American Revolution Opinion Writing Unit: Patriots or Loyalists?


Subject: U.S. History, Other (ELA), Writing
Grade Levels: 4th, 5th, 6th, Homeschool
Resource Type:
File Type:
File Size: 6 MB
Number of Pages: 28
Answer Key: Rubric Only
Teaching Duration: 2 Weeks


American Revolution Opinion Writing Unit: Editorial Supporting the Patriots or Loyalists (PDF & Google Slides)

In this integrated unit, students read excerpts from Patriot and Loyalist primary sources in order to understand the arguments on both sides. Students analyze these arguments in order to decide which has the most convincing argument. Students then write an opinion essay supporting the side they chose.

The unit can be used as a summative assessment for the early Revolutionary War period, as well as a opinion writing piece.

This unit integrates studying about the American Revolution into a lesson on primary sources and opinion writing. This unit can be easily differentiated to meet the needs of their students (suggestions are included in the lesson plans).

This is a complete unit that includes everything needed. The resource in included in both PDF format and Google Slides.


Students begin the unit with a discussion of the writing assignment. They explore primary sources featuring arguments from both Patriots and Loyalists. 20 task cards are included with excerpts from documents. Students summarize the arguments on a note sheet.

Students then analyze the arguments and sort them into categories on an anchor chart. Each student decides whether the Patriots or Loyalists have the most convincing argument, then uses the graphic organizers to write an editorial (opinion essay) supporting the chosen side.

Other resources are included: student project checklist, social studies rubric, and opinion writing rubric.


Everything needed to publish an editorial is included – just print and go! This resource includes:

Suggested Lesson Plans, including suggested ways to differentiate activities
Suggested Standards Covered
Project Direction Page
20 Primary Source Task Cards
Task Cards Notes Page
Anchor Chart (printable pieces) for Patriots vs. Loyalists
Student Anchor Chart Page for Patriots vs. Loyalists
Preplanning Page
Opinion Writing Organizer
Student Final Project Checklist
Opinion Rubric
Social Studies Rubric
The length this lesson takes will depend upon how long students take to plan and write their essays. I estimate 1 – 2 weeks of 30 minutes sessions. This unit would work best after students have learned about the Patriots and Loyalists in a social studies lesson.

Teachers should adapt this project as needed to fit their grade level and student ability-levels.


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