5th Grade Arkansas


This inquiry leads students through an investigation of leaders during the American Revolution.  By investigating the compelling question “Is betrayal always bad?” students evaluate the actions of King George III and George Washington.  The formative performance tasks build on knowledge and skills through the course of the inquiry and help students understand the motives of patriots and loyalists.  For the summative task, students create an evidence-based argument about whether the act of betrayal is always bad.


Compelling Question:

Is Betrayal Always Bad?

Staging the Question: Discuss the causes and major events of the American Revolution using a variety of sources.

Supporting Question What does it mean to betray someone?

Formative Task Write a paragraph that includes a personal definition of betrayal and an example of a time when you feel you have been betrayed.

Sources Source A: Dictionary Definition of Betrayal
Source B: Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese-Americans During World War ll


Supporting Question Did King George lll betray his people?

Formative Task Make a list of the ways King George III betrayed his people.

Sources Source A: Schoolhouse Rock YouTube Video
Source B: King George lll - Britannica


Supporting Question Was George Washington a traitor?

Formative Task Write a persuasive speech to express an opinion about whether George Washington was a traitor.

Sources Source A: Journal of the American Revolution - Why Did George Washington Become a Revolutionary?
Source B: Early Military Career of George Washington

Summative Performance Task

Argument: Is betrayal always bad? Construct an argument (e.g., detailed outline, poster, essay) that discusses the compelling question using specific claims and relevant evidence from historical sources while acknowledging competing views.
Extension: Discuss effective ways to respond when you are betrayed.

Taking Informed Action

Understand: Identify some of the potential costs of betraying someone’s trust.
Assess: Propose some options for how to limit the effects betrayal.
Act: Create a pamphlet on avoiding the effects of betrayal and distribute.