Grade level:

8

Approximate Lesson Duration:

2-3 blocks

Unit/Lesson New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS):

6.1.8.A.2.c:  Explain how demographics (i.e., race, gender, and economic status) affected social, economic, and political opportunities during the Colonial era.

Brief Summary of Cultural Competencies Related to the Unit/Lesson:

What makes this lesson culturally relevant? 

In this lesson, students will explore some of the roles white colonist women played during the Revolutionary War by analyzing primary and secondary documents related to the period. In particular, students will analyze primary and secondary documents related to Revolutionary War soldier Deborah Sampson to consider how the prevailing ideas of women’s physical abilities and expectations of roles and appearance affected her and other women during and after the War.

Lesson Overview:

Essential Question(s)
  • What roles did women take up during the Revolutionary War?
  • In what ways have patriarchy, concepts of masculine and feminine ability and appearance ideals, and social norms influenced what roles women played during the War?
  • In what ways have patriarchy, concepts of masculine and feminine ability and appearance ideals, and social norms influenced the lives of women war participants in the immediate years after the war?
  • In what ways have patriarchy, concepts of masculine and feminine ability and appearance ideals, and social norms influenced how later generations have or have not remembered what roles women played during the War?
Enduring Understanding(s)

Students will gain knowledge about the various roles white colonist women played throughout the Revolutionary War and how patriarchal gender constructs have influenced not only what roles these women played during the War, but also how these same constructs influenced the lives of these women after the war, and how we remember them.

Potential Misconceptions

It is important to note that the lesson deals with the analysis of the lives of white women colonists at the time of the Revolutionary War. The intersections of the systems of patriarchy, capitalism, settler colonialism, white supremacy, and slavery in America mean that one cannot treat all women present in colonial America as a monolithic block, with similar access to opportunities, and representation.

A continuation of this series of lessons can and should address why and how combinations of these various systems have greatly influenced access to power, opportunity, and representation in America through to the present not only across categories of gender identity, race, ethnicity, and religion but also within each of those categories.

Learning plan, experiences, intstruction and learning activities:

W
What is Expected?
  • List the intentional learning objectives on the board.

Students will be able to:

 

  • Review features of patriarchal systems
  • Analyze primary and secondary documents related to colonial America and the Revolutionary War period
  • Describe and discuss the roles women played during the Revolutionary War
  • Examine how patriarchy, concepts of masculine and feminine ability and appearance ideals, and social norms influenced roles available to women during the Revolutionary War.
  • Examine how concepts of masculine and feminine ability and appearance ideals, and social norms influenced access to full benefits of various roles women played during the war.
H
What is expected?
How will we hook (Introduce this to) the students?
  • Activate thinking
  • Consider the language you will use to introduce the lesson (See example in the table)

Link to Engagement

Recently, we…

Learned about the system of patriarchy, its features, and how it influenced not only colonial life in America but every period after through the present. Today, we will learn how concepts of masculine and feminine ability and appearance ideals not only influenced what roles were available to women during the Revolutionary War, but also influenced access to key benefits of some roles women played.

Turn and talk to a partner about…

 

  • Activities/jobs you think are gender-specific
  • List and discuss reasons why these jobs are more “appropriate for “x” gender 
  • Who are we potentially missing/excluding from the gender structure you just discussed with your partner?

 

 

You are really beginning to understand how many of our society’s social, political, and economic institutions have perpetuated unequal opportunities, access, and representation based upon gender and gender identity. You are also seeing how society’s concept of the abilities, and appearance ideals of people are often determined by their gender/gender identity. You might also be reflecting on how social norms regarding gender and gender identity have influenced how you and your partner completed the last series of tasks.

Today, we’re going to dig deeper with a new focus.  This lesson will focus on examining how patriarchy, concepts of masculine and feminine ability and appearance ideals, and social norms influenced roles available to women during the Revolutionary War.

E
What equipment, resources, or materials are needed?

Materials for this lesson include …(materials listed below will be provided)

  • Excerpts from Gender Roles in Colonial America
  • Excerpt from Gender Roles in 17th Century America
  • Roles of Women in Revolutionary War
  • Biography excerpt of Sybil Ludington
  • Biography excerpt of Deborah Sampson
  • Excerpt from Feminine Beauty in the 1600’s
  • Excerpt from The Dictionary of Love
  • Letter from Paul Revere to Congressman William Eustis
  • Excerpt from Women and Politics in the Era of the American Revolution
  • Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) Historical Thinking Chart

 

 

