Revolutionary War on Trial

Revolutionary War on Trial


Level:  Advanced: Day 3 – Follow-up activity

Time:  90 – 100 minutes (or 2 classes)

Note: Please review the section, “Tips on Using Primary Source Materials in the Classroom” from the Overview section.

          deposition, rods, provincial, huzzaing

          Students will:
1)     distinguish the differences in perspective between opposing sides in an incident or conflict;
2)     observe and experience varying emotions from each group;
3)     come to understand that truth is a relative term.

Divide the class into 3 groups:  2-5 Patriots, 2-5 Redcoats, 1-5 Judges.

Day 1 (30 minutes)

Each Patriot will choose one or more (depending on the size of the class) of the accounts from A Narrative of the Excursion and Ravages of the King’s Troops to read, decipher, and present before class in a mock trial to be held the following day.  Each Redcoat will do the same.  Judges will read contemporary accounts from multiple sources (encyclopedias, books, internet, etc.) preparing questions for the “trial” that will take place the following day.

Day 1, continued (15-20 minutes)

Patriots, Redcoats, and judges will meet as groups and discuss what they have learned and what they will present.

Day 2 (3-5 minutes)

Patriots and Redcoats will make their cases in court explaining their side of the story.  Judges will ask questions and, in the end, make a decision as to where the fault lay for the battles of Lexington and Concord.

Day 2, continued (10-15 minutes)

Groups will separate for the remainder of class and, as a whole, discuss the information that was presented and debate what they believe to be true or what is slanted or biased, and why they believe it to be so.


Students will write a short essay explaining their views about who they feel was at fault for the battles of Lexington and Concord.