OverviewTextbooks, maps, pictures, movies, and websites can all be useful tools for understanding history. Getting a “sense of place,” a feeling of connectedness with a location and the events that occurred there, can best (only?) be had by personally experiencing the place. This activity accompanies a battlefield tour during the course of a visit to Saratoga National Historical Park.
Students will be able to:
- describe the roles geography played in the Battles of Saratoga
- describe how both American and British forces made use of geography in the battles
- develop an appreciation for the area where the battles occurred
While Saratoga National Historical Park is unable to send rangers out with school groups to conduct guided tours, ready-to-use materials like this, plus our official park map and brochure, greatly contribute to a meaningful educational experience for students and teachers alike.
Reading through the worksheet with your students will help introduce and guide them through the activity.
MaterialsDownloadable PDF lesson materials:
Downloadable PDF answer key available .
Connections? This IS Saratoga Battlefield, the place where the "turning point of the American Revolution" occurred!
ExtensionsHave students create their own maps or models of the battlefield, use Google Maps to make and label a map, create their own written battlefield tour, conduct interviews of fellow students to ask about their experiences, perhaps even create a video presentation to share with next year's visiting students.
VocabularyFORTIFICATIONS --constructed defensive positions; here, they were built with logs and piled earth
ARTILLERY --cannon, singular or plural
RIDGE --long, raised geographic feature, often overlooking a lower area
REDOUBT (re-DOWT or RE-dowt) --temporary field fortification built of a zig-zagging log wall (design gives defenders overlapping lines of fire), either vertical or horizontal logs, with 2-4 feet of dirt piled up against the wall in front of artillery positions, and with cut branches piled up 5-10 yards in front of the line as another barrier to attacking troops