Latin American Revolutions Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

The revolutions that led to the independence of Latin American countries offer your students opportunities to compare and contrast with the American Independence movement.

Lesson Objectives

After completing this lesson plan, your students will be able to:

  • Describe the various wars of independence of Latin American states
  • Analyze common themes in the struggle for independence


  • 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.


Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.


Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.

Key Vocabulary

  • Toussaint L'Ouverture
  • Miguel Hidalgo
  • Simon Bolivar
  • Gran Colombia


  • For this activity, your students will each need ½ sheet of poster board and markers.


  • First ask students to review the steps that led towards American Independence. How do they expect these to be similar in other parts of the Western Hemisphere? How do they expect them to be different?
  • Introduce the topic of Latin American revolutions and the video lesson: Independence Movements in Latin America: Examples & Impact.
  • Pause at various intervals to allow students to write down the definitions to key words and pause at the following areas for discussion.
    • 0:47 - What role did race play in the Latin American independence movements?
    • 1:28 - What impact did the Haitian Revolution have on slavery?
    • 2:15 - How was Hidalgo's fate different from that of other independence leaders?
    • 3:11 - What was the fate of Gran Colombia? How do you think this made Bolivar feel?
  • Watch the remainder of the lesson, answering any remaining questions.

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