Fifth-graders at Connetquot Elementary recently participated in a mock debate between Patriots and Loyalists during social studies classes as part of their studies of the events leading up to the American Revolution.
Directed by teachers Melinda Safrany, Frank Esposito, Elizabeth Vann and Debra Fitzpatrick, the project required students to collect information from what they had read regarding the reasons why the colonists decided either to remain loyal to King George or to form a new country. They filled graphic organizers with textual evidence to support the Patriot or Loyalist cause, then chose sides and designed flyers to convince “the local undecided colonists” that their point of view was the right one.
“The children developed persuasive, fact-filled arguments to defend the perspective they represented,” said Principal Deborah Smith. “One of the key points that the Patriots shared was that the colonists had 'no representation' yet were taxed by England. The loyalists believed that the colonists should respect the wishes of their king. The debate conversations were animated and enthusiastic and encouraged students to think about the birth of our nation.”