Are you an educator who is looking for classroom lessons and accessibly-presented information about the beginning of the American Revolution? The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library (National Heritage Museum) Learning Blog provides rich resources for anyone who teaches history or social studies in the primary grades.
Here, you will find background, facts, and instructional resources related to 18th-century Massachusetts and the coming of the American Revolution. We focus on the town of Lexington, the location of the Museum. This blog is a tool for educators to familiarize their students with different types of primary sources, where to find them, how to read them, and what they tell us. Primary sources, original records created either at the time historical events occurred, or later, in the form of memoirs and oral histories, provide the raw material that historians use to reconstruct the past. Here, we indicate how to access the primary sources that we have used to reconstruct life in 18th-century Lexington.
The posts below cover the daily life of ordinary people, political and economic developments, Lexington's contribution to rebellion in Massachusetts, and the Battle of Lexington itself. They are presented by thematic categories: farm, home, and family; Lexington; taxes, trade, and tensions; confrontation on the common. The posts include sources and materials adapted from the exhibition: “Sowing the Seeds of Liberty: Lexington and the American Revolution" (on view 2007-2012) and related research by museum staff.
This information supports our curricula for the third and the fifth grades, which are based on current scholarship and primary source research. The curricula are presented in their entirety at our website. They conform to the Massachusetts Department of Education’s history curriculum framework.
The third grade unit focuses in local history – students learn about everyday life in colonial Lexington by taking on the roles of real children who lived in the town in 1775. Through exploring family life, farm life, the economy, and community life, students come to understand that English colonists living in Lexington wanted to protect their freedom to own land and to govern themselves.
The fifth grade lessons are supplements that explore slavery in New England, taxation, women’s political participation, and self-government in Massachusetts.
The idea for this blog grew out of a summer 2007 teacher institute funded by the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati. At the conclusion of the institute, participants recommended creating a forum where the Museum could further develop the lessons from the institute while serving a broader audience - including students. At the same time, the Museum and visitors to the blog could share successful strategies and applications for the classroom. Welcome to the online learning community inspired by their ideas and enthusiasm.
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