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     Today's video, "Blows Must Decide" is part of the Liberty series created by PBS back in 1997.  It's quite indicative of the quality of the programming that we still choose to use excerpts from this  series almost twenty years after its inception.  In Liberty, the historiography of the American Revolution is presented by prominent actors in period costumes dramatically interpreting primary documents such as letters and diary entries from our founding fathers (and mothers).  Interspersed between these dramatic moments are analyses presented by renowned historians well known to social studies teachers and most history buffs who frequent the History Channel.  Indeed this series is so good that in 1999, I had a student ask me, "Are these guys like the real guys?"     So, okay,... it's a great video series; what's the point? Critical thinking and global analysis of artifacts and primary documents does not come automatically to most teenagers.  In an entertaining fashion today's presentation is all about modeling how to think like an expert regarding the historical record of the American Revolution.  The overarching question we want the students to gather evidence regarding and then critically explain is (spoiler alert!):  "We know the Americans won the revolution.  The British had the biggest and baddest army and navy.  They had amazingly strong allies (the Prussians).  So just how did they lose?" --Karin Stephan
Posted by karin.stephan  On Oct 09, 2014 at 2:04 PM
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