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Boston Massacre Play

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This is a fun play to use in class for students to learn of the Boston Massacre from both British and Colonial points of view. I used primary sources of accounts from both sides to put together pieces of what we know happened. The play takes place in Boston of course and the action escalates when a British soldier strikes a colonist with his musket. A crowd of colonists soon approaches the British soldier who calls for help. The crowd throws snowballs (crumpled pieces of paper) in the play and I use a nerf musket for the firing of soldiers. I also have my soldiers wear red coats. Many of the roles in the play are actual people who were at the event. All of the British soldiers in the play were real people who were there. This play allows students to learn the event can be viewed from multiple perspectives. We end the play with a debate over whether it was a "massacre" or "self-defense" and students really get passionate about their arguments citing things from the play for reasons. If time allows we compare Paul Revere's famous picture of the event and discuss historical accuracy.
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Answer Key
Teaching Duration
40 minutes
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Jeff Paul




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