Saturday, May 5, 2012

"True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else." ~ Clarence Darrow.
Cinco de Mayo -- or the 5th of May --  is a special cultural holiday for the Mexican people.  Like American colonists' fight for independence against the British, Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico's unlikely victory over 8,000 highly skilled French forces in 1862.  It symbolizes love of country and the common man's triumph over foreign dominance.  

Hello everyone--
A short week is upon us.  Both classes are pushing forward with our study of the French and Indian War and it's aftermath.  Any work we do in Social Studies will be directly related to the information and links located here.

Grade 5: I'll continue to support your  work with PPPs.  Otherwise, we're exploring lots of cool sites on the blog and "doubling up" on Social Studies and its related Reading/Writing assignments.  It makes an engaging way to end the year!

Grade 6:  You and I know both how much we have to do to prepare for the end of the 2011-2012 school year. In addition to all of that, we are working on our Poetry Exhibition projects and, of course, our study of American History.  

Parents, ask to see your child's Poetry Project syllabus.  All work must (MUST!) be turned in by May 21 so that I can get projects assessed and back the students. They will make wonderful keepsakes when all is said and done. . .


Please check out this wonderful site--maps and videos help to explain the war.


 Battle of Fort Carillon, also known as the Battle of Ticonderoga
On July 8, 1758, the Battle of Carillon, also known as the Battle of Ticonderoga was fought near Fort Carillon on the shore of Lake Champlain. In the battle, which took place primarily on a rise about three-quarters of a mile from the fort itself, a French army of about 4,000 men under General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm and the Chevalier de Levis decisively defeated an overwhelmingly numerically superior force of British troops under General James Abercrombie, which frontally assaulted an entrenched French position without using field artillery. The battle was the bloodiest of the war, with over 2,500 casualties suffered, of which over 2,000 were British soldiers.  
Another interesting video about Fort Ticonderoga from

Battle of Louisbourg, July 26, 1758

The Siege of Louisbourg was a pivotal battle of the French and Indian War in 1758 and led directly to the loss of Quebec in 1759 and the remainder of French North America the following year. The British government realized that with the Fortress of Louisbourg under French control, there was no way that the Royal Navy could sail down the St. Lawrence River for an attack on Quebec. An Expedition against Louisbourg in 1757 led by Lord Loudon failed due to a strong French naval deployment.

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham

Decisive battle that led to the fall of Quebec. The British, led by James Wolfe, had successfully crossed the St. Lawrence river above Quebec, where Louis de Montcalm, in charge of the French defenders of the city, had felt to be secure, protected by the Heights of Abraham, high cliffs that appeared to block any attack. However, Wolfe had scouted out a route up the cliffs, a narrow track that led to the top, where a weak French guard had been overwhelmed in their sleep. By dawn, Wolfe had 4,828 men on the cliff tops west of the city. When the British tents were seen, Montcalm himself went to scout out the situation, but even after seeing the British force in person, he refused to believe that anything more than a small raiding force had climbed the cliffs. Wolfe marched his force to within a mile of the city, and formed up ready for battle.

The French were divided. 3,000 of their best men were some way to the west under Bougainville, and although Montcalm had 10,000 men, over 7,000 of them were militia. Foolishly, Montcalm did not wait for Bougainville and his 3,000 men, and instead launched his attack at 10 in the morning. At this point the superior discipline of the British carried the day. The French advanced in some disorder, firing wildly and with little effect. In contrast, the first volley of British musket fire was devastating, and the French force fell back under the shock, at which point Wolfe ordered a bayonet charge, which he led himself. Within seconds, Wolfe took a bullet in the chest, which was eventually to kill him, but the charge itself was a success, turning the French retreat into a total rout. Montcalm also took a fatal wound while attempting to rally the troops. Wolfe survived long enough to know he had won the battle, and Montcalm only survived to the following day, while Quebec surrendered on 18 September.
Rickard, J (8 November 2000), Plains of Abraham, battle of, 13 September 1759

The conquest of Quebec is more than just a single battle; it is the result of a long siege that lasts from June 26th to the 18th of September, 1759. During this interminable confrontation, Montcalm adopts a purely defensive strategy and chooses to take no initiative against the enemy. Wolfe attempts twice to take the city before September, but his troops are defeated and repelled on both occasions. Despite these failures, the English surround the city with their boats and bombard it day and night for weeks, reducing the once proud capital of New France to a desolate pile of smoking ruins. We estimate that about 15,000 bombs were thrown on Quebec that summer, and the fate of the surrounding villages is also far from lenient. Farms are pillaged and burnt, villages are ravaged and the inhabitants who did not join the militia (women, children, the elderly, and priests for the most part) are incarcerated in prisoner camps. The inhabitants are the ones who suffer the most from the British invasion.


Look at two videos about the Boston Massacre (  1 & 2 ) then answer the following questions:
  1. What do you think?  Was the "Boston Massacre" really a massacre or was it a riot?  Explain your answer. 
  2. Why do you suppose Paul Revere drew the above picture as he did?
Read more about the Boston Massacre – including fascinating primary documents  –  
 here and here.

The Revolution: can you think of a more unlikely war? Whatever possessed the 13 colonies (with little organization, no trained army, and no navy to speak of) think they could defeat the most powerful nation in the known world?? (Were they not watching what happened to the French and their allies during the LAST war??) Was the war won as a result of determination, support, weather, terrain, timing, or sheer luck? (The answer here is probably "yes...") An entire year would not give us enough time to explore the stories behind the story. We'll continue the conversation as circumstances following the French and Indian War ignite unrest in a country already feeling it's connections dissolving...

Lots to think about. . .

Be well, 

Looking for more American Revolution games?  Sure! Click here and explore a bunch of them!