Overview

This is an overview of all lessons. You can also find this information on the individual lessons pages.

Day 1: Get Started with Wiki

Synopsis:
Students will learn about using a wiki and related Internet Safety concepts. At the end of the lessons students will create their own avatars and pen names to be used as they progress through the lessons.

Length of activity: 45 minutes

Concepts addressed:
  • Internet Safety
  • Personal vs. Private information
  • Intro to a wiki
  • Publishing etiquette

Day 2: Prologue Leaving Home

Synopsis:
Nat provides some background about his family, then leaves home to start an apprenticeship
in Boston with the printer Benjamin Edes. Upon arriving at the Edes’s printshop, Nat must
read his indenture contract, decide if he wants his father to negotiate any terms, and then
sign it.

Length of game play: 10 – 15 minutes

Concepts addressed:
  • Economic life and labor systems in the British American colonies:
    • Limitations on land for inheritance by farmers’ sons;
    • Apprentice, journeymen, and master artisans;
    • Indentured labor
  • Political, ideological and economic origins of the Revolution:
    • Seven Years War precedes the American Revolution
    • War debts are a context for Britain’s taxation of the colonies

Day 3: New In Town

Synopsis:
Nat begins his apprenticeship with Mr. Edes. His first task is to sell at least three ads for the
Gazette and pick up a shipment of type from Griffin’s Wharf. He may meet a variety of
people around town, including merchants, a Redcoat, a ship worker from the West Indies
named Solomon Fortune, and the historical figures Paul Revere and Phillis Wheatley. He
also meets Royce Dillingham, a Patriotic apprentice at the ropewalk, and Constance Lillie,
niece of loyalist merchant Theophilus Lillie, who is searching for her lost dog Thimble.

Length of game play: 15 – 20 minutes

Target concepts:
  • Economic life and labor systems in the British American colonies:
    • Indentured laborers, slaves & free blacks
    • Colonial trades: printer, merchant, silversmith, sailor
    • Centrality of British imports – tea, cloth, etc.

  • Political, ideological and economic origins of the Revolution:
    • Colonists argue over British policies and how they affect the traditional rights of English people:
    • Many (e.g., Mr. Edes, Paul Revere) feel that British taxes and troops are eroding their traditional rights as English people;
    • Many (e.g., the merchant Mr. Lillie) are proud of their many ties to England, and resent Patriots and their protests;
    • Many others (e.g. the free black sailor Solomon, Phillis Wheatley) care about liberty, but do not take sides.

Day 4: A Death in Boston

Synopsis:
Mrs. Edes sends Nat out to buy supplies for her upcoming spinning bee, with instructions to
be careful where he shops (if pressed, she will tell Nat to shop from Patriot shops who sell
domestic goods). In town, Nat learns of protests against merchants who have been
importing goods from England. Nat has the option to buy goods from importers or non-importers.
Later that day, he hears that an eleven-year-old boy names Christopher Seider was shot
during an altercation between protesters and a customs informer. Back at the print shop that
night, Nat overhears a meeting of the Sons of Liberty in which plans are made for the Seider
funeral and protest.
Length of game play: 15 – 20 minutes
Target Concepts:
  • Political, ideological, and economic origins of the Revolution
    • The Townshend Acts (or Townshend Duties)
    • The non-importation (boycott) movement
    • The role of women in colonial protest

Day 5: March of the Apprentices

Synopsis:
Part 3 takes place over four days. Mrs. Edes’s spinning bee on February 23rd is a great success.
The next day, Nat accompanies Mr. Edes as he talks to Patriots around Boston about Seider’s
death.

On February 25th, to assist in preparations for the Seider funeral, Nat posts a broadside
announcing the funeral on the Liberty Tree and delivers a pamphlet proof to Paul Revere. At
the Liberty Tree, Nat speaks with Phillis Wheatley, who voices support for the Patriot cause
and may recite some of her poetry. Nat may also speak with Constance Lillie, who is
concerned that the Patriot funeral procession may worsen mounting tensions in Boston.
On February 26th, Nat is asked to deliver three bundles of pamphlets to Patriots who can
spread word and help gather a large crowd for the Seider funeral. Later that day, Nat
attends the funeral procession.

Length of game play: 15 – 20 minutes

Target concepts:
  • Political, ideological, and economic origins of the Revolution:
    • Role of the Sons and Daughters of Liberty
    • Multiple forms of protest: Public displays of scorn, funeral marches, tarring and feathering.
    • Role of printing in building a protest movement.
    • Views of working people – apprentices, slaves, free blacks -- on colonial protests.

Day 6: From Bad to Worse

Synopsis:
Out on an errand, Nat runs into Constance Lillie, who is still searching for her dog Thimble.
They spot Thimble and chase him down an alley, which leads them directly into a chaotic
confrontation between a crowd of angry townspeople and Redcoats. In a series of stylized
vignettes, Nat and Constance witness the events that later come to be known as the Boston
Massacre.

Length of game play: 5 – 10 minutes

Target Concepts:
  • Contrasting perspectives on the violence in King Street (Boston Massacre):
    • Patriots see British soldiers as aggressors;
    • Soldiers see protestors as aggressors;
    • Eyewitness accounts are partial and biased, and need to be analyzed critically.

Day 7: A Meeting with Fate

Synopsis:
Nat is called to Faneuil Hall to give a deposition about what he witnessed the night before at
the Customs House. Before giving his testimony, he speaks briefly with Constance, Royce,
and Solomon, who give their perspectives on the Massacre.
After completing his deposition, Nat is given three possible paths. He must choose one and
prove that he understands the perspective that path represents – whether it is staying in
Boston and becoming a patriot printer; going to New York with Constance and her Loyalist
uncle; or sailing to sea with Solomon and leaving the political tensions of Boston behind.
Length of game play: 5 – 10 minutes

Target Concepts:
  • Political and ideological origins of the Revolution:
    • Boston Massacre as a turning point
    • Dispute over its causes and who is responsible summarizes arguments between Patriots and Loyalists.
    • Printed images of the event influence anti-British feeling.
    • Colonists are still divided over Crown v. Colony, and face many choices.

Day 8: Epilogue and Jeopardy Review

Synopsis:
Nat is called to Faneuil Hall to give a deposition about what he witnessed the night before at
the Customs House. Before giving his testimony, he speaks briefly with Constance, Royce,
and Solomon, who give their perspectives on the Massacre.
After completing his deposition, Nat is given three possible paths. He must choose one and
prove that he understands the perspective that path represents – whether it is staying in
Boston and becoming a patriot printer; going to New York with Constance and her Loyalist
uncle; or sailing to sea with Solomon and leaving the political tensions of Boston behind.
Length of game play: 5 – 10 minutes

Target Concepts:
  • Political and ideological origins of the Revolution:
    • Boston Massacre as a turning point
    • Dispute over its causes and who is responsible summarizes arguments between Patriots and Loyalists.
    • Printed images of the event influence anti-British feeling.
    • Colonists are still divided over Crown v. Colony, and face many choices.