Teacher's Guide: Hints for the Active Learning Questions
To find out about their characters, students should examine historical and biographical works and also look for any information that reenactor groups might make available. Students should be encouraged to make themselves look and sound as much like the characters they have chosen as possible, through clothes, manners, accent, and so on. They also should be encouraged to include any specific details they learned about their character that they found particularly surprising or interesting.
Note to students that they might conclude that American history would not have developed much differently if Revere and Dawes hadn't ridden.
Before beginning this exercise, you might want to discuss as a class the potential value of these "what if?" scenarios, which can demonstrate the long-term importance of certain key events and remind us that the people who participated in those events -- such as the minute men of April 19, 1775 -- didn't know how their actions that day would help shape their nation's future.
As an extra-credit activity, have students find out why many residents of the District of Columbia today are reviving the "No taxation without representation!" slogan.
Links to "living history" museums such as Colonial Williamsburg can be found at the Web site of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums.
Students interested in the challenges of being a war correspondent might want to review the online exhibit entitled "War Stories" at the Newseum.
Students who are interested in illustrating a present-day view of Revere's ride might consider building their picture around a present-day means of transportation or communication such as a subway, a (crowded) highway, a cell phone, or email.
For extra credit, have students find out why Patriots Day is celebrated not only in Massachusetts, where the Battle of Lexington and Concord actually occurred, but in Maine as well.
To start students thinking about the topic, you might mention that one recently voiced argument in favor of universal military service is that Americans would be less likely to favor foreign military interventions -- specifically, the recent war in Iraq -- if their sons and daughters were more likely to be involved in those conflicts.