Author:
Melanie
Subject:
Elementary English Language Arts, History, Social Studies
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan, Reading
Level:
Upper Elementary
Tags:
American Revolutionary War, Battles, Lesson Plan, july22
License:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Graphics/Photos, Text/HTML, Video

Education Standards

The Battle of Bunker Hill

The Battle of Bunker Hill

Overview

This lesson plan is designed to help 5th grade students explore the events and effects of the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolutionary War through research of informational text, video presentation and pictures, with the ultimate goal of understanding the effect of the battle on the war. The lesson is best delivered in an in person whole group setting, but could be modified to be used in an online format. Time Frame: 45 - 60 minutes

Photo by Melanie Nixon

Summary

This lesson plan is designed to help 5th grade students explore the events and effects of the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolutionary War through research of informational text, video presentation and pictures, with the ultimate goal of understanding the effect of the battle on the war. The lesson is best delivered in an in person whole group setting, but could be modified to be used in an online format. Time Frame: 45 - 60 minutes

Photo by Melanie Nixon

Background for Teachers

 

Teachers will needs to know the historical background of the Battle of Bunker's Hill. The following paragraphs provide a brief synopsis.

Historical Background

In April of 1775, the American Continental Militia defeated the British in the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The British forces retreated to Boston. During the Revolution, Boston was surrounded by water on the east and south and the surrounding area was hilly. Access to Boston was gained by a narrow neck of land. While the British remained in Boston, the colonists began to fortify areas on the north, south, and west. On June 13, 1775 colonial militia leaders learned that the British were planning to send troops into the surrounding areas, including Charlestown which sat on a peninsula across Boston harbor to the north, to build up the defenses around Boston. In response, 1,200 American militiamen, led by Colonel William Prescott, were ordered to fortify Bunker Hill and the smaller Breed’s Hill on the north end of Charlestown peninsula. During the night of June 16th they built a strong redoubt (a small, temporary defensive structure built with earth, rocks, and fence posts) atop Breed’s Hill and other small fortifications across the peninsula.

 

The Battle of Bunker (Breed’s) Hill

On the morning of June 17, 1775, backed by cannon fire from the navy ships in Boston Harbor, the British marched on Breed’s Hill, led by Major General William Howe and Brigadier General Robert Pigot. The Redcoats approached the hill in tight lines and columns in typical battle formation. The militiamen were ordered to hold fire until the British were close in order to conserve their limited ammunition. Legend has it that Prescott told his men not to fire, “... until you see the whites of their eyes.” Due to the tightly packed formation of the British soldiers, when the Americans did fire, the British fell in large numbers.  The militiamen even fired on officers, wounding and killing several. The British retreated and then charged the hill a second time with the same result. Finally, on the third charge, the British soldiers spread their lines out. This coupled with the depleted supplies of American gunpowder allowed the British to overtake the fortifications and engage in hand to hand combat. The surviving militiamen retreated to Cambridge, giving the British a victory.

 

The Effects of the Battle of Bunker (Breed’s) Hill

Although the British claimed victory at Bunker Hill, the price was high with British casualties accounting for more than a third of the men with 226 killed and over 800 wounded.  These losses were more than twice the American losses of 115 killed, 305 wounded, and 30 missing or captured. The Battle of Bunker Hill was the bloodiest battle of the American Revolution. This battle was a morale booster to the Continental Militia. They may have lost the battle, but they gained confidence in their ability to fight for what they believed in against a much stronger military force. The British also realized that the fight was going to be longer and harder than they anticipated. The Revolution would not be a short skirmish, but a hard fought war for independence.

 

Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

 

Utah 5th Grade Social Studies Standard 2 Objective 2

Learning Intentions: Students will be able to describe the events of The Battle of Bunker Hill and the significance of the battle in the Revolutionary War.

Success Criteria: Students will discover and defend facts related to the events of The Battle of Bunker Hill by reading articles, watching videos, and looking at pictures depicting the battle and a true/false anticipation guide. Students will describe their understanding of the significance of the battle by completing a written answer to the prompt- "Why was the Battle of Bunker Hill a significant event of the Revolutionary War?”

 

Step 2 - Planning Instruction

 

Student Background Knowledge

  • Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of the events leading up to the American Revolutionary War and the objectives of both the British and the Patriots.
  • Students will also need to know how to access Utah's Online Library and the databases EBSCO Explora and Gale In Context Elementary to look at resources about the Battle of Bunker Hill.
  • Students will also need to know how to find information in informational texts.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

Students with Limited English Proficiency or reading difficulties can work with a partner to complete the anticipatory guide, read the articles and write their response to the exit ticket question.

 

Step 3 - Instruction

 

  1. Have the students complete an anticipation guide with True/False questions about the Battle of Bunker Hill using a pen or marker.

  2. Have the students watch the video “Battle of Bunker Hill” on History.com

  3. Have students read the articles about Bunker Hill from American Battlefield Trust (battlefields.org) and EBSCO Explora (Utah's Online Library).

  4. Have students analyze the pictorial representations of The Battle of Bunker Hill on Gale in Context Elementary (Utah's Online Library)

  5. Have students make corrections to their anticipation guides using a pencil as they watch the video, read the articles, and analyze the pictures. Have them note where they found the evidence on the anticipation guide.

  6. Have students work with a partner to compare their answers to each item on the anticipation guide and discuss.

  7. Go through the anticipation guide one item at a time with the whole class.  Have students justify their answers with text evidence, providing students with more background information as necessary.

  8. Review the details of the battle and discuss its effects on the rest of the war.

Step 4 - Assessments

 

Student learning will be assessed through:

  • observations of partner conversations centered around comparing changes made to the anticipation guide
  • student responses including text evidence to justify their final answers on the anticipation guide
  • responses on the exit ticket to the question- Why was the Battle of Bunker Hill a significant event of the American Revolutionary War? as determined by the rubric