Who’s Who

Summary

Students will identify influential individuals and groups of people who participated in the Battles of Saratoga and understand their involvement with the battles. Students will describe how natural resources in Saratoga, New York, affected the Battles of Saratoga.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America the Beautiful Quarters

Objectives

Students will identify influential individuals and groups of people who participated in the Battles of Saratoga and understand their involvement with the battles. Students will describe how natural resources in Saratoga, New York, affected the Battles of Saratoga.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts
  • Technology
  • Art

Grades

  • 4th
  • 5th
  • 6th

Class Time

  • Sessions: Five
  • Session Length: 45-60 minutes
  • Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

  • American Revolution
  • Citing sources
  • Physical maps
  • Timelines

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Battles of Saratoga
  • Natural resources
  • Surrender
  • Militia
  • Loyalist
  • Patriot
  • Artillery

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector or equivalent technology (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • "Saratoga National Historical Park Quarter" page
    • "Battles of Saratoga: Who's Who?" page
    • "VIP Research" worksheet
    • "New York State Map"
    • "Influential People Rubric"
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Copies of the following:
    • "3-2-1 Exit Slip"
    • "VIP Research" worksheet
    • "Bingo" page
    • "Influential People Rubric"
  • Copies of age-appropriate texts that give information about the American Revolution and the Battles of Saratoga, such as:
    • The Drama of American History: The American Revolution 1763–1783 by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier
    • The American Revolution for Kids by Janis Herbert
    • DK Eyewitness Books: American Revolution by Stuart Murray
  • Age-appropriate Web sites that give information about the American Revolution and the Battles of Saratoga, such as:
  • Copies of age-appropriate texts that give information about the Battles of Saratoga, such as:
    • Drums at Saratoga by Lisa Banim
    • Battle of Saratoga by Wendy Vierow
    • Saratoga by Richard Worth
  • Chart paper
  • Red, blue, and white butcher paper
  • Computers or tablet devices with Internet access
  • Pencils
  • Sticky notes (3x3 inches)
  • Markers, crayons, and colored pencils
  • Index cards (5x8 inches)
  • Plastic chips or markers

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency or equivalent of each of the following:
    • "Saratoga National Historical Park Quarter" page
    • "Battles of Saratoga: Who's Who?" page
    • "VIP Research" worksheet
    • "New York State Map"
    • "Influential People Rubric"
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • "3-2-1 Exit Slip" (1/2 sheet per student)
    • "VIP Research" worksheet (1 per student)
    • "Bingo" page (1 per student)
    • "Influential People Rubric" (1 per student)
  • Arrange to use the school computer lab or class tablets for Session 2.
  • Bookmark Web sites that give information about the Battles of Saratoga (see examples under "Materials").
  • Locate age-appropriate texts that give information about the American Revolution and the Battles of Saratoga (see examples under "Materials").
  • Using butcher paper, create a large, 12-section timeline highlighting the year 1777 for Session 4.
  • Using the "New York State Map" page, create a physical map of New York State that includes relevant parts of Canada (collaborate with the art teacher if possible) for Session 4.
  • Write names of all of the people from the "Battles of Saratoga: Who's Who?" page on sticky notes for Session 4.
  • Prepare classroom for Session 4 by displaying the timeline, map, and sticky notes.
  • Determine what five names or places will be used for the extra spaces on the Bingo card.
  • Make 2 charts for Session 1 titled "K-W-L: Battles of Saratoga" and "Battles of Saratoga: Vocabulary."

Worksheets

Worksheets and files (PDF)

