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)
Core Map B:: J. De Costa, A Plan of the Town of Boston and Harbour and the Country adjacent with Road from Boston to Concord (London: J. Hand, 1775). Newberry Library call no. Map 2F 3701.S3.111 (Printable PDF version of Core Map B)
Resources related to Map 13.
Curator's Notes for Map 10a.
Curator's Notes for Map 10b.
This lesson has students annotate the core maps to explain either the political or the military situation in the British North American colonies, using Boston as a case study.
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to
- annotate a map.
- explain the political situation in North America in 1775, using Boston as an example.
- explain the British military strategy for suppressing the rebellion in Boston.
Computer image or overhead of Core map, map of Boston, its environs and harbors, 1775, historical atlases for maps depicting Colonial British North America, 1775 and the European colonization of North America (see Resources for suggestions), modern day map of Boston, 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, John Hancock, "Boston Massacre Oration," Biographies of Samuel Adams, John Adams, John Hancock, virtual "Freedom Trail" tour available by clicking on the numbered buttons on the core map (select Virtual Tour from the menu on the map).
Approximately 100 minutes (or two class periods).
Developing the Lesson
- Have your students access core map A, explaining it is a British military map from 1775. Have students scroll and zoom to familiarize themselves with the map and its elements. Use the map buttons as necessary to identify references and important locations.
- Query students as to what an annotated map is, noting core map A with its buttons is one. Then define an annotated map as a map having descriptions and explanation to facilitate reading, comprehension of content, and setting in proper context regarding themes and topics. If possible, present another example of an annotated map in print version. For this lesson an annotated map includes specific brief commentary on various locations, places, people, or events connected to the content of the map. In this case, Boston was a major center of revolutionary activity. The annotation will illustrate aspects of that activity.
- Explain that this lesson, as a group exercise in annotating the Boston map, has two purposes. First, a political annotation to explain the political situation in 1775 and, second, a military annotation to explain the strategies and dispositions of British and colonial American military forces. Explain that half of the groups will do a political annotation and the other half a military annotation. Based on the available technology and student expertise, identify the format(s) of the finished annotated map.
- Organize your students into political or military map annotation groups of three or four.
- Model the annotation process by using available items from the materials above. The format will determine the process.
- Orient your students to the materials and note that there are more available than needed. Also note that students can search the web or library on their own for resources and information. Students must select pertinent information to cover topics so that the map annotation is cohesive and organized. Note students can use either core map A or core map B for the military annotation but only core map A for the political annotation.
- Present the following lists of potential annotated items:
a. Political annotation (should include British, loyalist, and patriot items) - important events leading up to 1775 situation, important colonial and British figures tied to events, important locations in Boston area, overviews of British colonial policy and practice, overview of colonists' theories and beliefs on empire and colonies.
b. Military annotation - British military strategy overview, Patriot military strategy overview, British military forces, arms, forts and entrenchments, Patriot military forces, arms, forts and entrenchments, Military figures on both sides, Patriot and British military strengths and weaknesses respectively.
- Have students develop a work plan that divides research, design, writing, and other tasks among group members. Also note that an independent on-line and library research may be necessary. An extremely helpful web site is The History Place (www.historyplace.com) which has a superb timeline of revolutionary activity and other sources. Keywords to use in searching on-line or in the library include: Revolutionary War, Boston, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Coercive Acts, and Intolerable Acts. The resources listed with this module also will prove helpful. Remind students they are doing very focused research on specific topics and they should not be reading books but using them as references to gather information pertinent to the task.
- Students work on map annotations. Periodically check on each group for problem-solving and to check progress.
- Upon completion, ask students to share map annotations offering brief oral presentations.
- Discuss the likelihood of solving the political crisis peacefully and who would likely win if war broke out and why, based solely on map information.
1. Using a 1-4 scale (4=excellent, 3=good, 2= fair, 1=poor) assess student performance as follows:
a. Map annotation process
For 4 points, the student successfully completes all tasks on time and works harmoniously and effectively in a group by coordinating efforts, solving problems, and managing time.
For 3 points, the student successfully completes all or most tasks on time and generally works harmoniously but has minor difficulties working effectively in a group in coordinating efforts, solving problems, and managing time.
For 2 points, the student successfully completes some tasks on time and generally works harmoniously but has major difficulties working effectively in a group in coordinating efforts, solving problems, and managing time.
For 1 point, the student successfully completes only a few or no tasks on time and generally did not work harmoniously or effectively in a group in coordinating efforts, solving problems, and managing time.
b. Map Annotations
For 4 points, the annotated map includes coherent, complete, and coordinated information in an easy-to-read, aesthetically excellent format.
For 3 points, the annotated map includes mostly coherent, complete, and coordinated information and/or the format has minor flaws in legibility and aesthetics.
For 2 points, the annotated map has major (minor) defects in including coherent, complete, and coordinated information and/or the format has minor (major) flaws in legibility and aesthetics.
For 1 point, the annotated map has major defects in including coherent, complete, and coordinated information and the format has major flaws in legibility and aesthetics.
Have students develop military strategies to thwart either British or Patriot military plans for Boston based on the web-based maps and materials.