Revolution- Boston Massacre

In this lesson, the students will use contemporary points of views of the incidents of the Boston Massacre and construct a non-positioned news article about the event. They will be tasked to tell the story from a non-opinionated point of view as best as possible that will be published in a colonial newspaper that is neither loyalist or patriot in standing. Ideally, this lesson should occur following the Townsend Acts and the heating up of tensions with riots and protests beginning in Boston. However, it should also occur prior to the students learning about the Boston Massacre. This will help to ensure that the students do not use any prior knowledge of the event to influence their writing

Standards & Objectives

Learning objectives: 
  • Students will analyze the causes of the American Revolution.
  • Students will identify contradicting views of a single historical event using primary sources.
  • Students will evaluate the trustworthiness of historical documents.
  • Students will create a news article covering the American Revolution.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 

This lesson provides a great opportunity for creative extension ideas. For example, this lesson could be applied to almost any historical event where eyewitness accounts through all eras. Here are some examples: Ancient History – Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, Colonial America – The Salem Witch Trials, US history – Assignation of President Lincoln, Bombing of Pearl Harbor, Kennedy Assassination, 9/11 etc. The beauty of this lesson is its adaptability to other events.
Have students read a poem covering the assassination of President Lincoln and locate various uses of imagery and writing styles. How is the United States and Lincoln represented in this poem? Is this a fair or accurate depiction of America during this time?
Students can investigate excerpts from Carl Sagan’s “The Demon-Haunted World” to analyze the Salem With Trials. Students can use Sagan’s work to evaluate the importance of critical thinking and questioning group think.
Have students research the attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s decision to join the war effort by navigating through a blog featuring oral histories. Prompt students to discuss the roles of the media and the public in America’s decision to join World War II. 

Helpful Hints


  • Pyramid Journalism Graphic Organizer
  • HIPPO Analysis Worksheet
  • Boston Massacre Sources *Note: Pages 15-16 are used in day two of the lesson plan.