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Find the Lost Redcoat

Fifth Grade July 4th/Independence Day Activities: Find the Lost Redcoat

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Here's a fun, exciting game for two or more players that blends social studies and geography skills with math coordinate practice. This activity takes your child back in time to the Battle of Lexington and Concord with a few fictional elements thrown in. It all starts with an imaginary British Redcoat who is lost and trying to make it back to Boston. Players take guesses and try to "find" the Redcoat. Play this game and your child will benefit from the map, history, and math practice while having a terrific time.

What You Need:

  • “Lost Redcoat Map Grid” page (download here), one per player or team
  • Two or more curious kids
  • Pen or pencil

What You Do:

  1. Start by downloading “Lost Redcoat Map Grid” page. If there are two players, each player should get one. If you split into teams, each team should get one.
  2. Next, you’ll want to make sure that everyone understands the concept of “coordinates." The game lays the historical map of Boston, Lexington and Concord onto a grid and every intersection can be identified by two numbers: one “across” (the “x” axis), and one “up or down” (the “y” axis). Also be sure that kids are familiar with the compass (included on the bottom-left corner of the Lost Redcoat Map Grid page).
  3. Choose a leader for the first round. Without showing the other players, the leader should place an “x” on one coordinate of the grid.
  4. Then the other players will take turns guessing coordinates for where the Redcoat could be. Everyone will start at the furthest edge of the grid near Concord (0,10). Each new guess should be recorded on the Map Grid page to be sure there are no repeat guesses.
  5. The leader will respond to each guess with a clue, which the players should also write down. However, the clues can only be compass directions. For example, if a player guesses (2,3) but the Redcoat is lost up on (4,8) the leader will say “Go Northeast.”
  6. The object of the game is to locate the Lost Redcoat. This game should help your child become familiar with geographical direction and mathematical coordinates. See how fast you find the Redcoat this round, and then pick new leaders for as many rounds as possible.
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.

Updated on Oct 18, 2013
Printable Workbooks from Education.com
Find a printable workbook to go along with this fun activity. See Workbooks
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