Students will receive new background knowledge at the start of a new lesson, and they will also learn new vocabulary that they are encouraged to highlight and play around with by creating word search or crossword puzzles. Students can also play a matching game in which they can write terms like
minuteman, Sons of Liberty,
Lexington and Concord
and their meanings on one side of an index card, and then on the other side, draw a picture of the vocabulary term. Students can take turns showing the pictures of the terms while the others try to guess what the term is and provide a brief definition of it. They can also act out the vocabulary word, like the game
, as another effort to get to know the vocabulary with the guidance of the teacher, supervising and providing the words for the students to act out in their teams.
Another visual activity to generate discussion and excitement is to give the students a set of ten vocabulary words or fewer, and ask them to make up a song or a rap to help them remember the terms, and perform it for the class. The students can make up their own beats or choose to sing the song without music, and present it like a choral reading. In addition, traditional songs like
The Star-Spangled Banner
written by Francis Scott Key,
Yankee Doodle Dandy
My Country Tis of Thee
are other songs that the students can hear to learn their meanings. Before listening to the songs, the teacher can provide the students with the lyrics of the songs, which can be found on the following website http://www.earlyamerica.com/music/revolution, discuss, and then listen to the songs. This website provides background information on the music as well as the song. Teachers can prompt students to think about and visualize the song and jot down in their journals what kinds of pictures they are getting from the songs. Students can choose to draw their responses instead of writing on another sheet of paper, and then color them, if there is a particular vivid image that they wanted to describe.