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MARCH 1, 2011


The Revolution on the Home Front

Wars affect many more people than just the soldiers involved in the fighting. During the Revolutionary War, the men, women and children left on the home front found their world turned upside down. The economy struggled to keep up with the demands of the war. Goods were scarce and both armies took provisions from private citizens by force. Battles sometimes came to civilians' front doors.

Primary Source of the Month

Printed Handkerchief. Courtesy of the Concord Museum.
Printed Handkerchief, circa 1790. Courtesy of the Concord Museum.

This linen handkerchief was crafted in England in approximately 1790. The border is made up of idealized pictures and short poems describing the experiences of American women on the home front during the Revolutionary War. The women are optimistic about the new challenges they are facing and each task is a "labor of love."

Women of the Revolution EFT
The Next Electronic Field Trip
is Women of the Revolution
March 10, 2011

Downloadable American History
Lesson Plans from ABC-CLIO
and Colonial Williamsburg

Teaching News

Writing as Social Studies

Writing is an integral part of history education, yet it is frequently left to the realm of the English teacher. The article “Writing in the Social Studies Classroom” (PDF) describes practical and essential strategies for encouraging clear and effective writing into your Social Studies curriculum.

Digital Media in the Classroom

According to the new survey from PBS and Grunwald Associates LLC, “Deepening Commitment: Teachers Increasingly Rely on Media and Technology,” 97% of K-12 teachers use digital media for classroom instruction. More than two-thirds (67%) believe that digital resources help them differentiate learning for individual students, and a similar number (68%) believe TV and video content stimulates discussion.

March Podcasts
March Podcasts
03/07: Jefferson's Boyhood Home
03/14: Pigs at the Table (podcast
and vodcast)
03/21: Before Revolution
03/28: Saving the Union

The Idea of America
The Idea of America
A digital American history program that inspires and prepares high school students for active citizenship, developed by Colonial Williamsburg and distributed by
Pearson Education.


Facebook Logo
Colonial Williamsburg for Teachers


PSCU Financial Services Logo

2011–2012 Electronic Field Trip Scholarships


Teaching Strategy: Women on the Home Front Handkerchief

Women's lives were dramatically altered by the war, whether they participated in the activities of the Continental or British armies or labored to keep up their families' farms and businesses. At the same time, they had to care for their families in the face of food shortages and the ever-looming threats of violence and looting. In this lesson, students will examine a handkerchief printed with poems and illustrations about life on the home front during the Revolution. Students will analyze the poems to discover the changing roles of women as they took on the responsibilities of their absent husbands and fathers who were fighting for American independence.

Colonial Williamsburg Teaching Resources for Your Classroom

2011–2012 Teaching Resources Catalog

Colonial Williamsburg offers a variety of quality materials to assist you in teaching eighteenth-century life, including:

  • Lady's Pocket (Hands-on History Kit)
  • Our Common Passage (DVD)
  • Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence (Hardcover Book)

Kids Zone: History, Games & Fun
Games, activities, and resources about life in colonial America.

2010 Distance Learning Award
21st Century Award
for Best Practices in Distance Learning, preK–12
United States Distance Learning Association, 2010

Quotation of the Month

“War in itself however distant is indeed terrible, but when brought to our very doors, when those we most love are personally engaged in it, when our friends and neighbors are exposed to its ravages … the reflection is overwhelming.”

Betsey Amber to Mildred Smith, 1781; quoted in Richard Wheeler, Voices of 1776: The Story of the American Revolution in the Words of Those Who Were There (New York: Meridian Books, 1991), p. 287

The Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trip Series is supported in part
by the William and Gretchen Kimball Young Patriots Fund.

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