American Revolution for Kids: Soldiers

We read a few books about soldiers and made a tri-cornered hat.

The British soldiers wore red because it disguised the color of blood. To Americans they were known as Lobsterbacks or Red Coats. As professional soldiers, they were sent to America to keep law and order and enforce British rules. On top of being soldiers, they often accepted work in America to supplement their income. Therefore, they were liked by some and loathed by others. After all the country was at war and Americans were not all on the same side.

As tensions rose, they were sometimes taunted and teased in public. These incidents led to some of the most well known scuffles of the war including the Boston Massacre. As the war continued, more and more soldiers were sent to America. There were too many to house in British facilities, therefore many were boarded with families in private homes. To Americans rebelling against British rule, this was a gross injustice.

When the founders wrote the Declaration of Independence they wrote up a list of complaints against the British Government. One complaint on the list was the required quartering of British Soldiers at the expense of the Colonists. The book, The 18 Penny Goose, illustrates this complaint through the eyes of a child. When British soldiers came through Letty's village, she was worried about her ducks and wrote the soldiers a note. This easy reader is perfect for kids ages 5-11.

Contrary to the British, the American soldiers were not professional fighters. Instead, they were farmers, merchants and craftsmen. They worked their day jobs and then grabbed their muskets, scythes or other weapons and went off to defend themselves against tyranny. Since they could be ready to fight at a moments notice they were known as minutemen.

The book Sam the Minuteman tells the story of how one minuteman and his son were involved in the first battle of the Revolutionary War.

After reading a little about American and British soldiers my daughter made a tri-corner hat. The basic idea was to cover a piece of cardboard in the shape of a triangle with a circle in the middle for the head with fabric.

 First she made a band of white fabric to fit her head. Next she cut out a piece of cardboard with a circle hole in the center for her head.

 Then she cut a large circle of fabric. She draped the fabric over her head and then placed the cardboard overtop.

 The loose fabric was brought over the cardboard and stitched into place. Then she added a few feathers.

For more American History book/project ideas, please see our History Page.
Check out these great blog hops for more educational activity ideas. 

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