American Revolution Books and Films | Student Handouts
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Unit III: American Revolution
United States History > Revolutionary War > American Revolution Books and Films
  George Washington: American Revolutionary (1996) Video/DVD Review and Guide for History Teachers   Lafayette: The Lost Hero (2010) Documentary Film Review for American History Teachers   Common Sense by Thomas Paine - Free Printable eBook (PDF)   The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine - Free Printable eBook      
  George Washington: American Revolutionary (1996)   Lafayette: The Lost Hero (2010)   Common Sense by Thomas Paine   The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine      
Watching historical films can be an engaging way for American History students to learn about the American Revolution.

The Patriot (2000): Starring Mel Gibson, this film tells the story of a South Carolina farmer who becomes a reluctant hero during the American Revolution. While it takes creative liberties, it offers a cinematic portrayal of the conflict.

John Adams (2008): Although not a film but a miniseries, John Adams is based on the biography by David McCullough and provides a detailed and mostly historically accurate depiction of John Adams' role in the American Revolution and the early years of the United States.

Revolution (1985): This film, starring Al Pacino, is set against the backdrop of the American Revolution and follows a fur trapper's journey through the conflict. It offers a unique perspective on the war.

The Crossing (2000): This made-for-TV film focuses on George Washington's daring crossing of the Delaware River and the subsequent Battle of Trenton. It provides a close look at the challenges faced by the Continental Army.

1776: The Musical (1972): While not a traditional film, this stage musical was adapted for a filmed version. It offers an entertaining and educational take on the events leading to the Declaration of Independence.

Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor (2003): This TV movie explores the life and career of Benedict Arnold, from his early heroics to his later betrayal of the American cause. It delves into the complexities of his character.

Sons of Liberty (2015): A miniseries that dramatizes events leading up to the American Revolution, including the Boston Tea Party and the early activities of figures like Samuel Adams and Paul Revere.

The First Fourth of July (1975): This educational film provides an informative overview of the events leading up to the Declaration of Independence and the first Fourth of July celebrations.

April Morning (1988): Based on the novel by Howard Fast, this film explores the experiences of a young boy who witnesses the Battle of Lexington and Concord. It provides a unique perspective on the early days of the American Revolution.

When using films as educational tools, it's important to accompany them with discussions and supplementary readings to help students critically analyze the historical accuracy, artistic choices, and interpretations presented in the movies. Additionally, educators should encourage students to explore primary and secondary sources to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the American Revolution.
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