The resources listed below are great to use when teaching a unit on the Revolutionary War in social studies (VS.5, USI.6). You will find appropriate literature for students related to the American Revolution, websites for students to explore as well as sites for teachers and parents to supplement teaching about the Revolutionary War.
Recommended literature for students:
The Fighting Ground by Avi
This historical fiction novel tells the story of a 13-year-old boy named Jonathan who decides to involve himself in a Revolutionary War battle. The entire book takes place over a 24-hour time period with the chapters divided by the time of day, making for a quickly paced story full of adventure. This article provides great classroom activities to do in conjunction with reading this book. Author, Avi, also has a wonderful website with resources for teachers and further information on his books. The Fighting Ground is most appropriate for upper elementary or middle school students.
George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen by Both Sides by Rosalyn Schanzer
This beautifully illustrated narrative tells the story of the Revolutionary War from both the British and American perspectives. It compares and contrasts King George III and George Washington while at the same time recounting the events of the war. From the trouble with taxes to the Boston Tea Party, from the “shot heard round the world” at Lexington to the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the British surrender, this book provides a wealth of information in a very kid-friendly fashion. It also includes a helpful index in the back of the book for easy reference.
…If You Lived At the Time of American Revolution by Kay Moore, Illustrated by Daniel O’Leary
What was life like before the Revolution? What did colonial people look like? What were colonial houses like? This book uses a question-and-answer-format to help children think about what their life would have been like if they had lived at the time of the American Revolution. It provides both the Patriot and Loyalist perspectives on the Revolutionary War. There a clear illustrations and easy to comprehend text, making this book a wonderful resource for students studying the American Revolution.
George Washington’s Socks: A Time Travel Adventure by Elvira Woodruff
This historical fantasy novel tells the story of five adventurous kids who experience the American Revolution firsthand as they travel back in time to the eve of the Battle of Trenton in their magical rowboat. They encounter Hessian soldiers, revolutionaries and even George Washington himself in their journey through time. This book is historically accurate and provides wonderful information from the time period embedded in a story full of excitement and adventure.
The Winter of Red Snow: The Revolutionary War Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart by Kristiana Gregory
This fictional diary from Scholastic’s Dear America series recounts the Revolutionary War during the difficult winter of 1777-1778 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania through the eyes of 11-year-old Abby Stewart. History comes alive with vivid description and details in Abby’s account of life during the American Revolution as she and her family do their part to help the soldiers, sewing, visiting the sick, and even doing laundry for George Washington. Check out this discussion guide on the book from Scholastic!
Websites for students:
PBS: Liberty! The American Revolution - This site provides great kid-friendly information on the American Revolution based on the PBS documentary series Liberty! There are newspaper chronicles, a Revolutionary War time line, as well as interactive activities on daily life in the colonies, military perspectives, and global expansion. In the interactive “Road to Revolution” game, you can test your knowledge about the American Revolution and every correct answer gets you a step closer to gaining independence.
Liberty’s Kids – This website is based around the TV series Liberty’s Kids which gives students a perspective on the American Revolution through the eyes of two young apprentice reporters, Sarah and James. The “Liberty Archive” section of the site has great information on people, places, events, and objects of the Revolutionary War. In the “Now & Then” section, kids can watch current and past episodes of the show.
Colonial Williamsburg: Kids Zone – This website has wonderful interactive games and activities relating to the Colonial time period including Mr. Jefferson’s Magical Maze, Name that Founding Father, and Zoom in on the Declaration of Independence. These games are fun and educational at the same time!
The American Revolution for Kids - This site is created by kids for kids. It provides a Revolutionary War timeline, information on important battles, leaders of the war, and interesting facts. There are also several activities students can do to test their knowledge on the causes and effects of the war and compare and contrast the British and American actions during the war.
American Revolution Resource Page - This is a great site for resources on the Revolutionary War including helpful links on the people, events, and battles of the American Revolution.
Websites for educators:
Road to Revolution – This website provides several resources for teachers planning a unit on the American Revolution and specifically the causes of the Revolution.
Liberty! Teacher’s Guide – PBS provides six lesson plans for teacher’s to accompany its series Liberty! The American Revolution. Lessons include “Reluctant Revolutionaries,” “The Declaration of Independence: An Analytical View,” and “Revolutionary War Music.”
Scholastic: Teach Dear America - This site provides great resources for teachers in collaboration with the Library of Congress which are based around the series of historical novels, Dear America.
Teacher Planet: American Revolution Resource Page – This page provides lesson plans, worksheets, and clipart for teacher who are planning a unit on the Revolutionary War.
National Park Service: Revolutionary Teaching Resources – This website includes five lessons on the Revolutionary War from Honored Places: The National Park Service Teacher’s Guide to the American Revolution.
Revolutionary War Unit - This site provides a timeline of the major events of the American Revolution as well as key terms, important people, and books on the time period.