Lesson Steps

Session 1

  1. Explain to the students that they will learn about the American Revolution and will also be learning about a particular time (1777) and battle (Battles of Saratoga). Ask the students to work in small groups and discuss significant points of the American Revolution. Responses should include key dates, people, and places.
  2. Display the "K-W-L: Battles of Saratoga" chart. Ask the students to share what they know about the Battles of Saratoga and add notes to the "K" column.
  3. Tell the students the Battle of Saratoga actually took place on two dates: September 19, 1777 (Battle of Freeman's Farm), and October 7, 1777 (Battle of Bemis Heights). The British wanted to use New York State to separate the New England states from the rest of the states.
  4. Tell the students that American forces met in the autumn of 1777, defeated a major British army, and forced it to surrender at Saratoga. This crucial American victory renewed patriots' hopes for independence and secured essential foreign recognition and support without which the war would have been lost. Saratoga National Historical Park commemorates the beginning of the end of the Revolutionary War and the independence of the United States. Collectively, the Battles of Saratoga have often been referred to as the most important battles fought in the world in the last one thousand years and one of the 15 most decisive battles in all of world history.
  5. Add this (as key bulleted information) and any additional information provided by the students to the K-W-L chart.
  6. Read the selected text relating to the American Revolution and the Battles of Saratoga to the class. Have the students take notes during the reading, identifying key people, places, and vocabulary.
  7. Display the "Battles of Saratoga: Vocabulary" chart. Add vocabulary and definitions from the reading and class discussions. Vocabulary could include terms such as: surrender (to give up to the enemy and agree to stop fighting), militia (citizens enrolled and trained in a military organization), loyalist (a person who is loyal to a political cause, government, or leader), patriot (a person who loves and strongly supports or fights for his or her country), artillery (large weapons such as mortars and cannons).
  8. Display and examine the "Saratoga National Historical Park Quarter" page. Locate this site on a class map. Note its position in relation to your school's location.
  9. As background information, explain to the students that the United States Mint began to issue the quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program in 2010. By the time the program ends in 2021, there will be a total of 56 quarter designs. Each design will focus on a different national site—one from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia.
  10. Tell the students that the front of a coin is called the "obverse" and the back is called the "reverse." Ask the students to share their ideas about the image on the quarter's reverse. Explain that the image is a close-up of the moment General Burgoyne surrendered his sword to General Gates and includes the inscription "British Surrender 1777."
  11. As a class, discuss the importance of the surrender to the Battles of Saratoga and the American Revolution.
  12. Display the "Battles of Saratoga: Who's Who?" page. As a class, review and discuss the list of individuals and groups that participated in the Battles of Saratoga.
  13. Invite the students to select an individual or group to research. Students can work alone or in pairs to complete the research.
  14. Distribute a "3-2-1 Exit Slip" to each student. Review the directions together. Have the students complete the slip and turn it in at the end of the session. ?

Session 2

  1. Display the "Saratoga National Historical Park Quarter" page. Review the charts and worksheets from the previous session.
  2. Ask the students to work in pairs and discuss the term "natural resources." Guide the students to understand that natural resources are things that occur in their original state in nature and are not made by humans. Examples include: water, plants, soil, and stone. Record the definition and student-provided examples on chart paper.
  3. Discuss natural resources that could be found in New York State. Have students predict how natural resources may be important to the Battles of Saratoga.
  4. Display and distribute the "VIP Research" worksheet. Review the directions with the students.
  5. Allow time for the students to use available online and print resources to research their selected individual or group.

Session 3

  1. Display the "Saratoga National Historical Park Quarter" page. Review the charts and worksheets from the previous sessions.
  2. Have the students share their research findings from Session 2 with others in the class.
  3. Provide the students with large pieces of paper, colored butcher paper, and drawing and coloring supplies. (Encourage the use of red to indicate British and blue to indicate American.) Ask the students to use their "VIP Research" worksheet to create a poster of their individual or group. It should include the name of the individual or group, whether British or American, and four or more items or symbols related to that person or group.
  4. Distribute an index card to each student. Have the students write the name of the individual or group at the top, list four facts about the individual or group, and indicate whether they were British or American by adding a red or blue circle at the top.
  5. Have the students present their poster. As a class, discuss student findings and add information to the K-W-L chart.
  6. Display the posters in the classroom or hallway.
  7. Collect the index cards.

