Friday, June 27, 2008

The American Revolution Online

Looking for some sites to enrich your teaching of the American Revolution or celebration of Independence Day? Walter McKenzie at Education World highlights 5 top sites for teaching students about the Revolution. And just in time for the Fourth of July!

The first site McKenzie highlights is The Federalist Papers. All 85 essays are at the website. These essays are often used to help us understand what the Founders meant when they created the Constitution. The site has a great search engine that lets you hunt for exact phrases or words.

The Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention is sponsored by the Library of Congress. Here, students can see the primary documents of the Congress and Convention. It is listed as great for secondary school and even college-level research but it can also be useful in middle school or with gifted students in social studies.

America Rock has all those great Schoolhouse Rock songs that some of us remember seeing on Saturday mornings. Some of the Schoolhouse Rock songs related to the Revolution included at the site are "No More Kings," "Fireworks," "The Shot Heard Round the World," and "The Preamble." McKenzie says adults might find them "silly" but I bet they are too catchy and useful to dismiss. I know that I remember a lot of Schoolhouse Rock almost 30 years later.

Liberty! The American Revolution is a companion website for the PBS special about the American Revolution. It has a lot of great resources for the classroom, including the game The Road to Revolution. This game uses interactive quizzes and fictionalized news articles to engage and teach students.

Independence Day on the Net is a "comprehensive celebration of the history, legends, and traditions of this most American of holidays." The site has music, fireworks, and tons of information on the origins of the Fourth of July and the customs surrounding that day. This site seems suited more for elementary school or the beginning of middle school but can be fun anytime. It's a great idea for your own kids sitting at home who may want to get revved up for this year's holiday.

Little Known Facts about the American Revolutionary War is also a fascinating site with answers that are off the beaten path, like the fact that women fought in the Continental Army and there were actually two Boston Tea Parties. This collection of little-known facts will appeal to kids and adults alike. The host of the site is the state of Delaware.

Happy Fourth of July 2008!

SOURCE: "The American Revolution" 06/03/08
photo courtesy of babasteve, used under this Creative Commons license

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