Use Hamilton the Musical to enhance your unit on The American Revolution!
Hamilton fever is strong in my house. My sixteen year old daughter caught it first - singing the songs, proudly wearing her “Young Scrappy and Hungry” t-shirt. I thought it was great, but I also thought it was for older kids. It was only when I saw my 10 year old son singing along with his sister that I started thinking that I could harness the brilliance of Hamilton the Musical to get my 4th graders excited about a study of the American Revolution.
When using Hamilton with upper elementary, it’s best to keep it simple. The content covered in the musical is MASSIVE! With this in mind, I chose three songs for close reading because I felt they most clearly illustrated the different points of view about the revolution:
“My Shot” -
Who was Alexander Hamilton? Why did he and many of the colonists want their freedom from England?
“Farmer Refuted” -
What was the point of view of the loyalists? (the colonists who did not want revolution)
“You’ll Be Back” -
What was King George’s (England’s) perspective on the colonies wanting their freedom?
Included in this resource:
1. Line by line close reading prompts for the lyrics of three songs.
2. Background reading
3. Vocabulary activities to support student understanding of all three songs.
4. Five after reading activities that explore character traits, point of view, playing with words and language, and an extended response prompt evaluating an argument across texts.