Teachers across the country are incorporating more primary sources – period documents and objects – into history lessons today. Students of all ages enjoy examining these items and discovering how they can help tell our nation’s story. A new publication from the Paul Revere House called Paul Revere in Primary Sources is something that will be of real interest to teachers in grades 5-12. The curriculum packet contains beautiful facsimiles of nine primary sources related to Paul Revere plus ten transcriptions (one of the originals has been lost). It includes many items available for the first time ever for classroom use. For each document, there is a background essay which sets the source in context, a glossary, focusing questions to help students analyze the document, suggestions for further research, and ideas for creative writing assignments.
With this resource from the Paul Revere House, you can introduce Colonial Boston, the Revolution, and the history of the early American republic to your students in a unique and fun way. Primary source documents include an intriguing newspaper ad for Revere’s services as a dentist, waste book entries from 1769 noting orders for silver work from his silversmith shop, and a loving letter Revere wrote to his wife while fighting in the Revolution. The packet also includes full color copies of portraits of Paul and Rachel Revere and a view of Boston, a black-and-white period map, a timeline of Revere’s life, bibliography, and Revere family genealogy. It is 76 pages, three-hole punched and shrink wrapped and can be ordered from the Educational Materials section of the Revere House Museum Shop.
The Old North Church or Christ Church in the City of Boston (its official name) was built in 1723 and is the oldest standing church building in Boston today. It is the famous spot where sexton Robert Newman held two lanterns in the steeple window as a signal that the British troops had left Boston by the water (and not the land) route and were making their way to Lexington and Concord. Paul Revere came up with the idea for the lantern signal and it will be forever associated with his Midnight Ride.
Today visitors to Old North can sit in the high box pews that bear the names of their original owners and learn about the history of this wonderful site from an excellent staff of guides. Their 7-10 minute talks occur constantly throughout the day and are just one way to discover the history of Old North Church. A Behind the Scenes tour offers a unique perspective and provides new and in-depth information about the Church’s history. Visitors are taken into the Church’s second-floor gallery, up into the bell ringing chamber where a 15-year-old Paul Revere and his friends worked as bell ringers in 1750, and down into the crypt beneath the church where 37 tombs and about 1,100 bodies lie.
Behind the Scenes tours for school groups are available with advance reservations. This special tour is offered to families and small groups hourly on weekends in June, daily from July 1st through October 12th and the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for students/seniors/military and $5 for children 16 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the Old North Gift Shop. Large groups of 8 or more are encouraged to schedule tours in advance. To schedule your Behind the Scenes tour for a group of 8 or more contact Old North Church at (617) 523-6676 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.