The Curriculum of the Steiner School - Class 8

Notes and Lesson Plans

Book Study: American Revolution
updated August 19, 2023

Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!

This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf methods. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum planning and ideas, some materials are more Waldorf-y than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.

This page has helpful links and LOADS of free resources to help you plan your eighth grade year. Enjoy!

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Book Study: American Revolution
for Class 8

Part of a year-long ONLINE COURSE:
Waldorf Main Lesson Block Planning: U.S. History

Join a community of fellow homeschool parents planning this exact same topic for plenty of help and support. This course is aimed at homeschool families who are already familiar with the Waldorf method, but would appreciate extra feedback and encouragement in planning this block.

Monthly story and activity suggestions, including primary source materials, are included for each part of U.S. History as we travel from Colonial Times to the present day. Historical fiction, online resources, essay questions and traditional assignments to help students prepare for high school, and more!

Make friends and ask specfic questions of an experienced Waldorf homeschool teacher and consultant as you work through this inspiring, do-able, step by step course. Lifetime access. Just $50.00!

Pinterest - Renee Schwartz
My curated collection of visuals! Browse sample main lesson book pages, watercolor paintings, chalkboard drawings, etc. for Age of Revolution.

FREE eBooks at the Online Waldorf Library
Excellent resource! Published Waldorf curriculum books provided here in PDF format for you to download, keep, and read... for free!

Sample Lessons and Free Curriculum

Other Helpful Resources


Charles Kovacs' The Age of Revolution is traditionally used for the Age of Revolution block. We decided to go deeper into the American Revolution, as he only covers it briefly (one chapter: chap 24). For this, a book study of Steve Sheinkin's King George, What Was His Problem? is great!

You could do this book study as a Summer project, or add it in as its own MLB.

King George, What Was His Problem?

Here are my notes from teaching this as a relaxing slow (school is out of session due to COVID-19) Main Lesson block remotely with a tutoring client:

Chapter 1: How to Start a Revolution

Monday, April 20

Thursday, April 23

    from Taxation Without Representation: Primary Sources and Songs
    audio file: "The English Perspective" info & Soame Jenyns quote
    audio file: "American Ballad" song

    whose is the more logical argument, the English or the Colonists?

    Step 5: Refuse to Pay
    Step 6: Send in the Warships
    Step 7: Fire into a Crowd [Boston Massacre; Mar 5, 1770]
    Step 8: Keep the Tea Tax [Tea Act; 1773]

    stop and predict

    Step 9: Throw a Tea Party [Boston Tea Party; Dec 16, 1773]
    Step 10: Pay the Fiddler

Thursday, April 30

Monday, May 4

    Step 11: Stand Firm [Intolerable Acts]
    Step 12: Make Speeches [First Continental Congress; Sep 1774]
    Step 13: Let Blows Decide [Apr 1775]

    analyze sentence with Montessori grammar symbols
    p.18 "He wrote to London, asking for more soliders."

    analyze < congress > with Structured Word Inquiry
    walk + together

    note: the first episode of John Adams begins on the day of the Boston Massacre and ends with the delegates from Massachusetts departing Boston to head to Philadelphia for the First Continental Congress

Chapter 2: A Sleepless Night Before Revolution

Thursday, May 7

    Orders Are Orders
    Don't Open That Envelope
    Everyone's a Spy
    Trapped in Boston
    "Two if by Sea"
    Across the River
    Revere and That Other Guy

    analyze sentence with Montessori grammar symbols
    p.30 "Luckily, one of Revere's friends had a girlfriend who lived on a nearby street."

Friday, May 8

    The Midnight Intruder
    Where Are the British?
    On to Concord
    They Haven't Left Yet?
    Beat That Drum, Billy

    analyze sentence with Montessori grammar symbols
    p.36 "Prescott jumped his horse over a stone wall and raced down the road."

    analyze < politicians > with Structured Word Inquiry (it's not related to polite)
    < politic > is from Latin politicus "of citizens or the state," from Greek polis "city"
    < polite > is related to < polish >, from Latin polire "to polish, make smooth"

Chapter 3: Who Fired the Shot Heard 'Round the World?

Monday, May 11

    read/discuss entire chapter [Battles of Lexington and Concord; Apr 19, 1775]

    read George the Drummer Boy by Nathanial Benchley

Thursday, May 14

    analyze sentence with Montessori grammar symbols
    p.48 "They charged down the hill at the soldiers, and the soldiers turned and fled."

    Battle of Lexington lesson plans
    from Stanford History Education Group

      Battle of Lexington Lesson Plan
      Central Historical Question: What happened at the Battle of Lexington?

      primary source documents:

      quote from April 19, 1775, from the diary of Lieutenant John Barker, an officer in the British army

      quote from April 25, 1775, from sworn testimony by 34 minutemen given before three justices of the peace in Lexington, Mass.

