American Revolution Poems: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Kristin Pia Hayman

Kristin taught for over 10 years in the elementary classroom. She holds a B.A. in Journalism as well as a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.

The American Revolution was a hard time in America, but it was also a time that strengthened the country. Many poems were written during this period, and they helped to fuel the spirit of independence throughout the colonies.

The Fight for Independence

The American Revolution, or Revolutionary War (1775-1783), was a hard time for America. The colonists were fighting against the British to gain their independence, which meant that they wanted to be their own country and not be controlled by Britain anymore.

This war was a sad time because so many people lost their lives, and much of the poetry that came out of this time period was written as a tribute to those who fought for independence. A tribute is an act, like writing a poem, to honor someone or something. The poetry produced during the war also represented the struggles of America as they tried to build their own nation. As the country became independent, many people were inspired to use the arts as a way to express themselves. Poetry and song were some of the ways in which they did this.

Many poems were written about the American Revolution

Poems with a Purpose

Philip Freneau was a well-known writer who created poetry about American heroes. He is famous for the poem On the Death of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, which talks about Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States. This poem was written as a tribute to Franklin, and says that his death 'Demands the tribute of our tears.' Many poems written during this time were meant to honor American heroes.

Poems were also used as ways to spread messages about the war. Philip Freneau also wrote the poem A Political Litany, in which he calls the British 'a kingdom that bullies.' He was trying to send a strong message to the people that they should fight back against Britain.

Poems were written as a tribute to heroes like Benjamin Franklin

The Concord Hymn

One of the most important events of the American Revolution was an early battle that happened in Concord, Massachusetts. Although it was a small fight compared to the major battles of this war, it is known for being one of the clashes that started the war: the first gunshot fired in Concord marked the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Years later, after a monument was built in Concord to remember the war, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote the poem Concord Hymn. He called the gunshot the 'shot heard around the world.' The short poem talks about the events leading up to the war and its aftermath. One line - 'spirit, that made those heroes dare to die, and leave their children free' - was a tribute to those who sacrificed themselves to fight for their country. This poem is meant to be sung, not recited, and it has become a very powerful reminder of the Revolutionary War.

Poems were written about battles of the war

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