Your students will have some sense of the American Revolution, but most likely one informed by the mythology that surrounds the nation's founding moment. Therefore you might want to begin this unit by surveying what they think they know – and then return to that inventory at the end of the unit to see how their conceptions have changed. The image exercise we include will help with this concluding assessment – but you may be able to modify it to help survey your students' knowledge before beginning the unit.
The "Politics" and "War" lenses will provide your students with an overview of the central story – the debate over British policies between 1763 and 1775 and the war that resulted from this debate. But we also include several lenses that explore aspects of the Revolution less commonly told – the role of women, the response of free blacks and slaves, the diplomacy leading to the alliance with France. We also explore a religious event that occurred decades before the Revolution. This will help you explore with your students the more fundamental ideological transformation that had to occur before political rebellion could even be considered.