American Revolution Celebration Goes Digital
Colonial times met digital times when fourth graders at James H. Vernon School used their Chromebooks to create original games and escape room activities for a culminating event that celebrated what they learned about the American Revolution.
Students presented their projects in a fun and interactive way to families and friends who tested their knowledge of the Revolutionary War with games or escape room activities created in Google Classroom. Students learned how to use platforms such as Google Sheets, Kami, Puzzle Makers, Kahoots and Google Form to develop their projects.
Games, such as matching, memory, quizzes and board games, consisted of both digital and traditional components, combining technology-based instructions and questions, for instance, with physical playing boards and game pieces. For escape rooms, students set up challenges such as this example: “A time machine brought you back to the period right before the American Revolution. Unfortunately, upon arrival you find yourself in the middle of a conflict between the colonists and Great Britain. You want to try to avoid going to war and return home. In order to escape you must use your knowledge of the causes of the American Revolution to find you way back to the time machine.”
“Students and families, alike, were engaged and invested in playing the games and unlocking the clues to the escape rooms,” said fourth-grade teacher Ms. Kelly Horch. “This was the first year we presented escape rooms as part of the American Revolution celebration and they were a great success.”
In the weeks leading up to the presentation, students studied such events as the French and Indian War, the Proclamation of 1763, the Stamp Act, the Sugar Act, and the Intolerable Acts, the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. They learned about the different battles, spies, patriots vs. loyalists, famous generals and the meaning of the Declaration of Independence.
Each student also created a “bottle buddy” as part of a home project. Students researched a revolutionary war figure, such as a military colonel, a spy or the Sons of Liberty and created a likeness of that person using a soda/water bottle and art materials, such as felt, pipe cleaners, buttons and Styrofoam. The bottle buddies were displayed, along with a student-created description of the historical figure and their role in the war.