Lesson Plan

Cowpens ~ the Turning Point

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Grade Level:
Eighth Grade-Eleventh Grade
Revolutionary War, Social Studies, Sports
Ten class periods, including one day field trip to Cowpens National Battlefield
Group Size:
Up to 24
National/State Standards:
South Carolina 8.2; USHC 1.3
North Carolina 8.H.1, AH.1.1
Stamp Act, Tea Act, Sons of Liberty, Declaration of Independence, patriots, loyalists, Charleston, Camden, Kings Mountain, Cowpens, Eutaw Springs, Daniel Morgan, Banastre Tarleton, Charles Cornwallis, Andrew Pickens, William Washington


Discover how the Battle of Cowpens contributed to the demise of the Southern Campaign and meet the heroic leaders who faced Banastre Tarleton head on.


The student will demonstrate an understanding of the role of South Carolinians in the American Revolution and the pivotal role the Southern Campaign, including the Battle of Cowpens, played in the outcome of the Revolution.



Knowledge and conveyance of the buildup to the Revolutionary War, South Carolina's role in the outcome of the war, the identification of key leaders on both sides, and an understanding of the pivotal role of the Battle of Cowpens in the outcome of the War



Essay Rubric

Provides basic rubric for written essay; clearly defines student requirements

Rubric for argumentative essay with three references:






Informal: teacher observation of research activities and group participation


TChart – teacher evaluated for accuracy

Timeline – teacher evaluated for accuracy

Essay – teacher evaluated per rubric

Park Connections

Resources available in the Park Visitor Center clearly describe the build-up to the Battle of Cowpens, the key players in the Battle, the battle strategies of both sides, and the results of the Patriots' success. A tour of the Battlefield offers the students the opportunity to see the picture through Daniel Morgan's eyes. Physically exploring the geographic area encourages understanding of the strategies used in the battle and peaks interest into tactics and successes and/or failures in the Revolutionary War.


Explore the life of Daniel Morgan; create varying scenarios regarding his military career and leadership; Question varying outcomes ~ What if Daniel Morgan had not led his men to Cowpens? What would have happened to South Carolina if Morgan had not been successful at Cowpens?

Last updated: April 14, 2015