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The Boston Massacre

Grade Level - 4th Grade

Estimated duration of lesson  - Two 50-minute class periods

Content standards

New Fourth Grade Standards- History Strand – 2. Primary and secondary    sources can be used to create historical narratives.  4.  The 13 colonies came together around a common cause of liberty and justice, uniting to fight for independence during the American Revolution and to form a new nation.

The Primary Source(s) used.

1.  Paul Revere’s engraving titled, “The bloody massacre perpetrated in King Street, Boston, on March 5th 1770 by a party of the 29th regiment.”

2.  John Bufford’s chromolithograph titled, “Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770.” 

A summary of the lesson -  Students will compare and contrast two artistic images of the Boston Massacre.  They will use their observations to conclude which image portrays the event more accurately.

 Description of the instructional steps to implement the lesson

Day 1-  Continuing our unit on The American Revolution, the class will read about and disucss the Boston Massacre from their textbook..  After discussing the events that occurred at the Boston Massacre I will ask if anyone knows who Paul Revere was?  A few will be able to tell me that he rode through town saying, ”The British are coming!”  We will then discuss whether Revere would be considered a patriot or loyalist.   I will then tell students a little background knowledge about Paul Revere’s job as a silversmith.  I will then display Revere’s engraving of the Boston Massacre and distribute Image Analysis Worksheet #1 to students.  They will work through the worksheet with a partner. Once everyone is done, we will discuss what each group came up with.  


Day 2-  I will display Bufford’s image on the Smartboard and distribute Image Analysis Worksheet #2.  Students will again work with a partner to complete worksheet.  Once everyone is done, worksheet will be discussed.  Students will be told to study these worksheets and use them to consider the following question.  What image do you feel more accurately portrays the events of the Boston Massacre?    


Worksheets Image Analysis Worksheet #1, Image Analysis Worksheet #2


A post-assessment – Boston Massacre Image Comparisons


Materials needed by teacher -  Smartboard, Images of Revere’s and Bufford’s work, Worksheets, textbook


Materials needed by students - pencil


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