“Revolutionary League Draft Picks”


Student groups representing the “Patriots” and the “Tories” draft players (actually historical characters or groups represented in primary source documents) to their teams based upon their professed or implied allegiance to either the Patriot or Tory cause (as evidenced by the documents provided in the Massachusetts Historical Society or other sources)

The procedure for this draft will follow the one established for the National Football League in that: 1) each round will be timed, with fewer minutes allowed for each successive round, and 2) once players have been drafted by a team, they are no longer draft-eligible.

In order to successfully draft a player, the student groups must find and record direct quotations demonstrating their player’s leaning toward either the Patriot or Tory side (from primary source documents) on a Draft Evaluation Form. The teams must also complete a Document Analysis Worksheet for each pick.

There will be three to five rounds (based upon the amount of time the teacher wishes to spend); each team must draft (three to) five total players.

When the “draft” is over, the substitute (or Mr. Campos) will lead a debriefing session with the class to discuss which teams potentially have the strongest “starting lineups,” and which teams potentially may have loyalty issues (with players seeking a “trade” to another team)



The Rules:


1.      Divide students into five groups (ideally of approximately three to five students each).


2.      Assign or allow students to choose to be either a “Tory” or “Patriot” team (There should be at least TWO teams per "Tory" or "Patriot"


3.      Orient all students to The Massachusetts Historical Society’s website, The Coming of the American Revolution (1764 – 1776). Students may also look to other websites for documents as well (just cite the source!)- Give the students half an hour to look up people/ groups and documents.


4.       After research, Give students ten minutes to prepare their first round draft choice–students will need access to the internet


5.      Each member of each student team must assist in each draft pick–the group should assign each of its members a different crucial primary source document to analyze utilizing the Document Analysis Worksheet and Draft Evaluation Form.


6.      Before the ten minutes are up, group members should rank their five draft choices from the individual group members’ work (with the understanding that if one of their player choices is taken by another team, a lesser choice may need to be made).


7.      The teacher should randomly assign a draft order (1–5) for the groups.


8.      The first team should make its first choice, after which the second team makes its choice, and so on. Accompanying the draft choice must be a properly completed “Document Analysis Worksheet” and “Draft Evaluation Form” with the group and student names noted.


9.   If a team is not ready to make a decision when its turn is called, the team can submit its selection after its time is up, but the next team can pick before it, thus possibly stealing a player the later team may have been eyeing.


10.   Seven minutes will be afforded for round two, and five minutes for rounds three, four and five.


11.   Players chosen by each team in each draft round should be posted on a black or whiteboard for all teams to track who has been selected, and to determine whether or not more research needs to be done.


12.   Extend the activity by having each student group choose a “captain” from their five drafted players – the group should identify what strengths the captain possesses that afforded them the honor.


13.   Students should be assessed on the individual and collective strength and quality of the Document Analysis Worksheet and Draft Evaluation Form.





Possible Draft Picks:

John Adams
Samuel Adams
John Quincy Adams 
William Allen
Ethan Allen
Benedict Arnold 

John Askin
William Augustus Bowles
Joseph Brant
Thomas Burnfoot Brown
Myles Cooper
John Dickinson
Mary Draper
Benjamin Franklin
William Franklin
King George William Frederick 

Joseph Galloway
Simon Girty
Major General Nathanael Greene 

John Hancock
Patrick Henry 

John Howe
Thomas Hutchinson 
Thomas Jefferson 

Richard Henry Lee
Francis Lightfoot Lee 

Thomas Paine
William Prescott 

Paul Revere
Dr. Benjamin Rush
Dr. Joseph Warren
General George Washington
Phillis Wheatley
James Wilson


Sons of Liberty

Paxton Boys


Members of the Anglican Church

Wealthy New York Farmer/Businessman

New England Merchant

Southern Plantation Owner

Iroquois Confederacy

Poor/Homeless man in Carolina


Slaves/ Indentured Servants

* Any other groups you may find!


Student Name: 
Group Members: 
Group Allegiance (circle one): Tory or Patriot



1. Name of Draft Pick/Revolutionary: ________________________________


2. One or Two Direct Quotations from the Primary Source Document which Demonstrate the Allegiance of the Revolutionary:
3. One or Two Factors Influencing the Revolutionary’s Loyalty (positives to having them on the team):

4. One or Two Repercussions the Revolutionary may have to Face as a Result of their Affiliation (negatives/risks to having them on the team):

5. Group Draft Choice #: _______________