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How will we rethink or revise our thinking throughout the lesson?
  • What learning is confirmed?
  • What misconceptions are uncovered?
  • What is your new thinking?
  • As students are analyzing the related texts, discussing and evaluating their and their classmates’ reflections, questions from the graphic organizer teacher, and guiding questions should help the class frame questions such as 
    • “Who benefits from “X” event or outcome? 
    • “What societal concepts are promoted or prevented by the event or outcome?” 
    • Conversations about hierarchy, preservation of social order, and power can all be transitioned into for more extensive conversations utilizing related texts
  • Misconceptions that will most likely be uncovered:
    • Power, Opportunity, Access, and Representation are equally shared by all within society 
    • Reasoning with factual evidence is enough to always convince individuals or groups that long-held beliefs or understandings should be set aside for the benefit of individuals or groups outside of their own.
    • Individuals or groups do not knowingly create systems of privilege and advantage for themselves, at the expense of others considered outside of the dominant group.
    • Power, opportunity, access, and representation is always shared equally within groups that combine multiple groups. (i.e., Men or women across racial, religious groups, etc.)
  • New thinking that considers how laws, social mores, beliefs, and actions can have different intents, and outcomes-based upon what individual or group is the actor and what individual or group is the focus of the action(s) will develop. 
  • Use of contextualization and empathy, increased rigor, intellectual honesty, and reflection when considering past, present, and future action are hopeful eventual individual outcomes.
E
How will students self-evaluate and reflect on their learning?

Students will utilize guided questions, graphic organizer throughout the lesson.

T
How will we tailor learning to varied needs, interests, and learning styles?
  • Questions/resources can be modified to meet the needs of the individual student.  
  • Readings / Photographs can be added (or removed) to ensure that all students comprehend 
  • Lexile levels can be adjusted of the reading can be modified to aid struggling learners.
O
How will we organize the sequence of learning during the lesson?

Scaffold the Instruction

  1. Model

The teacher will review and connect to prior knowledge of the primary features of patriarchal systems through the use of primary/secondary source documents on Gender Roles in Colonial America and lead a short discussion to ensure comprehension of the concept of Patriarchy. This will ensure a more comprehensive evaluation and discussion of materials later in the lesson. 

  1. Guided Practice
  • Students will analyze primary and secondary documents based on established procedures for sourcing, contextualization, corroboration, and close reading.
    • A copy of the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) Historical Thinking Chart has been provided for guidance on sourcing, contextualization, corroboration, and close reading.
  • Students will analyze primary and secondary documents to develop knowledge of roles women played during the Revolutionary War.
    • Use Gender Roles in Colonial America, Patriarchy definitions handout, and/or Gender Roles in 17th Century America as needed to establish understanding and context of structures in place that affected social, economic, and political opportunities during the Colonial era.
    • Use Roles of Women in Revolutionary War, Biography excerpt of Sybil Ludington, and Biography excerpt of Deborah Sampson documents to establish an understanding of some of the roles women played during the Revolutionary War
    • Using Biography excerpt of Sybil Ludington and comparing her ride to alert colonists to the British Army presence to Paul Revere’s ride of the same purpose and memory of his actions is a potential extension activity. 
  • Students will utilize prior knowledge combined with new information to evaluate and discuss how concepts of masculine and feminine ability and appearance ideals, and social norms influenced roles available to women during the Revolutionary War.
    • Use Excerpt from Feminine Beauty in the 1600’s and The Dictionary of Love, as well as the Letter from Paul Revere to Congressman William Eustis to establish an understanding of not only what were some of the predominant ideas of femine ability and appearance ideals in Europe and the colonies, but also who was deciding what these ideals were.
  • Students will utilize prior knowledge combined with new information to evaluate and discuss how concepts of masculine and feminine ability and appearance ideals, and social norms influenced access to full benefits of various roles women played during the war.
    • Use of Biography excerpt of Deborah Sampson and Letter from Paul Revere to Congressman William Eustis as a means of establishing what reasons and concepts of masculine and feminine ability and appearance ideals were used to determine individual merit and worthiness of receiving access to a military pension.
    • Use Excerpt from Women and Politics in the Era of the American Revolution for students to better understand longevity of unequal social systems and difficulty in ameliorating the influence or complete removal of unequal social systems.
    • Connection to current events highlighting presence of and continued power of patriarchal and misogynistic systems in our society today is another possible extension activity.
  1. Independent Practice

Student analyses of the provided materials, which will also be recorded in the provided organizer.

Optional development of a larger constructed response based upon guided practice questions and graphic organizer.

Check for understanding:

(Formative evidence such as conferencing, group Q/A, teacher observation, exit-slip, etc.)

Teachers should monitor written and verbal responses for understanding and frequently check in on the progress of the students to see that they are completing the task at hand. 

  • Ongoing brief Q/A check-ins throughout lesson
  • Student responses to Guiding Questions
  • Student Responses to Graphic Organizer
Quiz/Test (optional):
(attach copy of assessment)

Performance Task/Project:
(attach rubric)

Resources

There are many options for a summative performance task. A potential task includes having students craft a constructed response utilizing three or four related documents to substantiate claim(s) of their responses.

Supplemental Resources: 

Download Lesson Plan PDF:

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