Lesson Plans Adams, Abigail


Adams, Abigail
Creating a Revolutionary War Board Game
One of the most significant events in the lives of Abigail and John Adams was the Revolutionary War, through which the United States was created.  Abigail spent most of the war apart from John, keeping the children and the farm going in Braintree while he was representing Massachusetts at both the First and Second Continental Congresses.  Through it all, however, they both remained certain that independence for the colonies was the right thing to work toward. 
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Law, Politics and Govt

Adams, Abigail
The Education of Abigail Adams
For a variety of reasons, Abigail Adams did not ever go to school.  However, she was very well educated and left a lasting legacy of letters, not only to her husband, John Adams, but also to a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. 
Skill: Elementary School     Category: First Ladies' Lives

Adams, Abigail
What's a Yankee Doodle Dandy?
The development of a national identity began before American Independence; however, the song “Yankee Doodle” took a derisive insult and turned it into one of the most popular patriotic songs in our history and helped a new nation define itself.  Almost every student knows the words of the first verses but few can complete the song or are aware of its rich meaning.
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Sports and Popular Culture

Adams, Abigail
'Tis a Gift to Be Simple: The Shaker People
The history of the Shakers and of their founder Mother Ann Lee is full of adventure and drama.  However, they are best known for their simple dress, furniture design, and music.  Ann Lee came to the colonies in 1774 and the establishment of the Shaker communities occurred during the lifetime of Abigail Adams.
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Religion, Social Issues and Reform

Adams, Abigail
A Question of Justice: The Boston Massacre
On March 5, 1770, British soldiers fired into a crowd of colonists protesting both British taxes and the British presence in Boston.  Five colonists died, including the first African American to die in the lead-up to the Revolution—Crispus Attucks.  Thomas Preston, British Captain at the scene, was tried for murder, along with eight of his men. Asked to assist in the defense of the accused British soldiers, John Adams discussed the matter at some length with his young wife, Abigail, and together they decided that his acting in defense would be a courageous act, one that would show colonial impartiality in the matter. Captain Preston and six of his men were acquitted; two soldiers were found guilty, punished, and dismissed from the army.
Skill: Middle School     Category: Law, Politics and Govt

Adams, Abigail
Tick, Tock, the Banneker Clock: African American Inventors
Although Benjamin Franklin is widely noted for his Poor Richard’s Almanac, African American scientist and inventor Benjamin Banneker also published a widely-read almanac from 1792 to 1806, during the time that John Adams was Vice President and then President.  It is likely that Abigail read at least some of the almanacs.  She also may very well have seen, or even owned, one of Banneker’s wooden clocks.
Skill: Middle School     Category: Science, Medicine, Inventions and tech

Adams, Abigail
Blunders on All Sides: The Battle of Bunker Hill
On June 17, 1775, Abigail Adams took her son, John Quincy, to the top of Penn’s Hill near their home to watch the Battle of Bunker Hill.  Abigail Adams later wrote to her husband, John, who was in Philadelphia, about the battle, particularly about the loss of their dear friend, Dr. Joseph Warren.  Her letter is among several that have survived describing the battle and its aftermath.
Skill: Middle School     Category: First Ladies' Lives

Adams, Abigail
Blimey! What If the British Had Won the Revolutionary War?
For those who lived through the American Revolution, there were many times when it was not at all certain that the colonists would succeed in separating themselves from Britain.  The Colonial army was mostly untrained, and the British were the best armed, best trained, and most experienced army in the world. What might have happened if, indeed, the British had won?
Skill: Middle School     Category: Economics, Discovery and Daily Life

Adams, Abigail
Politics! Politics! The Emergence of Political Parties in the U.S.
Among the founders of the United States, it was generally believed that political parties were not a good idea.  The founders wanted to avoid the harsh political arguments that characterized political life in the Europe of their time and to keep the young and fragile United States free from such divisions.   It wasn’t long, however, before at least two major sets of beliefs arose regarding the way in which the new nation should be shaped and governed.   Abigail and John Adams were staunch Federalists, while Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were Anti-Federalists, or Democratic-Republicans.
Skill: High School/College     Category: Law, Politics and Govt

Adams, Abigail
Leeches and Spiders and Toads, Oh, My! The Emergence of Modern Medicine
When Abigail and John Adams were raising their four children, many children were expected to die before age 5 or 6, usually of infectious disease.  Soldiers, too, during the Revolution, had a good chance of dying of wounds incurred in battle.  Indeed, medicine as a science in the 18th and 19th century was in its infancy, and most medical practice depended on folk wisdom and herbal remedies.  As time passed into the 19th and 20th centuries, basic discoveries about the human body and about the nature of disease increased medical knowledge, until today, we have conquered most contagious diseases and the mortality rate of babies and children is much lower.
Skill: High School/College     Category: Science, Medicine, Inventions and tech

Adams, Abigail
Building a Federal Town: Washington, D.C.
Abigail Adams was the first First Lady to live in the White House in Washington, D.C.  Before that, the capital of the country was in New York City and in Philadelphia.  Even when the Adams family moved into the White House, it wasn’t finished, and neither was Washington.  It takes a while to design and build a city from scratch!
Skill: High School/College     Category: First Ladies' Lives

Adams, Abigail
The First Great Awakening
The religious movement known as the First Great Awakening, dating from the 1730s to the 1770s, first appeared in the mid-Atlantic colonies, transitioned to New England, and reached a culmination of sorts in the South.  It left in its wake a legacy of debate and division.  This entire movement played out during Abigail Adams’ life.
Skill: High School/College     Category: Religion, Social Issues and Reform

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