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Consequences of the Revolutionary War:
A Broadside Ballad




Students will determine the geographic, economic, social, and political consequences of the Revolutionary War.


Students will cooperate, collaborate, and compromise with classmates
Students will identify main ideas from a reading passage
Students will organize thoughts
Students will present ideas in an understandable manner to the class


General Task Description

In order to understand why the Revolutionary War was important, it is important to be aware of the impact that it had on America. In this activity, you will be working with a small group of classmates to write about the impact and consequences of the Revolutionary War. You will be creating something called a “broadside ballad,” which was a common form of communication during the Revolutionary War. Here is a description of what a broadside ballad was:
A broadside ballad was a song - printed on a broadside, a large sheet of paper, that usually focused on a dramatic event such as a battle, a crime, or a disaster. A primitive attempt at mass communication, the broadside was distributed like a newspaper. Many ballads printed on broadsides eventually passed into oral tradition.
Today, we will be writing broadside ballads which focus on the consequences of the Revolutionary War. After you have finished your ballad, you will be presenting it to the class...if your group is brave enough to sing your ballad, you will earn extra credit points!

Task Specifics:
1. As a small group, you will first want to determine the key economic, political, social, and geographic consequences of the Revolutionary War. Some pages/topics that you may want to refer back to in the textbook are:
Financing the War (p.110)
Civilians at War (p.111)
Seeking Peace (p.115)
The War Becomes a Symbol of Liberty (p.116)
2. After you have developed a list of the key consequences, you can begin to write your broadside ballad. There are many different ways that you can write your are a few ideas/suggestions:
-use rhyme
-repeat key phrases at various times throughout the song
-use alliteration
-select a popular tune or melody, and write your own lyrics to that tune (if your group is going to sing your ballad to the class for extra credit, you will probably want to do this)

No matter how you choose to write it, the only requirement for your ballad is that you describe at least 8 consequences of the Revolution (therefore, your ballad should be at least 8 lines in length).

Content: Your ballad should include good information about the impact/consequences of the least 8 key consequences should be referenced. Make sure the information in your ballad is accurate. Any inaccurate information in your ballad will result in a lower grade for your group!
Creative Effort: Your group will be graded based upon your attempt to make your ballad as creative and thoughtful as possible (don’t worry if it is ‘hokey’ or ‘corney,’ we are all not musical geniuses...just give it your best effort!)





Levels of Performance (Points)


Ballad includes at least 8 key consequences of the Revolution; all information is accurate
10 - ballad includes at least 8 key facts; all facts are accurate 7 - ballad includes 7 or more facts; however some are inaccurate 5 - ballad has a minimal number of facts; some are inaccurate 0 - ballad is totally lacking accurate information

A very good attempt to make the ballad creative or 'catchy'
5 - excellent attempt at creativity 3 - some attempt at creativity 0 - no attempt at creativity

Group presents the ballad in an informational manner; presentation of the ballad furthers the learning of classmates
5 - ballad presentation is very informational 3 - ballad presentation is taken lightly; only slightly furthers the learning of classmates 0 - ballad is not presented
Extra Credit

Group sings the ballad to the best of its ability
5 - a very good attempt is made to sing the ballad well 3 - group makes a moderate attempt to sing the ballad

Total Score

/20 Possible


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Copyright 2018, Jon Mueller. Professor of Psychology, North Central College, Naperville, IL. Comments, questions or suggestions about this website should be sent to the author, Jon Mueller, at