Teaching History with Children’s Literature: People at the Center of The American Revolution


The American Revolution is important part of our history.  If the American Revolution never took place, we could be a different country. Understanding what lead the American Revolution has become an important subject in many history classes and is important for many tests. However, students can not learn about the events that lead up to the revolutions without learning about the important people of the revolution. The American Revolution by Gail Stewart provides an in-depth look into the important figures related to the American Revolution.

The book begins with a introduction into the American Revolution. This introduction describes the date that the revolution took place and some of the reasons that the American’s rebeled against the British. One of the main reasons that book describes is all of the new laws placed taxes on certain items that have never been taxed before. For example, the Stamp Act became very unpopular amongst the colonists because it placed a tax on any paper items that were used throughout the colonies. After the introduction there is a map of the all the colonies that existed at the beginning of the American Revolution. The rest of the book is about all the major people involved in the American Revolution, such as George III, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson,  George Washington and more. At the beginning of the small section of each of the important figures there is a picture with  a brief header of what made them important in the American Revolution. For exampl, King George’s header is stated as ” Refused to Allow American Independence”. Towards the end of the book there is Chronological list of events leading up to the American Revolution and what happended after the American Revolution. In addition, there is information on more reading related to the American Revolution and websites that could be helpful in providing a  more in-depth view of the American Revolution.

Curriculm Connections:
I would use this book as a way to gather background information on the American Revolution and the important figures related to it. In addition, the students could use this information to fill in sheets or to make foldables related to an important figure from the American Revolution. It would help the students to US1.6c) describe key events and the roles of key individuals in the American Revolution, with emphasis being placed on George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry.

Additional Resources:

For a lesson plan that could be used to teach about the important people of the American Revolution try Causes of the American Revolution

The Revolutionary War is a webquest designed for 5-9 graders and provides information/ resources related to the American Revolution.

For a copy of the timeline of the events that lead up to the American Revolution try visiting American Chronology.

Book: People at the Center of The American Revolution
Author: Gail B. Stewart
Illustrator: N/A
Publisher: Thomsan Gale
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 48
Grade Range: 4-6
ISBN: 978-1567117691