Subject(s): History, Language Arts (English), Social Studies
Topic or Unit of Study: American Revolutionary War
Grade/Level: 5

CA- California K-12 Academic Content Standards
Subject: English Language Arts
Grade: Grade Five
Area: Writing
Sub-Strand 2.0: Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
Students write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive texts of at least 500 to 700 words in each genre. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard Ameri-can English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies outlined in Writing Standard 1.0.
Concept: Using the writing strategies of grade five outlined in Writing Standard 1.0, students:
Standard 2.4: Write persuasive letters or compositions: a. State a clear position in support of a proposal. b. Support a position with relevant evidence. c. Follow a simple organizational pattern. d. Address reader concerns.

Subject: History & Social Science
Grade: Grade Five
Area: United States History and Geography: Making a New Nation
Students in grade five study the development of the nation up to 1850, with an emphasis on the people who were already here, when and from where others arrived, and why they came. Students learn about the colonial government founded on Judeo-Christian principles, the ideals of the Enlightenment, and the English traditions of self-government. They recognize that ours is a nation that has a constitution that derives its power from the people, that has gone through a revolution, that once sanctioned slavery, that experienced conflict over land with the original inhabitants, and that experienced a westward movement that took its people across the continent. Studying the cause, course, and consequences of the early explorations through the War for Independence and western expansion is central to students’ fundamental understanding of how the principles of the American republic form the basis of a pluralistic society in which individual rights are secured.
Sub-Strand 5.5: Students explain the causes of the American Revolution.
Standard 1: Understand how political, religious, and economic ideas and interests brought about the Revolution (e.g., resistance to imperial policy, the Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts, taxes on tea, Coercive Acts).
Standard 2: Know the significance of the first and second Continental Congresses and of the Committees of Correspondence.
Standard 4: Describe the views, lives, and impact of key individuals during this period (e.g., King George III, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams).

Summary: Students will be creating a persuasive letter to the Continental Congress. Students will pick a Revolutionary War character of their choice. In their letter they must explain who they are and their role in the war. They must also persuade the Continental Congress to claim independence in America and free ties with Britain or convince them that the colonies should remain under the control of Britain. They will also state how life would change in the 13 colonies if the Continental Congress takes their advise. The letter will be peer edited and a final draft must be constructed.

Learning Context: The lessons prior will focus on how the conflicts between the colonists and Britain grew. The students will analyze how the Boston events increased tensions between colonists and the British. They will understand the significance of the first Continental Congress and the committees of Correspondence. Students will identify and interpret multiple causes and effects of events. Also, students will evaluate the impact of key individuals early in the Revolution. The students will also be able to describe the first major battles of the American Revolution.

Learning Objectives: Students will...
...write a persuasive letter that contains a clear position with relevant and supporting evidence
...understand the political, religious and economic ideas and interests affected the Revolution
...know the significance of the first and second Continental Congress able to describe the views, lives, and impacts of key individuals during the Revolution

Instructional Input:
Write a 1 1/2 page persuasive letter to the Continental Congress Directions
You are in the Revolutionary War and you must write a letter to the Continental Congress!
Step 1: Choose your character from the list: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Molly Pitcher, Thomas Jefferson, Besty Ross, Patrick Henry, Nathan Hale, Abigail Adams, Benedict Arnold
Step 2: Write the letter as if you were that chosen person
1. You must explain who you are and what you have been doing during the war.
2. You must persuade the Continental Congress one of the following views: a) That America should claim independence from Britain, or b) that Britain should continue to control the colonies.
3. State a clear position to why your character believes in this position. Support the position with relevant evidence and examples.
4. If the Continental Congress took your advice, how would life change in the colonies?
Step 3: Peer Edit: Allow one person in your group to read your letter. Discuss and edit how you can make it more persuasive.
Step 4: Rewrite Letter: Rewrite your final draft and turn it into the teacher.

Opening: Round Robin with the names of people in the Revolutionary War. Then quickly review what had been happening in the colonies and what the Continental Congress set out to do.
Review the student objects of the lesson.

Modeled: Review and explain how to write a persuasive letter. Have a modeled letter from a Revolutionary War character not in their list to show and discuss with the class.
Assign students into groups of 7- each student individually picks a character from the list (visuals and literature on the people are provided). Pass out the directions paper and read through it with the class discussing every step and any questions students might have.

Individual practice: Students will write a one page letter to the Continental Congress. Their writing should be individual work. Once they are ready to have their paper edited they will share their writing with either their group as a whole, or a partner who is also finished for peer editing. Once students have completed the peer editing process, they can move on to writing their final draft of the letter.

Closing: Celebrate their writing! Ask students to come forward to read their letter. Point out two positive things about each of the student's writing to the class

Differentiated Instruction: Students with language or writing needs will have a varied length of a letter to write.
Visuals and extra literature will be provided for ELL students.
The teacher will work in a small group of students who have low-level writing skills. In this group they will fill out a graphic organizer with the teacher to organize their thoughts and arguments for the letter.

Student Collaboration: Students will work collaboratively & individually. Students will work in groups of 7.

Time Allotment: 1 class period. 1 hour 30 min per class

Instructional Materials/Resources: Paper, Pencil, Rubric, Directions

Technology Resources: Students have the option of researching their character using the classroom's computers for 10 minutes at a time online.

Lesson Rubric