Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
AP US History students recreate the Boston Massacre
As part of their learning program in regards to the causes of the American Revolution and the study of how the media is used to exploit particular points of view, students in Dan Korn's Advanced Placement U.S. History class recreated the event known as the Boston Massacre.
Students dressed up in a number of Korn's reenacting uniforms and hats and then recreated in an active learning role play the roles of the various participants who took part in the events that took place on that terrible snowy March 5, 1770 night in Boston, Massachusetts. Students brought in empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls in order to simulate the weapons such as the clubs, swords, and muskets that were part of the role play.
Afterwards the students looked at both Paul Revere's infamous picture of the Boston Massacre and one that was drawn by an actual eyewitness to the events that took place. They then compared the two pictures to see how the Revere one was used as a propaganda tool in order to stir up the emotions of the Boston citizenry, as opposed to the eyewitness accounting which depicted a much more accurate portrayal of that terrible night's event, after which they recorded the differences.
They then discussed, compared and contrasted how the differing accounts were used by both sides and the media in the famous trial of the British soldiers who were charged with murder in the "massacre" and how attorney John Adams was able to use those items as well as actual eyewitnesses to disprove what was portrayed in the Revere picture, and gain the acquittal of the soldiers on the charge of murder.
Students were then asked to think of other events or items in which pictures were used to deliberately push one side or the other of a particular viewpoint, or to excite an emotional response, either pro or negative, such as the events at Pearl Harbor, or 9/11.
Written by: Dan Korn, AP US History Teacher
Posted: Nov 17, 2014 by Regina Snelson