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The Sensational History Snip-Its Series promotes fascinating stories your students (and maybe you) have never heard. Bring history to life in your classroom by adding some dimension to our founding fathers (and mothers), historical events, documents, lifestyles, and people!
I created this series because I began to think about the many historical places and teacher workshops I'd been to and the fascinating things I have learned over the years as a history teacher. Some of these things just don't fit into my traditional units, so I have decided to offer them as short history snip-its.
Sensational History Snip-Its articles with accompanying questions are perfect to use in many situations:
* Substitute plans
* Early finishers
* Cross-curricular activity to connect reading and social studies
* An exciting break from your regular unit of study
* Advanced learning classrooms
* Extra credit assignments
Read a synopsis of each History Snip-Its Story here:
Martha Washington - Slave Owner: When most people think of Martha Washington, they think of a kind, matronly, dignified woman. These descriptions are all true, however, attitudes about slavery were different in the 18th century. Many people don't know that Martha Washington was actually a proud slave owner. She knew that slavery was necessary to help maintain her lifestyle. Read this article to learn about slavery in Martha's world and why she freed George Washington's slaves early.
Oney Judge - Runaway Slave Girl: Oney Judge was born into slavery in George Washington's household. As a teenager, Oney became Martha Washington's personal servant and began to travel with her. One night, Oney escaped and the Washingtons tried desperately to get her back.
The Story of Nancy Hart: Nancy Hart is a patriot woman living on the Georgia frontier. She uses an interesting method to gain entry to British military camps as a spy. She is certainly a woman who can take care of herself and her family. She holds British soldiers at bay in her home when they enter her home under suspicious circumstances. You've never heard a story like this!
John Hancock - Tea Smuggler?: John Hancock was an important founding father. He is known for his famous large signature on the Declaration of Independence. He helped fund many protests in Boston. However, did you know that he was also involved in the smuggling business? He made enormous amounts of money by smuggling tea and other goods into the colonies. He was a good friend to Sam Adams...Did Hancock's illegal smuggling have anything to do with the Boston Tea Party? Read this article to find out! Your students will love learning some personal details about John Hancock's life!
Colonial Burial Practices: Did you know that colonial funerals were often lively, friendly events? Did you know that the family of the deceased often gave away gifts, like gloves, to people who attended the funeral? Did you know cabinetmakers were usually asked to build caskets? Your students will love learning about the traditions surrounding death in the 18th Century!
Colonial Jails and Punishments: Your students will be fascinated when they read about punishments in the 18th century. Public whippings, ear nailings, and time in the pillory are all foreign concepts to our students today. Share this aspect of 18th century culture with your students!
The Death of George Washington in 1799: Did you know that doctors bled 5 pints of George Washington's blood in an attempt to save his life? Did you know that George was terrified of being buried alive? Read this short article to learn about the circumstances surrounding George Washington's death.
The Story of Enoch Crosby: Shoemaker and Spy: Enoch Crosby is considered one of the first secret agents of the United States. This young shoemaker was traveling to rejoin the Continental Army when he was mistaken for a loyalist. He was able to infiltrate several loyalist groups and used the information he learned to help the patriot cause.
The Story of Hercules: George Washington's Enslaved Cook: Hercules, a slave, was purchased by George Washington at around 13 years old. He was the chief cook at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate. During his time with the Washington family, Hercules was given many privileges that most slaves would never dream of receiving. George and Martha Washington were fond of Hercules, so why in the world would he run away?
Colonial Christmas Traditions: Traditions varied from region to region. There was one region that pulled out all the stops to celebrate Christmas in a big way. Read this informational passage to find out how 18th century colonists celebrated this holiday.
George Washington - Genius Farmer: George Washington was a master farmer. His methods of crop rotation helped to create healthy crops. Washington's 16-sided barn was well-designed and contributed to the success of his farming operation. Students enjoy learning about the ways that animal poop was used to fertilize Washington's fields.
18th Century Hygiene: People smelled really, really bad in the 18th Century! Hygiene standards in colonial days were much different than our cleanliness standards today. Most colonists refused to bathe more than twice per year and their teeth often rotted due to the harmful ingredients in toothpaste. This lesson is definitely a student favorite!
Yellow Fever Outbreak in Philadelphia (1793): The yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia claimed the lives of thousands of citizens. This terrible virus was transmitted through mosquito bites and caused its victims to experience miserable symptoms.
Salem Witch Trials: The Salem Witch Trials were not about evil. They were the result of rumors, suspicions, and possibly other factors. The witch hysteria started when three young girls accused women of "bewitching" them. The witch trials had a large impact on the colony of Massachusetts and led to the deaths of many.
18th Century Privateers: 18th Century privateers were essentially legal pirates. The work of privateers was essential to helping supply the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Students LOVE learning about pirates!
***BUNDLE Guidelines: I will ADD to this bundle every time I create a new History Snip-Its Product! However, I am making no future promises on when new products will be added. So, this bundle is priced for what it contains RIGHT NOW only. If you purchase this bundle, you will be able to download the updated bundle with new resources for free at any time!***
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Visit my blog for fabulous resources and ideas: Thrive in Grade Five
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©2016 Jenifer Bazzit. All rights reserved.
Before I became a teacher-author, I wasn’t familiar with copyright law. You may not have the first clue about copyright and that’s ok! To simplify things, please understand that you have purchased ONE license to use this product in your classroom. This product belongs to me and is copyrighted under my name, so you may not share it freely, email it to coworkers, or upload it to any website, including your school website, district website, blog, or an educational-sharing site. I appreciate your consideration!