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Teaching Kids About the American Revolution

When did you first realize that the Fourth of July was about more than parades and fireworks? I was born on the 4th, and my little brother always wondered why EVERYBODY celebrated my birthday. Only a few people celebrated his. He was incredibly stoic about this! I only found out years later, when we were both in high school. Celebrate the true meaning of this holiday by teaching kids about the American Revolution.

Fun ideas for teaching kids about the American Revolution

Teaching Kids About the American Revolution with Famous Figures of the American Revolution

Timberdoodle recently sent us a copy of Famous Figures of the American Revolution movable paper figures book to review. I remember making movable paper figures like these as a child! The book features ten historical figures of the American revolution: Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, Daniel Boone, George Washington, John Adams, Molly Pitcher, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, a soldier from the Continental army, and Thomas Jefferson. The book includes both colored and coloring-ready versions of each character, printed on cardstock. The book’s perforated pages make it easy to remove one character at a time. The book includes a biography section and suggested reading lessons for each character. This means that this book can easily become a jumping-off point for an entire US History learning unit. See below for more Timberdoodle products that make teaching kids about the American Revolution fun!

Our Experience Using this Book

The cardstock is of reasonable quality, but paper doesn’t stand up to play very well, so I laminated our pages before the kids cut them out. Laminating doesn’t really impact the ease of cutting out the characters, and they become virtually indestructable after being laminated. We even laminated the coloring-ready versions, since my children wanted to color them with our Expo Vis-A-Vis wet-erase overhead transparency markers.

The cutting-out process can feel a bit tedious, making this a great activity to complete while listening to a great audiobook. Read aloud one of the recommended books while your children complete this activity! My kids rarely choose to listen to anything. This is strange to me, since I listen to books/music all the time. Maybe they will eventually reach a point where they want to listen while they work, but for now we cut out one or two characters at a time. Laminated pages mean that I don’t have to worry about one character breaking before we finish our project.

Teaching kids about the American Revolution: famous figures of the American Revolution

How My Children Use These Characters

This book is party of Timberdoodle’s third grade curriculum kit. It is, therefore, no surprise that eight-year-old Johnny found this activity most engaging. I find Timberdoodle’s age recommendations spot-on with my children. That being said, all four of my kids enjoyed this activity. Johnny cut out the soldier from the Continental army for Anna. These figures have generated a lot of role-playing. Much of my children’s play is historically based. Other times, their play is wildly fantastical. Three-year-old Anna generates a large portion of the fantastical play. Flights of fancy bring historical figures to life! This activity makes the American Revolution characters they will read about in history books throughout their lives accessible.

To extend play even further, turn these characters into marionettes by attaching strings to their arms and legs! You can put on a puppet show, sharing everything you learned about the American Revolution!

Extension Activities

Are you looking for more ideas for teaching kids about the American Revolution to life for your elementary school aged children? Timberdoodle offers these resources:

Do you know of another great resource for teaching kids about the American Revolution? Here’s a blog post featuring 100 ways to study the American Revolution in your homeschool. Please let me know of any favorites in the comments. I didn’t realize that history could be fascinating until well into grad school. I want my children to understand this from the beginning!

I am a member of Timberdoodle’s 2016 Blog Team. They sent me a copy of Famous Figures of the American Revolution to review. I received no other compensation for this post, and all opinions are my own.

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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

7 thoughts on “Teaching Kids About the American Revolution”

  1. They look really cool. I’ve got a slew of coloring books for the American Revolution I’m planning to get out for my kids in a few weeks.

  2. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    It looks like an interesting kit. So far my 9 year old has little interest in history despite all my efforts. I should probably rephrase it and say that she has interest while she listens to the story but then she does not remember dates, events, or even people. I wonder if it will ever change or if she inherited my husband’s indifference to “trivia things”.

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