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Truth or Propaganda?  The Boston Massacre

Truth or Propaganda? The Boston Massacre

Author: Rocky Biggers

1. After participating in the online game, the student will evaluate the historical accuracy of Paul Revere's engraving of the Boston Massacre in classroom debate and a short essay.

Students will view and play the online game,The Boston Massacre Files.  They will then answer a few quiz questions, and prepare to defend their opinion of the accuracy of the Revere engraving, The Bloody Massacre in class and in a short argumentative essay.  The essay will be less than a page and must use three facts from their research to prove their point.

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What was the real story behind the Boston Massacre?

On March 5, 1770 a group of British soldiers fired into a crowd of Boston citizens, killing five.  The incident is now known as the Boston Massacre.  But what caused it?  Did it happen the way witnesses testified?  

The soldiers were massed in Boston to protect customs (import tax) officials from mistreatment by American citizens who were angry about what they saw as excessive taxes being collected without their permission. Many factors combined to increase tensions, which finally erupted in the violence of that March night. 

The patriot Son of Liberty, Paul Revere (of midnight ride fame), soon created an engraving that became quite popular, and it helped increase the number of Americans who wanted independence from Great Britain.    You will play an online game that discusses this engraving and other artwork concerning the Boston Massacre, as well as read some eyewitness testimony from the trial to determine the guilt of the soldiers.

Please keep something in mind as you read and play the game.  Soldiers must obey their commander.  In a domestic disturbance or riot they must use all means at their disposal to keep violence from occurring. However, if ordered, they must obey.

After you view the game, jot down a few facts that you will use to prove whether or not these soldiers were guilty of murder or was it self defense...? You will bring these facts to class and be prepared to defend your decision.  Now, click on this link to enter the game...

Source: Original paragraph by Rocky Biggers. Online game from: