Mapping connections: Boston, Concord, Lexington and the Revolution

Students will think like detectives of the past and use techniques such as close reading, contextualizing, and sourcing to examine a primary document about the battle of Lexington and Concord. Also, they will discuss two points of view regarding the events of April 19, 1775 by examining a minuteman’s engravings. Furthermore, students will use information gathered about the Battles of Lexington and Concord to write for different purposes.

Lesson Objective

Students will be able to analyze the conflict that began the War for Independence by examining primary sources, completing a capture sheet to identify important details from a late 18th century map, and writing an exit card.



  1. The PPT presents the events that lead to the shot heard ’round the world.
  2. As a warm-up, the teacher starts with a picture of the De Costa 1775 map. Pairs of students are given a copy of the map and an Analyzing Photographs & Prints worksheet.
  3. Students should look at the map and complete the graphic organizer with as many details they could identify on the map as possible. As the class has just finished looking at the First Continental Congress, students are ready to look at events that started the Revolutionary War.
  4. Students are instructed to become detectives of the past and their task is to determine the purpose/message of this map. When they are done, students share their findings with the class.
  5. Show the PPT presenting the events that lead to the conflict between British soldiers and minutemen in Lexington and Concord. When one of the Doolittle Engravings is projected, ask students to analyze it orally (What is going on in this picture? Do you think the engraver is a neutralist, patriot, loyalist? Etc…) [note: Amos Doolittle, a Connecticut militia man, was not present in Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. He went to Lexington and Concord two weeks after the battles and made the engravings based on his visit and interviews with people who were present at the battles.]
  6. After going over the battles in Lexington/Concord, students should go back to their partners and re-examine the map. This time, they are given the following questions to guide their thinking: Can you locate: Boston, Lexington, and Concord? Lord Percy’s soldiers returning from Lexington? Colonel Smith returning from Concord? Militia and minutemen? This map is part of which colony? What is the name of the body of water on the right?


Exit card question – Why was the Battle of Lexington & Concord important? Where was it fought? Who was involved? Use evidence from today’s lesson in your response.


Wilson, Richard Hall, and Karen McAuley. The United States Past to Present. Lexington, Mass: Heath, 1987.

De Costa, J. “1775 map of the Battle of Lexington/Concord”,+J++))+@field(OTHER+@3(De+Costa,+J++)))

Ouimby, Ian. The Doolittle Engravings of the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

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