History On Location Day Four: Lexington & Concord

Link to Days One, Two, and Three.

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Frank Cogliano started the day with an examination of the calls for liberty emanating from Boston in the 1770s.  We then traveled to Lexington for guided tours of the Hancock Clarke Parsonage, the Buckman Tavern, and the Lexington Depot – all presented by the Lexington Historical Society – then on to Minute Man National Park and the North Bridge.  We concluded with a conversation with Cogliano about contingency and causation.


  • What do you think were the big ideas we examined?  What makes them worthy of study?
  • What historical questions were answered?  What new ones emerged?
  • What new ideas about teaching and learning history did this day leave you with?

3 responses to “History On Location Day Four: Lexington & Concord

  1. This might have been my favorite day, partly because the day was so beautiful, but mainly because I was really able to put myself into the shoes of the Regulars and the Rebels on this tour. The path from Lexington to Concord and the trip to the bridge were so realistic. The two towns have done such an amazing job preserving and reconstructing the area. It was the only example that really showed the sparseness of the time, without having to try and picture the present day gone.

    If we were closer, this would be a field trip destination for sure. However, the budget is allowing for plane tickets at this point, so the photos from the day will have to suffice. I think it will help the students better understand what it was like for the people of the time.

  2. The most important new learning for me was the point of view of the British Regulars. It has been so easy in the past for my students to see only one side of the story – to be so “pro” American that they couldn’t even entertain the idea that the Regulars had a story worth hearing too. Now they are more open to the multiple perspectives that we are exploring; things aren’t so black and white but a mosaic of colors and shades. They are relating to the people of the past as people and not just characters from a book.
    It was emotional to be there – next to the Concord River on such a peaceful and beautiful day, with the water flowing slowly and the birds calling to each other. I tried to imagine how disturbing and shocking it would’ve been to have that serenity pierced by shouts, and gunfire, and cries of the wounded – everything they’d known was now changed forever. It was the “shot heard ‘round the world”; I felt changed too and dedicated to sharing the reverence of my experience with my students and my family.

  3. The day at Lexington and Concord seemed to resonate more with me than any other day. I have come to believe it is the sense of “story” that this historical day brings. (As a teacher/librarian, I am all about “story!” The entire account of what happens for the Regulars, the militia, the minutemen, and mostly what happens in Paul Revere’s night and morning makes such an excellent story. BEST of all is that this incredibly interesting day is true, and backed up by primary source documents, easily found in Fisher’s “Paul Revere’s Ride.” Students will love this!

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