7th Grade New York

American Revolution

Throughout this inquiry students investigate the complex interconnected roles of individuals and groups as well as the economic, social, and geographical forces that contributed to the American Revolution. Students wrestle with issues concerning historical determinism as they move toward an evidence-based argument as to whether or not the war was avoidable. The compelling question “Was the American Revolution avoidable?” prompts students to reflect on factors that contributed to the outbreak of hostilities between American colonists and Great Britain. As students explore the featured sources for this inquiry, they come to see how some individuals on both sides inflamed the tensions while others worked for reconciliation.


Compelling Question:

Was the American Revolution Avoidable?

Staging the Question: Discuss how conflict can be avoided.

Supporting Question How did the French and Indian War change British relations with the colonists?

Formative Task List reasons why the French and Indian War and Proclamation of 1763 changed British relations with colonists.

Sources Source A: Image bank: 18th-century British debt
Source B: Map of North America before and after the French and Indian War
Source C: “An American Looks Back At British Victory in the French and Indian War, 1763”


Supporting Question How did British policies inflame tensions in the American colonies?

Formative Task Make a claim about how conflict emerged between the British and colonists given British policies in the colonies.

Sources Source A: Legislation bank: Excerpts from laws demonstrating British policies toward the American colonies, 1764–1774


Supporting Question How did colonial responses inflame tensions?

Formative Task Revise the claim given the new evidence about colonial responses.

Sources Source A: Declaration of Rights from the Stamp Act Congress
Source B: Image bank: Protests in Boston, 1770– 1774
Source C: Excerpt from ”Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”


Supporting Question What efforts were made to avoid war?

Formative Task Write a second claim supported by evidence for how efforts were made to avoid war.

Sources Source A: Repeal of the Stamp Act
Source B: Olive Branch Petition
Source C: Excerpt from Plain Truth

Summative Performance Task

Argument: Was the American Revolution avoidable? Construct an argument (e.g., detailed outline, poster, essay) that addresses the compelling question using specific claims and relevant evidence from historical sources while acknowledging competing views.
Extension: Create a multimedia presentation that addresses whether or not the American Revolution was avoidable.

Taking Informed Action

Understand: Identify a disagreement at the local or national level (e.g., zoning requests, state taxes, immigration policies) in which residents find themselves on competing sides.
Assess: Evaluate competing claims from various perspectives concerning potential causes and solutions.
Act: Propose a resolution to the growing disagreement by honoring the needs of both sides and send the proposal to a local or national elected official.