7 Virginia in the American Revolution Activities

7 Virginia in the American Revolution Activities

Welcome back! Meghan Vestal from Vestal’s 21st Century Classroom here to share more ways to teach Virginia Studies that your students are sure to love. In previous posts, I’ve shared some of my favorite strategies for teaching:

Now, it’s time to review creative ways to teach about Virginia in the American Revolution. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I am a HUGE history nerd. Of all the American history topics to teach, the American Revolution is my absolute favorite. That means this post is packed with LOTS of fun ways to teach the Virginia Studies SOL VS.5! 

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Complete Simulation Activities

One of the challenges with teaching Virginia Studies (or any history topic for that matter) is getting students to understand the lives and mindsets of people who lived during a time that is completely different from today. To overcome this challenge, I like to use simulation activities. Simulation activities are not only a great way to get students up and moving, but they also get them really thinking about life during other time periods. When teaching Virginia in the American Revolution, I like to use a Stamp Act simulation activity to help my students better understand the reasoning for declaring independence.
stamp-act-simulation

Memorize the Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence is one of the most important documents in American history and still has a significant influence on American government today. Therefore, I think it is important to take time when teaching SOL VS.5 to make sure students understand the meaning of the document and what makes it so unique. Throughout my Virginia in the American Revolution unit, I use activities to help students memorize the preamble of the Declaration of Independence. Some of my activities include a craftivity that involves writing out part of the Declaration of Independence and a memorization game.
declaration-of-independence-activity

Create a Foldable of Famous Virginians During the American Revolution

SOL VS.5 requires students to learn about several famous Virginians who played active roles in the American Revolution. For students who have trouble memorizing information, this can be a challenge. One of my favorite ways to review these famous Virginians is by having students create foldables.
famous-virginians-in-the-american-revolution

Visit Revolutionary War Sites in Virginia

Virginia played a key role in the American Revolution. That means there are lots of places to take students on a field trip as they learn about SOL VS.5. A few places that do a great job of covering topics related to the American Revolution include:
  • Yorktown Victory Center (Yorktown): The site where the final battle of the Revolutionary War took place.
  • Monticello (Charlottesville): The home of Thomas Jefferson.
  • St. John's Church (Richmond): The location where Patrick Henry gave his famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech.
  • Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon): The home of George Washington.

Read American Revolution Books

If you’re like me, your time to teach Virginia Studies is limited. For that reason, I am always looking for ways to use Virginia Studies topics across other content areas. A great way to do this is by using history-related books during your ELA time. I use a combination of read aloud picture books and novels when teaching my Virginia in the American Revolution unit. Some of my favorites to use as read alouds include:
I also use the following chapter books for novel studies.
george-washingtons-socks-novel-study
You can find this pre-made George Washington's Socks Novel Study by clicking HERE.
Not all of these books take place in Virginia, but they help paint a picture of why the colonists declared independence and the challenges they experienced when fighting the British.

Sing Songs about Virginia's Capitals

Since Virginia’s capital city was moved during the Revolutionary War, SOL VS.5 requires students to examine why the capital was moved from Williamsburg to Richmond. I love incorporating music into my teaching and writing songs for my students about Virginia Studies is always a lot of fun. One of my student’s favorite Virginia Studies songs has to do with the reasons why the capital was moved.
virginia-in-the-american-revolution-activities

Make a Fun Virginia Studies Review

I always conclude my Virginia Studies units with a day of fun review activities before students take their summative assessment. Taking time to review not only helps students prepare for their unit test, but it also helps students retain the information they have learned. For my Virginia in the American Revolution review, I like to use a task card scavenger hunt. Students select a number from a bucket and must go find the task card with the matching number. Then, they record their answer to the task card question on a response worksheet and pull another number from the bucket. Students continue this process until they have found and responded to all the task cards. This is a great way to get students up and moving in the middle of school year when it too cold for them to go outside.
virginia-in-the-american-revolution-task-cards

Conclusion

So often, I have heard teachers say that teaching history cannot be fun or hands-on. Hopefully, the activities listed here prove this statement wrong. There are so many fun ways to engage students when teaching Virginia in the American Revolution!

The activities described in this post can easily be replicated in your classroom, but if you are short on time, I’ve got you covered! My Virginia in the American Revolution Unit and Virginia Studies Bundle each have the activities listed here and LOTS more. My Virginia in the American Revolution Task Cards can also cut down on the amount of time it takes to plan your review activity.
7-virginia-in-the-american-revolution-activities
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I am passionate about helping teachers make history fun! Here on Virginia is for Teachers, I share lots of Virginia Studies activities and tips. Make sure to check back next month. I plan to share strategies for teaching a Virginia Studies unit about the new American government. Until then, be sure to check out these other hands-on history posts!

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