Monday, June 22

Teaching About the American Revolution

After completing The Good & the Beautiful History, we were inspired to take The Great Revolutionary War Road Trip!  In the span of two weeks, we managed to visit several Revolutionary War sites.  These are some of the fantastic resources we found along the way...

Novel Studies

Field Trips
Costumes & Re-enactments
  • The boys re-enact the Revolutionary War in costumes they made themselves.  See how easy it is to make your own!
  • Using the costumes they created, they got together with friends and made a student-created video about the American's pretty funny!  
    • Each kid is assigned a role, and the older kids research the history of their role, as you can see in the special features part.  This is a great way to reinforce what they are learning!
  • Lego-themed fun study of the American Revolution (one of ten modules)

Lapbooking & Notebooking

Interactive Studies

Children's Literature & Lit Studies

Arts & Hands-on Projects

History Comics & DVDs

If your favorite Revolutionary War resource isn't listed, please email me or leave a comment so that we can get it up here!

This SchoolhouseTeachers American Revolution course introduces elementary and middle school students to the key battles and players of the Revolutionary War and incorporates history, geography, reading, critical thinking and analysis, and cursive writing throughout.

From the discovery of the New World to the end of the American Revolution, let Dave Stotts take your family on a Drive Thru History. Join him as he takes you to the places where America was born, shares facts about history you have never heard, and has a great deal of fun along the way. Plus, enjoy a special set of worksheets only available here!  Find out more about Drive Thru History...

Creating those Costumes...
After spending a few weeks touring New England and studying the Revolutionary War, the boys were psyched to design their own costumes.  They began back at the hotel, meticulously drawing each piece of costume and musket on individual slips of the notepad.  We ended up with four notepads full of drawings.  Some of them were even viable exploded mechanical drawings!

They began with the muskets.  We raided Grandpa's shop for unused 2x4s and Dad helped them with the shop tools.  They learned wood shop safety, and used both mechanical and manual methods.
After getting everything cut and sanded, they stained the wood, then added the metal pieces.  Our older son came up with the idea of using old spoons for the trigger and other embellishments.  And while their original designs were for a real, working gun, we nixed that.
Muskets drying, we began on the costumes.  Mom's forte is with the sewing machine, and the boys have done simple sewing projects before, but this was going to take some doing!  We began by gathering as many pieces as possible from garage sales and thrift stores.  (Baseball & football pants make great breeches!)  This just left us to make the jackets.

We found two ladies jackets that looked similar to their vision, and they learned how to take tucks.  This fitted the jackets, with the added benefit of creating pleats in the back.  The 'patriot' jacket was also slit up the back to create triangular sides.  They added a multitude of buttons, which really "made" the designs, and found a set of US/UK patches that further emphasized their roles.

Paired with the tricorns from Boston and the powder horns from Fort Ticonderoga, these were some pretty snazzy costumes!
Taking the roles a bit further, they created parchment paper from scrap paper and some old tea bags. Then they transformed a simple nightstand into a colonial desk, with quill and ink, to write a treaty.

On the Fourth of July, they dressed up, performed a flag ceremony, and headed to town to participate in the annual festival and costume contest.  I'm not sure what the criteria were, but the Brit placed 3rd in his age group, and the Patriot placed 2nd.  We were VERY proud of our boys for their efforts!!  I know that they learned quite a bit, about a great number of topics, through making these costumes.

Pick up a printable copy of this unit in the Humanities Unit Study Bundle!

Includes seventeen unit studies covering history and language arts based topics. Each unit addresses a new topic, spanning ancient through modern history and various writing styles.
  • Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.
  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.
  • Some units also have cooking projects.
These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together. Our family has used unit studies as curriculum for many years, and we hope that your family will enjoy these, too!


  1. This is wonderful! What an amazing, complete list of ways to study the American revolution. Thank you for sharing your experiences with this. Super fun!

    1. Thanks for stopping in!! Hope you found a fun activity. :)

  2. Thanks for creating this list of resources! I'm bookmarking it for when we do this time period!


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