determine the meaning of content words or phrases in an informational text.
  • RI.4.5. Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.
  • I can describe the organizational structure in informational text (chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution).
  • RI.4.8. Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
  • I can explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text. 
CCS Standards: WritingLong-Term Learning Targets
  • W.4.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

a.  Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.

b.  Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.

c.  Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instancein order toin addition).

d.  Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

  • I can write an opinion piece that supports a point of view with reasons and information.

a.  I can introduce the topic of my opinion piece.

a.  I can create an organizational structure in which I group together related ideas.

b.  I can identify reasons that support my opinion.

c.  I can use linking words to connect my opinion and reasons.

d.  I can construct a concluding statement or section for my opinion piece.

  • W.4.5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
  • With support from peers and adults, I can use the writing process to produce clear and coherent writing.
  • W.4.7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • I can conduct a research project to become knowledgeable about a topic. 
  • W.4.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

a.  Apply grade 4 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions].”).

b.  Apply grade 4 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text”).

  • I can choose evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

a.  (e.g., “Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions].”).

b.  (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text”).

CCS Standards: LanguageLong-Term Learning Targets
  • L.4.3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

a.  Choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely.

b.  Choose punctuation for effect.

c.  Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion).

  • I can express ideas using carefully chosen words.
  • I can choose punctuation for effect in my writing.
  • I use formal English when appropriate.
CCS Standards: Speaking and ListeningLong-Term Learning Targets
  • SL.4.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

a.  Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.

b.  Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.

c.  Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.

d.  Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.

  • I can effectively engage in discussions with diverse partners about fourth-grade topics and texts.

a.  I can prepare myself to participate in discussions.

a.  I can draw on information to explore ideas in the discussion.

b.  I can follow our class norms when I participate in a conversation.

c.  I can ask questions that are on the topic being discussed.

c.  I can answer questions about the topic being discussed.

c.  I can connect my questions and responses to what others say.

d.  After a discussion, I can explain what I understand about the topic being discussed.

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Sign Up