TwHP Lessons

The Battle of Bunker Hill:
Now We Are at War

[Cover photo] Bunker Hill Monument
(National Park Service Historic Photograph Collection)


oday visitors stroll around a peaceful hilltop overlooking shade trees and row houses. A soaring granite obelisk rises where once stood an earthen fortification. A five­acre park with stone markers is all that remains of the ground that became a raging battlefield and the site of the first full­scale battle of the American Revolution.

It was in June 1775 that the pent­up anger and hatred between the British and many American colonists exploded into brutal fury at the top of this hill, while the nearby town of Charlestown, Massachusetts, burned from red­hot cannon balls fired by British warships into its wooden buildings.

This Revolutionary War battle, which was supposed to have been fought on Bunker Hill, but which in fact took place on nearby Breedís Hill, gained the British a narrow victory. At the same time it encouraged the colonists to continue to fight. Now often dotted by school groups eating lunch or resting after they have climbed the 294 steps to the top of the 221­foot monument, the battleground continues to evoke a sense of wonder at the story of one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War.


About This Lesson

Getting Started: Inquiry Question

Setting the Stage: Historical Context

Locating the Site: Maps
 1. Boston area today
 2. Boston area, 1775

Determining the Facts: Readings
 1. Setting the Stage for a Battle
 2. The Battle of Bunker Hill

Visual Evidence: Images
 1. Charlestown Peninsula
 2. Battle of Bunker Hill
 3. The redoubt atop Breed's Hill

Putting It All Together: Activities
 1. Rebellion­­Then and Now
 2. Community Issues

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Boston National
Historical Park

This lesson is based on the Boston National Historical Park, one of the thousands of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.




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