“It is a glorious victory. It will rejoice the hearts everywhere and give new life to our hitherto waning fortunes…If he [General George Washington] does nothing more, he will live in history as a great military commander.” With these words recorded on Dec. 26, 1776, Washington’s aide, Colonel John Fitzgerald, stated the importance of the American success at the Battle of Trenton. This battle, along with the nighttime crossing of the Delaware River and the Battle of Princeton, are widely believed to have changed the course of the American Revolution. “The Christmas Campaign of 1776: Many Voices” is a resource-based, collaboratively planned and team-taught unit in which students are active learners who apply new skills as they do historical research. Students will interpret primary sources such as eyewitness accounts, historical documents, letters, journals, artifacts, historical sites, maps, and other records from the past. They will examine history paintings using a technique called “object analysis.” They will also use a variety of secondary sources to study the many perspectives on the Christmas Campaign. From these “many voices” students will gain a larger understanding of the bold and inspirational leadership of General George Washington and the important events of the winter of 1776.
(Recommended for American History I, grades 9-12.)