The American Revolutionary War didn’t just highlight the hypocrisy of those American leaders (such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson) who fought for their own freedom while enslaving others. It also presented enslaved African-Americans with a number of challenges and opportunities for freedom for themselves. Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation, General Clinton’s standing orders, and various colonial recruitment efforts gave slaves several options – none without their risks – to pursue release their from bondage either with the Americans or the British.
This simple yet highly engaging board game is designed to entertain and teach students about the choices and dangers faced by African-American slaves during the American Revolutionary War as they struggled to gain their own freedom against the backdrop of the American struggle for independence from England. Players battle racism, bullets, disease, hard choices and the risk of capture and re-enslavement as they strive for freedom from bondage. As they do so, they are required to read information cards, reinforcing learning while they have fun.
Students play against each other in small groups of 4-5 students. The game is simple to set up, instruct and play, and students immediately become engaged in competing with each other to become the first to reach freedom. Be prepared for noise!
* 5 pages of informative text (the chapter “African-Americans in the Revolutionary War” from my textbook “We Take Nothing by Conquest”
* game board
* 24 play cards
Materials are provided as word documents and PDFs in one zip file.
You will need to provide a die and game markers for each group playing the game, and there is some setup time (about 30 minutes) in preparing the game board and the play cards for each group. I’ve played this game in my 8th grade class for years, and it never fails to be a big hit.
This activity is part of a complete and comprehensive unit
on the American Revolution.
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