Core Map A: Thomas Hyde Page, A Plan of the Town of Boston with the intrenchments of His Majesty's Forces in 1775 (London: William Faden, 1777). Newberry Library call number: Map 4F 3701 .S3 (Printable PDF version of Core Map A)
Resources related to Map 13.
Curator's Notes for Map 10a.
Curator's Notes for Map 10b.
This lesson has students participate in a trial simulation following the Boston Massacre in which they use core map A to help present their evidence and testimony.
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
- read core map A to identify political content.
- describe the causes, course of events, and results of the Boston Massacre.
Computer image or overhead of Core map A, Timeline: History of British-North American Colonial Relations, 1763-1775, Paul Revere's engraving of the Boston Massacre, Captain Thomas Preston's Account of the Boston Massacre, Anonymous Account of the Boston Massacre, and John Hancock's "Boston Massacre Oration."
Approximately 2 hours
Developing the Lesson
- Distribute copies of Paul Revere's engraving of the Boston Massacre to your students. Pair your students and have them examine the Boston massacre engraving to: identify the protagonists; characterize the actions depicted and the results; read the caption to summarize contents and describe attitude; and locate the site of the Boston Massacre on core map A.
- Discuss findings both for what happened, where it occurred, and the interpretation.
- Introduce trial activity, explaining that it generally simulates the real trial of British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre.
- Set up the mock trial by dividing the class into three groups, with the class size determining the number that will be in each group as follows (more than one student can assume the personality of a figure named but only one can portray that person. The other(s) can help prepare the presentation):
- Defendant: Captain Thomas Preston, 29th regiment British army
- Attorney: John Adams
- Witnesses: British soldier involved in Gray's rope walk incident, British soldier involved in firing upon colonists in Massacre, Massachusetts colony Lt. Governor Thomas Hutchinson
- Plaintiff: John Green, wounded member of Patriot mob
- Attorney: John Hancock, Boston merchant
- Witnesses: Edward Payne (wounded member of Patriot mob), Benjamin Frizzell (wounded member of Patriot mob), Samuel Adams (patriot leader)
c. Jury: Remainder of class
- Explain the procedures below, noting that research materials are available in this module (see Resources). Additional references may be available in the student's textbook and at other web sites. Also distribute the Timeline: History of British-North American Colonial Relations, 1763-1775, to provide context. Stress that both sides must use core map A extensively to illustrate events before, during, and after the Boston Massacre.
Opening arguments (3-5 minutes to set up case for and against):
i. Prosecuting attorney
Witness testimony (2 questions each from attorneys)
ii. Defense attorney
Closing arguments (3-5 minutes each to sum up arguments for and against)
Deliberations and verdict by jury.
- Give your students the remainder of the period to prepare. Have them complete their individual presentations for following day at home. Give your students ten minutes of the following day's class to set up their presentations.
- Run trial activity.
- Discuss the Boston massacre in terms of causes, how it illustrated British-colonial relations, and its impact. Inform your students that the real trial, the British soldiers were found innocent thanks to the defense of their lawyer, John Adams.
1. Using a 1-4 scale (4=excellent, 3=good, 2= fair, 1=poor) assess student performance as follows:
a. Boston massacre examination
For 4 points, the student successfully completes all tasks on time and works harmoniously and effectively in pairs.
For 3 points, the student successfully completes all or most tasks on time and generally works harmoniously but has minor difficulties working effectively in pairs.
For 2 points, the student successfully completes some tasks on time and generally works harmoniously but has major difficulties working effectively in pairs.
For 1 point, the student successfully completes only a few or no tasks on time and generally does not work harmoniously or effectively in pairs.
For 4 points, the presentation is well organized and follows the instructions explicitly in reflecting the person's opinion and the questions and answers are relevant and probing. No problems were experienced in the group dynamics.
For 3 points, the presentation is organized with some minor flaws and/or does not follow the instructions explicitly in reflecting the person's opinion and/or minor flaws in the questions and answers in terms of relevance and probing. Some small problems were experienced in the group dynamics.
For 2 points, the presentation is organized with flaws and/or does not follow the instructions well in reflecting the person's opinion and/or flaws in the questions and answers in terms of relevance and probing. Some problems were experienced in the group dynamics.
For 1 point, the presentation has major defects in most areas.
Develop similar trial activity for the Boston Tea party.