Soldier of Liberty Preview

In Colonial Williamsburg's Soldier of Liberty Electronic Field Trip, you can experience the everyday life of a soldier on the eve of the American Revolution by enlisting in the 2nd Virginia Regiment with Nathaniel Hutcheson, a young recruit.

For: Fourth through eighth grades
Cost: $100 per school. For full access is for subscribing schools only. Go to Colonial Williamsburg's Web site or call 1-800-761-8331 for more information.

What's included:

  • Teacher Materials: Background information, three lesson plans, literacy resources.
  • Internet Resources: Online learning activities, Video preview (QuickTime and Windows Media Formats), Email a Question; Online discussion forums, Bibliography, Internet links.
  • Live video broadcast: 10-11 am ET and 1-2 pm ET October 9, 2003, available on many PBS stations across the country. Also available via live video streaming over the Internet.

This page outlines of the video program and Web activities. For a sample of the latter, go to the Eyewitness Video Theater, where you can watch videos that students created in the online Eyewitness Videoshop activity.

Program Outline

  • Segment One
    • Web Activity: Choices, Choices... Take a personality quiz to match yourself with a colonial facing a great decision about the impending Revolution. Will you make the same choices as they did?

    • Scene from video programVideo: Choosing Revolution. In the summer of 1775, 20-year-old Nathaniel Hutcheson and two of his friends discuss events in the colonial capital of Williamsburg. Governor Dunmore has fled the palace over the incident of the stolen gunpowder. The boys debate joining the militia, but a reluctant Nathaniel departs to visit a girl he has been courting, Penelope Sheraton. At the Sheraton household, he finds that Penny and her family are stout supporters of Governor Dunmore and are leaving for Norfolk, where Mr. Sheraton plans to train in the governor's militia. Nathaniel then enlists in the 2nd Virginia regiment, where he and his friends learn military drill and live in camp.

  • Segment Two
    • WExplore the magazine in eb Activity: Outfitting the Troops. War has come, and Patrick Henry assigns you to outfit the troops. Explore the magazine to learn about the many weapons and other item s available, then decide what to purchase for the militia. Make wise selections or the army is doomed!

    • Video: The Making of a Soldier. After months in the militia, Nathanial's romantic notions of fighting for his beliefs are tarnished by guard duty in the cold and wet. In a letter from his mother, Nathanie learns that Mattey, one of the family's slaves, has run off to fight for Dunmore in the Ethiopian Company to earn his freedom. Meanwhile, the Sheratons have settled into Norfolk, where Penelope is being introduced to fine British soldiers. Finally,on December 9, 1775, the scene for the battle of Great Bridge is set. As the British army, loyalist militia, and Ethiopian Company march across a narrow causeway, Nathaniel and the 2nd Virginia regiment open fire.

  • Segment Three
    • Making a video in Video: The Aftermath. When the battle clears, we learn of several dead or wounded British troops. Nathaniel finds Mr. Sheraton with a terrible musket wound which will require his leg to be amputated. In a vulnerable moment, Mr. Sheraton confides to Nathaniel that he always thought he would make a fine son-in-law. Several months pass, and Nathaniel is put in charge of training new soldiers.

    • Web Activity: Eyewitness Videoshop. Make a video about the Battle of Great Bridge and share it with others online. Select clips from the Soldier of Liberty video program and arrange them to tell your story. Then write captions and choose a musical soundtrack from period compositions ranging from fife and drum to Mozart. Then invite your friends, family, and even your teacher to watch your video online—and even submit it to the Eyewitness Video Theater for the whole world to enjoy!

    • Eyewitness Video Theater. Watch student videos in this online theater. Freely accessible to the public—see the best student videos!

National Standards of History
Grades 5-12

Standard 1. Chronological Thinking
A. Distinguish between past, present and future time.
B. Identify in historical narratives the temporal structure of a historical narrative or story.
C. Establish temporal order in constructing historical narratives of their own.
D. Measure and calculate calendar time.
E. Interpret data presented in time lines.
F. Reconstruct patterns of historical succession and duration.

Standard 2. Historical Comprehension
A. Reconstruct the literal meaning of a historical passage.
B. Identify the central question(s) the historical narrative addresses.
C. Read historical narratives imaginatively.
D. Evidence historical perspectives.
F. Utilize visual and mathematical data presented in charts, table, pie and bar graphs, flow charts, Venn diagrams, and other graphic organizers.
G. Draw upon visual, literary, and musical sources.

Standard 3. Historical Analysis and Interpretation
A. Identify the author or source of the historical document or narrative.
B. Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas, values, personalities, behaviors, and institutions.
C. Differentiate between historical facts and historical interpretations.
D. Consider multiple perspectives.
E. Analyze cause-and-effect relationships and multiple causation, including the importance of the individual, the influence of ideas, and the role of chance.
F. Challenge arguments of historical inevitability.
G. Compare competing historical narratives.
J. Hypothesize the influence of the past.

Standard 4. Historical Research Capabilities
A. Formulate historical questions.
B. Obtain historical data.
C. Interrogate historical data.
D. Identify the gaps in the available records, marshal contextual knowledge and perspectives of the time and place, and construct a sound historical interpretation.

Standard 5. Historical Issues-Analysis and Decision-Making
A. Identify issues and problems in the past.
B. Marshal evidence of antecedent circumstances and contemporary factors contributing to problems and alternative courses of action.
E. Formulate a position or course of action on an issue.
F. Evaluate the implementation of a decision.


More about Colonial Williamsburg's Electronic Field Trips

Copyright © 2003 The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Online Activities developed by Educational Web Adventures (Eduweb)