      Battle of Lexington PPT with two contrasting images:

      a) Canadian artist Henry Sandham made the first image in 1886. The Lexington Historical Society paid Sandham to commemorate the heroism of their forefathers.

      b) Thomas Doolittle, a silversmith, made the second image in the fall of 1775. Doolittle was a member of a Connecticut militia that was called up to Cambridge, Mass. following the Battles of Lexington and Concord. He went to Lexington and spoke to individuals involved in the battle. Afterwards, he created the engraving.

Monday, May 18

Chapter 4: George Washington, Meet Your Army

Thursday, May 21

    read/discuss entire chapter

    examine four 1775 flags from Historical Flags of the US -- FREE on TpT
    Fort Moultrie Flag, also known as the Liberty Flag
    Navy Jack [late 1775]
    Pine Tree Flag [Oct 20, 1775]
    Grand Union Flag [Dec 3, 1775]

    read The Button Box by Margaret S. Reid

Chapter 5: Declare Independence, Already!

Wednesday, June 3

Chapter 6: Losing and Retreating in '76

Friday, June 5

Chapter 7: Showdown at Saratoga

Wednesday, June 10

    No Secrets Here
    Benedict Arnold to the Rescue
    Franklin's Secret Mission
    We'll Think About It
    The News from Home

    analyze sentences with Montessori grammar symbols
    p.108 "He presented the secret strategy to King George. The king loved it."

Friday, June 12

    A Little Help from Poland
    Pa-Pa Franklin
    The Battle of Saratoga: Part One
    The Battle of Saratoga: Part Two
    Johnny Loses the Bet
    Ben Seals the Deal
    The Turning Point

    analyze sentence with Montessori grammar symbols
    p.121 "He jumped on his horse and rode toward the battle, shouting, 'Victory or death!'"

    Preposition Circus Act -- FREE on TpT

Wednesday, June 17

Chapter 8: Will We Ever Win This War?

Friday, June 19

    A Long Way from Victory
    Terrible Times at Valley Forge
    The Good Life in Philadelphia
    New Hope in the Spring
    Back in Action
    Are You the Famous Adams?
    The Adventures of John Paul Jones [Battle of Flamborough Head; Sep 23, 1779]

    examine Serapsis Flag from Historical Flags of the US

Wednesday, June 24

    Benedict Arnold in Love
    Arnold's Fiendish Plan [Sep 1780]
    Andre is Captured
    And Arnold Escapes
    No End in Sight

    analyze sentences with Montessori grammar symbols
    p.140 "You might think Benedict Arnold would finally be happy."
    p.141 "Arnold and Andre would agree on a time for the British to attack West Point."

    examine two 1781 flags from Historical Flags of the US
    Cowpens Flag [Battle of Cowpens; Jan 17, 1781]
    Guilford Flag [Battle of Guilford Courthouse; Mar 15, 1781]

    Revolutionary War Graves of Soldiers Buried in Jackson County IL ?
    Daniel Barrow was in the Battle of Guildford Courthouse
    Zachariah Lyrely was in the Battle of Guildford Courthouse

    Revolutionary War Veterans historical marker - 37 24.833' N, 88 53.791' W
    William Wiggs, mentioned on the marker, was in the Battle of Guildford Courthouse
    Marker is in Vienna, IL. Memorial is on Poplar Street east of S 5th Street. Marker is located in front of the Vienna Public Library and across the street from Johnson County Courthouse. Marker is at or near this postal address: 401 Poplar St, Vienna IL 62995

Chapter 9: The Great Race to Yorktown

Friday, June 26

    Refreshments for the Enemy [Apr 1781]
    Another Wasted Year?
    Part 1: The King Tries the South
    Part 2: Bad Peaches, Bad General
    Part 3: British Behaving Badly
    Part 4: The Swamp Fox
    Part 5: Fight, Lose, Fight Again
    Part 6: Cornwallis Gets Tired
    Part 7: Spying on Cornwallis
    Part 8: Pick a Port, Any Port
    Part 9: The French Sail North
    Now Back to Washington

    analyze sentence with Montessori grammar symbols
    p.157 "If Washington could quickly march his army south to Virginia, he could surround Yorktown by land."

Wednesday, July 1

    The Trap Slams Shut
    Huzzah for the Americans!
    A Shell! A Shell!
    The White Handkerchief
    The World Turned Upside Down [surrender of Cornwallis; Oct 19, 1781]
    It Is All Over!
    One Last Story
    This Is Goodbye

    analyze sentence with Montessori grammar symbols
    p.157 "And if the French warships took control of the Chesapeake Bay, they could surround Yorktown by water."

Chapter 10: What Ever Happened To...?

Friday, July 3

Friday, July 4

Celebrate the Fourth of July!

NOTE: We followed this book study with a look at Westward Expansion through Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink.

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