I’ve been attempting to integrate our social studies content into language arts over the last few days by asking students to write an essay regarding the causes of the American Revolution. I’m attempting to move my nine year olds into writing what you might remember as the five paragraph theme. They are very excited because most have never ventured beyond one or two paragraphs. We have gone over the A, B, C’s of essay writing which are:
(A) Analyze your topic----what is it you are supposed to write about and how? Decide if the writing should explain, discuss, state an opinion, or compare and contrast.
(B) Brainstorm----think and talk about the topic and accept all ideas (even the crazy ones)
(C) Choose the items that fit your topic and highlight them.
We analyzed our topic: Write a five paragraph essay regarding the causes of the American Revolution. Begin your essay with a question. Students looked back at the Georgia Standards for our unit and decided since the standard said they were to "discuss" and "explain" that would be the appropriate style of writing for this particular essay.
We brainstormed our topic. I was so proud of them. Every student contributed and they simply amazed me with the items they had retained. As someone suggested an item many were already analyzing the list decided that some of the things we were listing probably wouldn’t fit while others were reactions or effects. I reminded them we would organize our list later.
Here are 13 items from our brainstorm list concerning the causes of the American Revolution.
Can you determine which items are actual causes and which items are reactions or effects?
1. taxes, Acts, Stamp Act, Sugar Act, Townshend Act, Coercive/Intolerable Acts
2. Boston Massacre----snowballs, yelling, John Adams represented the British in court. Was it really a “massacre”?
3. George Washington----British soldier, asked the French to leave, Ft. Necessity, nearly died
4. “No taxation without representation”
5. French and Indian War----British colonists wanted to settle the Ohio River Valley
6. Proclamation of 1763---King George III set aside Ohio River Valley for Native Americans----colonists mad
7. Massachusetts/Virginia had had colonists for a long time….Georgia still a “baby” colony People who had had family here the longest didn’t feel tied to Britain anymore.
8. Parliament/Great Britain had huge debts after French and Indian War plus war in Europe
9. Colonists did not want war----letters asking to repeal taxes, Olive Branch Petition
10. Sons and Daughters of Liberty
11. boycott, violence, smuggling
12. Boston Tea Party
13. Committees of Correspondence
It was pure bliss to let students give this back to me on their own. I’m so proud of them.
Now….Can you tell me which items are the causes and which items are effects or reactions?