Homeschooling: Revolutionary War Films and Documentaries

January 21, 2020
The Youngest is studying United States History this year, and instead of using a history textbook or curriculum, we are doing unit studies instead. Because he went through all of American History in 8th grade, this time he wanted to spend more time in specific areas of history where he has a greater interest, such as the Revolutionary War.

In addition to doing Drive Thru History' American History video curriculum, on, we scoured the internet for the best, most recent videos about key figures of the time, what led up to the war and the war itself. 

True, there is a lot of stuff out there, but here is our curated list to save you time with some of the better content.

To start video learning about this period, this Crash Course History playlist has episodes 4-9 dedicated to the Revolutionary War, in a fun, informative way that only John Green can do.

Saratoga National Battlefield Park. Photo courtesy: Michael Francis Studios


The First American  (2016) - A Detailed biography on George Washington, produced by the Gingrich Foundation, with time period reenactments.

Drive Thru History - Discovering America's Founders - A special four-part series, hosted by Dave Stotts, details the lives of key patriots like John Adams, George Washington, and Noah Webster. 

Classic Firearms in the Revolutionary War (2010) - Documentary with experts presenting firearms of the day and how they worked. 33 minutes.  

The Revolutionary War - Animated Map (2019) - Reenactments, with locations shown on maps for a better look at where the battles were won and lost. 

The American Revolution - From the American Heroes Channel, this playlist of four episodes gives an account of American Sharpshooters, Bunker Hill, Boston Massacre and the Battle of Lexington.


Revolution (1985) - Starring Al Pacino, this movie gives a "stirring chronicle of America's 18th Century struggle for independence, set in the chaotic emotionally charged days of the Revolutionary War."

April Morning (1988) - This movie stars Tommy Lee Jones, and is described as "on the morning of April 19, 1775, the American Revolution began with the "shot heard 'round the world."

Johnny Tremain  (1957) - This beloved classic authentically recreates major events of the war.

The Rebels (1979)  - A television drama from the John Jakes novel, currently available for free on YouTube.

The Crossing  (2003) - Depicts Washington's crossing the Delaware River to Trenton. This movie is hard to find, but currently free on YouTube.  

Benedict Arnold, a Question of Honor (2002) Starring Aidan Quinn and Kelsey Krammer, an A&E movie currently available for free on YouTube

John Adams (2008) - This Emmy-winning miniseries is a favorite of ours and gives the background of Adams that is not learned about in history books.

Beyond the Mask (2015) - This film is the story of "the chief mercenary for the British East India Company [who] has made his way to the American Colonies.  Working to redeem his name, William now hides behind a mask in hopes of thwarting his former employer."

For more ideas not included here, visit the Journal of the American Revolution website.  

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