Lesson plan

A Living Timeline: The American Revolution

Make history come alive with this interactive lesson! Students will have a blast presenting a "living timeline" to help their classmates understand the events of the Revolutionary War.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Revolutionary War Vocabulary pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Revolutionary War Vocabulary pre-lesson.

Students will be able to identify and demonstrate the important information about an event from the American Revolution.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students what they know about the American Revolution. Create a list of facts on the board.
  • Explain that students will be learning more about the American Revolution today, but instead of learning from the teacher, they will be learning from each other!
(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that they will be working in a group to help create a living timeline by creating a skit of an event from the American Revolution.
  • Explain that these skits will be presented in chronological order, or the order in which they occurred.
  • Tell students that they will be put in groups. Each group member will read a text that gives information about an event of the American Revolution. Students will work together to determine the most important information.
  • Once students have determined the most important information, they will convey this in the form of a skit to be presented to their classmates.
(40 minutes)
  • Assign students to groups. There should be four groups altogether.
  • Pass out worksheets to students. Each group should have a different worksheet.
  • Give students time to read their worksheets and discuss the most important information with their team members.
  • Have students explain what information they will convey in their skit to you. Then, give students permission to start creating and practicing their skits.
  • Note: due to the nature of the topic, you may want to emphasize to students that their skits should be school-appropriate and not include violence!
(20 minutes)
  • Have students present their skits in chronological order.
  • As groups are presenting, the audience can take notes on what is occurring in each skit.


  • Allow students to read the worksheet with a partner to aid in their comprehension.


  • Have students read about other battles of the American Revolution to compare and contrast the event from their skit with one of these battles.
(5 minutes)
  • Use the students' skits to determine their understanding of the important information found in their worksheet.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students discuss the following questions: What was the best part about creating the skit? What was the most difficult part?
  • Have some students share their answers with the whole group.

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