American Revolution

The American Revolution, Was It Worth It?

As 5th graders studying the American Revolution, this webquest will give you a chance to research key positive and negative effects the Revolutionary War had on Americans. By the end of this webquest, you will decide if you would have fought in the war or not had you lived at the time of the American Revolution and you will try to convince peoplel in your community why they should follow you.

Introduction

What is war?  What is worth fighting for?  What are you willing to lose in order to fight for something that you want to gain?

You are going to use the web to further research the Revolutionary War and the positive and negative effects it had on people living in America.

After doing your research, you will work in small groups to create posters representing your collective beliefs about the pros and cons.

Finally, you will write a persuasive essay to the people who lived during the time of the American Revolution convincing them to either fight or to not fight in the war with you.

Task

You will be studying a number of online resources that examine the positive and negative effects of the American Revolution.  During this webquest, you will do online research, work in groups to come up with lists of positive and negative effects of the Revolutionary War, and write a persuasaive essay to people who lived during the time of the American Revolution.  By the end of the activity, you will decide if fighting the Revolutionary War was worth the consequences and you will decide if you would have fought in it yourself or not.

Process

Step 1 – Individual Task:

Read the questions below.  Keep them in mind as you are navigating the linked websites below them.  As you are reading each website, make sure to find one answer on each website you visit.  Take detailed notes for each answer as you will be using these notes later to write an essay.  If you can come up with more than one answer per website, just write any additional answers or notes on the back of your paper.

Good: What are the 3 most positive effects to have come out of the Revolutionary War? Go to these 3 websites to find out 3 good things that came out of the Revolutionary War:

http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/femvets.html

http://www.congressforkids.net/Constitution_threebranches.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolution (Scroll down to “Worldwide Influence” and read this section)

Bad: What are the 3 most negative effects to have come about because of the Revolutioary War? Go to these 3 websites to find out 3 bad things that came out of the Revolutionary War: 

http://www.nps.gov/revwar/about_the_revolution/consequences_war.html

http://www.theamericanrevolution.org/battles.asp

http://www.nps.gov/revwar/about_the_revolution/american_indians.html

Step 2 – Group Poster: Positive Effects and Negative Effects

  1. Get into your teacher-assigned groups of 6 and discuss the answers to the questions in Step 1.
  2. Work together to create two lists: one with the most positive effects to have come out of the Revolutionary War and one with the most negative effects to have come out of the Revolutionary War.  Rank each point on the list in order of how many people agree with the point. (For example: if everyone agrees that a positive effect to have come out of the Revolutionary War is that the colonists were free from paying British taxes, put that as #1 on the list)
  3. Create a poster on butcher paper that is vertically divided in half.  The left side will have your list of positive effects along with drawings to illustrate your list.  The right side will have your list of negative effects along with drawings to illustrate your list.
  4. You will be presenting your poster as a group to the rest of the class so divide what you will be presenting evenly amongst the group.
  5. After each group has made their poster presentation, all posters will be hung around the room.

Step 3 – Persuasive Essay

Imagine you are living at the time of the Revolutionary War.  You miraculously were able to see the future and saw all of the positive effects and all of the consequences the war had on the people living in America.  Decide if you would have fought in the war or not and write a persuasive essay that will be published in your local newspaper.

Your essay must: 

  1. Clearly state your opinion on whether or not fighting a war with the British is worth the future consequences/positive effects.
  2. Address people living at the time of the American Revolution.
  3. Have 3 or more pieces of evidence to support your opinion. (You may use the posters around the room or your notes from Step 1 to come up with your evidence.)
  4. Provide evidence for each of your examples.

Evaluation

Rubric for Persuasive Essay

Persuasive Essay : American Revolution Essay
           
           
           
Teacher Name: Judy Chiang        
           
           
Student Name:     ________________________________________    
           
CATEGORY

4 – Above Standards

3 – Meets Standards

2 – Approaching Standards

1 – Below Standards

Score
Position Statement The position statement provides a clear, strong statement of the author’s position on the topic. The position statement provides a clear statement of the author’s position on the topic. A position statement is present, but does not make the the author’s position clear. There is no position statement.  
Support for Position Includes 3 or more pieces of evidence (facts, statistics, examples, real-life experiences) that support the position statement. The writer anticipates the reader’s concerns, biases or arguments and has provided at least 1 counter-argument. Includes 3 or more pieces of evidence (facts, statistics, examples, real-life experiences) that support the position statement. Includes 2 pieces of evidence (facts, statistics, examples, real-life experiences) that support the position statement. Includes 1 or fewer pieces of evidence (facts, statistics, examples, real-life experiences).  
Evidence and Examples All of the evidence and examples are specific, relevant and explanations are given that show how each piece of evidence supports the author’s position. Most of the evidence and examples are specific, relevant and explanations are given that show how each piece of evidence supports the author’s position. At least one of the pieces of evidence and examples is relevant and has an explanation that shows how that piece of evidence supports the author’s position. Evidence and examples are NOT relevant AND/OR are not explained.  
Audience Demonstrates a clear understanding of the potential reader and uses appropriate vocabulary and arguments. Anticipates reader’s questions and provides thorough answers appropriate for that audience. Demonstrates a general understanding of the potential reader and uses vocabulary and arguments appropriate for that audience. Demonstrates some understanding of the potential reader and uses arguments appropriate for that audience. It is not clear who the author is writing for.  

Conclusion

Now that you have taken a stand and decided whether or not fighting the Revolutionary War was worth the positive effects or consequences or not, think back to why you made your decision.

If you are interested, feel free to take a look at some broader reaching concepts:

When is it ok to fight?  When is it ok to go to war?

Is freedom something worth fighting for?

In your life, what would you fight for?

If you are interested in learning more about war in general and the possible consequences associated with war, check out this website:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War

For more information on the American Revolution, check out this website:

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi/jb/revolut

Credits

Images borrowed from:

http://3mpub.com

www.allenscreations.com

www.mce.k12tn.net

www.gfisher.blogspot.com

www.library.thinkquest.org

www.assumption.edu 

Permissions
We all benefit by being generous with our work. Permission is granted for others to use and modify this WebQuest for educational, non-commercial purposes as long as the original authorship is credited. The modified WebQuest may be shared only under the same conditions. See the Creative Commons Attribution • Non-Commercial • Share-Alike license for details.

by Judy Chiang, Santa Clara University

As 5th graders studying the American Revolution, this webquest will give you a chance to research key positive and negative effects the Revolutionary War had on Americans. By the end of this webquest, you will decide if you would have fought in the war or not had you lived at the time of the American Revolution and you will try to convince peoplel in your community why they should follow you.

Teacher Introduction

Now that you’ve been teaching your students about the American Revolution, give them a chance to do some research of their own.

In this webquest, they will be doing individual research, compiling data in small groups and writing a persuasive essay.  The end result will be that each student will take a stand either for or against fighting in the Revolutionary War and will support their decision in with examples in an essay aimed at people living during the time of the American Revolution.

Everything is set up to go for you and your students!

 

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