Boston Massacre Trial with CER: Distance Learning Resource


One of my all-time favorite topics in history stemmed from the night of March 5, 1770; The Boston Massacre.  There was so much happening around this event, which makes it such a riveting topic for your students.  There were colonists feeling as though they were being unfairly taxed, the King of England authorizing a standing army in the American colonies, and a prominent lawyer and patriot, John Adams, voluntarily risking his life, his profession, and his place in history by representing Captain Preston and the British guards who were on trial for murder.    

In this lesson your students will view an edited version of the HBO mini-series, John Adams, and will decide the fate of Captain Preston and the British guards by choosing a verdict and completing a CER (Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning) assignment as a final task.  CER is probably something you've heard quite a bit of talk about in your district and maybe haven't quite found the right topic to allow your students to try one.  Well, here you go!

Here's What's Included:

Boston Massacre Video (32:29)

CER Student Example (MS Word, .pdf, and Google Drive)

CER Answer Example (MS Word, .pdf, and Google Drive)

Head Juror Verdict Sheet (MS Word and .pdf)

Juror Cards 1 through 12 (MS Word and .pdf)

Student Verdict Sheet (MS Word and .pdf)

**NOTE**: I teach 8TH GRADE U.S. History. The phrase "DAMN YOUR BLOODS" is used in the video clip as well as one of the colonists utters the word "BASTARD" to Captain Preston in the courtroom.


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Total Pages
17 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
50 minutes
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