The SAR Outreach Education program has compiled a few supplementary online resources available through various similarly-focused, reputable Revolutionary War period historical sites, organizations, and national museums and institutes. While this list is not exhaustive in nature, these external links should provide interested visitors and educators an initial platform from which to begin their on-going educational journeys. All website links were active at the time of this posting, however, if users find inactive links, please let the SAR know and the staff will adapt this list accordingly. If information from these sites is used online or elsewhere, please reference any and all appropriate sources.
Bill of Rights Institute
The Bill of Rights Institute has a variety of programs and options for both educators and students interested learning more about the U.S. Constitution and other founding documents. Lesson plans centering on the Federalist Papers and early presidential perspectives on the subject are available to download.
The Campaign 1776 organization uses its resources and focus to preserve historical battlefield of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. Its website is strewn with in-depth videos, timelines, and other resources to educate the public about the importance of these locations. Campaign 1776 has produced four valuable video pieces examining the personalities, events, and issues during the American fight for independence for use in classrooms, community meeting rooms, and visitors’ own homes.
Colonial Williamsburg has done an excellent job of providing interactive online experiences to students, educators, and history enthusiasts through its website. Younger students can explore games and guides explaining lifestyles during the colonial period, while teachers can gather effective resources and lesson plans. Webcams, downloadable media, videos, and podcasts will keep visitors busy and engaged for hours and returning for more.
Every Kid in a Park Program
During the 2015-2016 school year, through the Every Kid in a Park initiative, every 4th grade student in the country and his or her family will receive free admission to all National Parks. SAR members and educators should encourage the students in their local area to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to visit parks and historical sites connected to the Revolutionary War era, including Cowpens National Battlefield, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, Minute Man National Historical Park, and Saratoga National Historical Park.
Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge
Located near a key Revolutionary War historical site, the Freedoms Foundation promotes responsible citizenship and involvement in patriotic educational programming across the nation. The organization’s website has invaluable resources available to educators, students, and volunteers interested in aiding civic initiatives in both the classroom and community.
Mission US “For Crown or Colony?”
Mission US has developed an interactive lesson for classrooms called “For Crown or Colony?”, which allows the students to call the shots and make decisions as a young colonist just before the Boston Massacre. Depending upon the students’ decision trees during game play, the program uses primary sources and historical insight to deliver varying outcomes for the character and illustrate the broader social context and conflicting perspectives around this pivotal moment in American history.
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello offers a wide variety of resources and educational planning material for teachers and families. There are links which encourage youth learning, activities for classrooms of all levels, and references to Jefferson’s own writings and perspectives on colonial life, courtesy of collected primary sources.
Mount Vernon has an extensive list of educational resources for educators and students, including lessons plans for several age groups, details about National History Day, and primary sources covering a wide swath of President George Washington’s life on his Virginia estate and the wider colonial period.
Museum of the American Revolution
After the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia recently found hand-written copies of Revolutionary War solider and fifer Owen Madden’s music book, the staff helped reproduce his tunes on an 18th century fife. The resulting colonial music samples can be used for classroom or community events, or to help encourage the next generation of musicians.
National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives has given visitors access to its online records and collections as well as many resources to aid educators in their American history lesson planning. Information to help coordinate student visits at the National Archives’ locations around the U.S. and teacher professional development programs to help bolster teaching effectiveness are also provided online.
National Constitution Center “Which Founder Are You?”
The National Constitution Center offers a quick and fun online quiz called “Which Founder Are You?” to help visitors find out which Constitutional founder he or she is most like. Each patriotic founder’s personality is described and compared after completing the quiz. Educators and students can use this site to open discussions in the classroom about the various perspectives, opinions, and influential personalities involved in the 1787 Constitutional Convention.
PBS “Liberty!: The American Revolution” Series
This award-winning series produced by the Public Broadcasting Service chronicles the birth of the American Republic and the early states’ struggle to unite against their British rule. The Liberty! website provides insight on the people and lifestyles of the period, interactive experiences, and ample historical reference materials from the national station for classrooms and libraries alike.
The Smithsonian Institution has an enormous array of pieces and exhibits focused upon the American fight for independence. This includes both educator materials and resources and lessons to help engage students with primary sources. More specific information concerning the Smithsonian’s colonial period collections, exhibits on the American Flag and Flag Day celebrations, and the American presidency are also adaptable to classroom learning. The National Museum of American History also offers insight online to its art and artifacts of the early American colonial life and the American Revolution.
Values Through History “Why America is Free”
Values Through History’s “Why America is Free” is an upper elementary, fully integrated curriculum and educational program endorsed by the SAR. The “Why America is Free” curriculum is an unprecedented, hands-on learning experience for educators and their students. The curriculum covers the extraordinary events, times, and heroes of the American Revolution as well as the principles and civic values upon which the country was founded. At the same time, it teaches the mandated skills and knowledge in every subject in an in-depth and multi-sensory manner. It does so in a way that unifies students, expands minds, generates respect and responsibility, strengthens character, and establishes a lasting curiosity for learning. Values Through History, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity.