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Check out our complete list of US History Lessons.
The School House Rocks videos (most if not all the clips can be found on schooltube) are a useful and different way to review some major events and themes covered during a U.S. History course. (It also might be useful to show these just before a final exam or state assessment.) The clips are short and can be covered in a relatively short amount of class time.
Prior to watching, the students complete a viewing sheet to see how many students already know they answers. At the end of each segment, the class discusses the themes associated with each cartoon. The cartoons also can be show individually during the point of the year that you cover a particular topic.
The goal for each video is to share:

  • Pre-veiwing questions.
  • The video.
  • The lyrics.
  • The themes.

Below is the worksheet I give to the students along with a few “teacher” notes. Hopefully both are useful.
Pre-Viewing Questions (to test prior knowledge)
1. Who rode to inform the minutemen that the British were coming?
2. What famous order was given at the Battle of Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill?
3. List some of the important battles of the Revolutionary War.
4. Which countries helped the colonies?

The Shot Heard ‘Round the World (3:23)

Main Points (Notes for Students)

  1. The Battles of Lexington and Concord – “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World” signifying the start of the American Revolution.
  2. Bunker Hill – “Hold your fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” even though the British won, they suffered many casualties.
  3. Minutemen – members of the militia who could prepare to organize with a minute’s notice.
  4. France and Spain support America once they proved they were a formidable foe for England.
  5. Valley Forge – a winter of hardship that challenged the soldiers’ resolve to fight.
  6. Battle of Yorktown – British General Cornwallis surrendered, signifying the end of the Revolutionary War.

The Shot Heard ‘Round the World

“The British are coming! The British are coming!”

Now, the ride of Paul Revere
Set the nation on its ear
And the shot at Lexington heard ’round the world
When the British fired in the early dawn
The War of Independence had begun
The die was cast, the rebel flag unfurled

And on to Concord marched the foe
To seize the arsenal there you know
Waking folks searching all around
Until our militia stopped them in their tracks
At the old North Bridge we turned them back
And chased those Redcoats back to Boston town

And the shot heard ’round the world
Was the start of the Revolution
The Minutemen were ready, on the move
Take your powder, and take your gun
Report to General Washington
Hurry men, there’s not an hour to lose!

Now, at famous Bunker Hill
Even though we lost, it was quite a thrill
The rebel Colonel Prescott proved he was wise
Outnumbered and low on ammunition
As the British stormed his position
He said, “Hold your fire until you see the whites of their eyes!”

Though the next few years were rough
General Washington’s men proved they were tough
Those hungry, ragged boys would not be beat
One night they crossed the Delaware
Surprised the Hessians in their lair
And at Valley Forge they just bundled up their feet!

And the shot heard ’round the world
Was the start of the Revolution
The Minutemen were ready, on the move
Take your blanket, and take your son
Report to General Washington
We’ve got our rights and now it’s time to prove

Well, they showed such determination
That they won the admiration
Of countries across the sea like France and Spain
Who loaned the colonies ships and guns
And put the British on the run
And the Continental Army on its feet again

And though they lost some battles too
The Americans swore they’d see it through
Their raiding parties kept up, hit and run
At Yorktown the British could not retreat
Bottled up by Washington and the French Fleet
Cornwallis surrendered and finally we had won!

The winner!


From the shot heard ’round the world
To the end of the Revolution
The continental rabble took the day
And the father of our country
Beat the British there at Yorktown
And brought freedom to you and me and the U.S.A.!

God bless America, let freedom ring!

The Ride of Paul Revere
The Battle of Lexington and Concord
The War of Independence
The Rebel Flag
The Old North Bridge
“The shot heard round the world was a start of a revolution.”
George Washington “The Father of our Country!”
Bunker Hill – “Hold your fire until you see the whites of their eyes!”
Crossing the Delaware
Valley Forge
The Minutemen
Foreign Policy and alliances with France and Spain
Battle of Yorktown
Surrender of Cornwallis