The American Journey © 2007

Chapter 6: The American Revolution

Student Web Activity

"The Battle of Yorktown"

In this chapter you have learned about the American Revolution. It was a time of sacrifice and struggle for the many colonists who fought for their independence. Battles raged from New England into the South and the western frontier, while other battles were fought at sea. At some points, such as during the winter at Valley Forge, the Continental Army's chances of success seemed very bleak. In the fall of 1781, however, George Washington led his troops to victory over the British, at a small Virginia town named Yorktown. In this activity you will discover how that victory was achieved.

Destination Title: Colonial National Historic Park

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Start at the Colonial National Historic Park Web site.

  • Click on the green box labeled Yorktown.
  • Scroll down and click on Yorktown Historic Briefs.
  • Under "1781 Siege of Yorktown" click on History of the Siege of Yorktown.

After you have read the story, answer the following questions.

How did General Washington fool Britain's General Clinton into believing that the American army was staying in the North?
What was the battle in which Admiral de Grasse defeated the British ships?
Describe the British line of defense at Yorktown.
Why didn't the British escape across the York River?
At the surrender ceremony a French band played Yankee Doodle, while the British played The World Turned Upside Down. Write a song that you think would have been appropriate for the Americans to have played at the surrender. Think about the battle, the reasons for the war, and what the victory meant. Choose a familiar melody, a song you like, or even a simple tune like Mary Had a Little Lamb. Share your song with the class.
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