Session 4

  1. Display and review the charts and posters from the previous sessions.
  2. Display and discuss the timeline, New York State map, and sticky notes with the names from the "Battles of Saratoga: Who's Who?" page.
  3. Ask the students to consider where and how their researched person or group fits into the timeline and New York State map.
  4. Distribute a "Bingo" page to each student.
  5. Using the student-created index cards from the previous session, read the facts but not the name of the person or group. Have the students identify who is being described and, once identified, where they fit on the timeline and how natural resources in New York State affected them.
  6. Add the appropriate sticky note to the timeline. Have the students add the name to any box on their "Bingo" page. (Since there will be extra spaces, have the students fill in the last boxes with names or places of your choice).
  7. Discuss the timeline and map, emphasizing the natural resources used, how they were used by the troops, and how they affected the Battles of Saratoga.
  8. Add any additional information to the K-W-L chart. Display the "Saratoga National Historical Park Quarter" page and talk about the significance of the image to the people and the Battles of Saratoga.
  9. Distribute plastic chips or markers to the students. Read facts from the student-created index cards as Bingo calls, and have students cover the appropriate name on their card as they recognize facts about a person or group.
  10. The first student who covers five names in a row should say, "Victory!" Play as many rounds as there is time for. Students can also save their cards and play at a later time as a review activity.
  11. Tell the students that, in the next session, they will be writing about a person or group that participated in the Battles of Saratoga. They can write about the person or group they researched or, after listening to information others shared, choose someone else. Have the students consider who they want to write about.

Session 5

  1. Display and distribute the "Influential People Rubric" to each student and review it as a class.
  2. Display and review the charts and posters from the previous sessions.
  3. Have the students write a five-paragraph essay emphasizing facts, contributions of the selected person, and the effect of natural resources on the person and the Battles of Saratoga.
  4. Have students complete their portion of the "Influential People Rubric." Collect the rubrics and essays.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Provide research materials on a wide range of reading levels to accommodate all learners.
  • Allow students to use pre-selected imagery for their poster.
  • Allow students to work with a partner or scribe.
  • Allow students to use a graphic organizer such as a character map to summarize research findings.
  • Allow students extended time to complete work.
  • Allow students to complete their work using a computer or tablet device.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students create a detailed timeline of a different battle or the entire American Revolution.
  • Have students create a comprehensive map of the Battles of Saratoga and present it to others.
  • Have students create a game or class book using their knowledge of key people and places of the American Revolution.
  • Have students complete additional research on individuals who were involved in the Battles of Saratoga or the American Revolution and create a multimedia presentation.
  • Have students dress the part of an individual or group and play variations of games such as Celebrity or Hollywood Squares.
  • Have students write newspaper articles and journals describing the Battles of Saratoga from different perspectives.
  • Have students learn more about the Battles of Saratoga by interviewing a local historian or arranging a discussion with a park ranger from Saratoga National Historical Park.
  • Have students use a Venn diagram to compare various aspects of the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Assess

  • Use the rubric to evaluate the students' understanding of individual and group involvement in the Battles of Saratoga.
  • Evaluate the students' worksheets for understanding of the lesson objectives.
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students' participation in class discussions and group activities.

Common Core Standards

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.6 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.6.1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    • Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.
    • Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
    • Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented.
  • W.6.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    • Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
    • Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.
  • W.6.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
    • Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.
    • Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.4 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.4.7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • W.4.8. Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.
  • W.4.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grade 4 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions].”).
    • Apply grade 4 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text”).

National Standards

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Power, Authority, and Governance
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • enable learners to examine the rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to their families, their social groups, their community, and their nation; help students to understand the purpose of government and how its powers are acquired, used, and justified
  • provide opportunities for learners to examine issues involving the rights, roles, and status of individuals in relation to the general welfare
  • enable learners to describe the ways nations and organizations respond to forces of unity and diversity affecting order and security
  • have learners explain conditions, actions, and motivations that contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among nations
  • help learners to analyze and explain governmental mechanisms to meet the needs and wants of citizens, regulate territory, manage conflict, and establish order and security
  • have learners identify and describe the basic features of the American political system, and identify representative leaders from various levels and branches of government
  • challenge learners to apply concepts such as power, role, status, justice, democratic values, and influence to the examination of persistent issues and social problems guide learners to explain and evaluate how governments attempt to achieve their stated ideals at home and abroad

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: 5-8 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 2: Using knowledge of structures and functions
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students generalize about the effects of visual structures and functions and reflect upon these effects in their own work
  • Students employ organizational structures and analyze what makes them effective or not effective in the communication of ideas
  • Students select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas