In a structured academic controversy, students are assigned a position to research, and support through argument with peers. Each side refers to the same text to support their side of the argument. After arguing their sides, both groups then discuss to reach a consensus on what really happened.
This structured academic controversy lesson presents students with primary source documents (edited for middle school) on the Boston Massacre. Students use these as evidence to argue that either the radical Boston patriots, or British soldiers, were responsible for the Massacre. After defending their assigned positions, student attempt to reach consensus about what really happened on the night of March 5, 1770.
This common core lesson engages students with primary sources, promotes academic language and discussion, and allows for student-directed learning about the Boston Massacre in a lively and memorable lesson. Lesson plan, primary source readings, and student handouts are included. Primary source readings are concise enough to be approachable for all learners, and edited for grade 8 and above.
My other U.S. History primary source activities:
Andrew Jackson: Nullification Crisis and Bank of the U.S. role playArticles of Confederation primary source stationsBoston Massacre: Structured Academic ControversySlave Trade primary source stationsWestward Movement primary source stationsChinese Immigration and Exclusion primary source stationsIrish Potato Famine and Irish Immigration primary source stationsKing Cotton: How slavery and cotton rose together in the South - primary source stationsTotal War: Sherman's March primary source stations