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Lesson Plan by Lauren Martin M.Ed.

Hamilton the Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings American history to life with comics and storyboards.

Make American history come to life with comics!

Including these awesome activities:
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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map
  • Character Map
  • Comic Strip

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

Pixton Lesson Plan on Hamilton the Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Pixton Lesson Plan on Hamilton the Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings American history to life with comics and storyboards.

Featured Props

Hamilton the Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Bed
    Bed
  • Cannon
    Cannon
  • Courthouse
    Courthouse
  • Desk
    Desk
  • Flag
    Flag
  • Podium
    Podium
  • Prop Letter
    Prop Letter
  • Room
    Room
  • Ship
    Ship
  • Throne
    Throne
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

Hamilton the Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

Lin-Manual Miranda created and stars in the hit musical, Hamilton, that uses hip-hop lyrics to share the story of the first treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton, and his role in shaping America's government after the Revolution. There are a total of 46 songs in the musical (lyrics and videos for every song can be found online). Playing the song, "Alexander Hamilton" is a great way to introduce students to Hamilton as a disadvantaged, immigrant child who wrote his way out of poverty, proactively educating himself in order to improve his circumstances and positively affect the world. “Cabinet Battle #1” and “Cabinet Battle #2” illustrate the key differences between Hamilton's Federalists and Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans as if they were rap battles. "Cabinet Battle #1" contrasts Treasury Secretary Hamilton's economic plan to have the federal government assume state war debts versus Secretary of State Jefferson's opposition to a centralized government controlling the economy. “Cabinet Battle #2” is a debate over whether or not to get involved in other countries' wars. These and more songs from the musical, Hamilton are a great way to engage students in discussions about Federalists, Democratic-Republicans, the founding fathers, The U.S. Constitution, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and more.

Opening Discussion

Discuss the following:

  • What do you already know about Alexander Hamilton?
  • What do you know about Aaron Burr?
  • James Madison?
  • Thomas Jefferson?
  • What have you already heard about the popular musical, Hamilton?
Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    Cabinet Meeting #1

    Complete after reading and/or listening to "Cabinet Meeting #1".

    View Activity
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    Cabinet Meeting #2

    Complete after reading and/or listening to "Cabinet Meeting #2".

    View Activity
  • Make a Character Map
    Alexander Hamilton

    Complete after reading and/or listening to "Alexander Hamilton".

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Storyboard (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Storyboard to illustrate your own rap about Jefferson vs. Hamilton's views on voting and/or other issues.

  • Extension / Modification
    Comic Strip (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Comic Strip to illustrate the main ideas of the song, Farmer Refuted and/or other assigned songs.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Discuss the following:

  • What were Hamilton and the Federalist Party's views on state vs. federal power?
  • What were Jefferson and the Democratic-Republican Party's views on state vs. federal power?
  • What were Hamilton and the Federalist Party's views on voting and decision-making?
  • What were Jefferson and the Democratic-Republican Party's views on voting and decision-making?
  • What were Hamilton and the Federalist Party's views on the economy, the national bank and debt?
  • What were Jefferson and the Democratic-Republican Party's views on the economy, the national bank and debt?
  • What surprised you about the musical's lyrics?
  • Did reading/listening to these lyrics help you understand Hamilton better than reading a textbook or primary documents? Why or why not?
  • Do you hope to listen to more songs from Hamilton? Why or why not?
  • If you had to create another hip hop song that illustrate Hamilton's ideals, what would you write about?
  • How would you characterize Hamilton?
  • What makes him relatable?
  • Why do you think the musical, Hamilton, became so popular?
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Hamilton the Musical 1 Cabinet Meeting #1

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

“Cabinet Battle #1” and “Cabinet Battle #2” illustrate the key differences between Hamilton's Federalists and Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans as if they were rap battles. "Cabinet Battle #1" contrasts Treasury Secretary Hamilton's economic plan to have the federal government assume state war debts versus Secretary of State Jefferson's opposition to a centralized government controlling the economy.

Instructions

Create a Storyboard or Mind Map to compare and contrast Jefferson and Hamilton's views in "Cabinet Battle #1":

  • Include an appropriate title for each panel.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.
  • Write an appropriate description for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Hamilton the Musical 2 Cabinet Meeting #2

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

“Cabinet Battle #1” and “Cabinet Battle #2” illustrate the key differences between Hamilton's Federalists and Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans as if they were rap battles. “Cabinet Battle #2” is a debate over whether or not to get involved in other countries' wars.

Instructions

Create a Storyboard or Mind Map to compare and contrast Jefferson and Hamilton's views in "Cabinet Battle #2":

  • Include an appropriate title for each panel.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.
  • Write an appropriate description for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Hamilton the Musical 3 Alexander Hamilton

Featured Layouts

  • Character Map

Intro

Lin-Manual Miranda created and stars in the hit musical, Hamilton, that uses hip-hop lyrics to share the story of the first treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton, and his role in shaping America's government after the Revolution. There are a total of 46 songs in the musical (lyrics and videos for every song can be found online). Playing the song, "Alexander Hamilton" is a great way to learn about Hamilton as a disadvantaged, immigrant child who wrote his way out of poverty, proactively educating himself in order to improve his circumstances and positively affect the world.

Instructions

After reading and/or listening to the song, Alexander Hamilton, create a Character Map to illustrate Alexander Hamilton's life and personality:

  • It's important to add as many details as you can to all the parts of the map.
  • Include an appropriate illustration based on the character traits outlined in the song.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Alexander Hamilton

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The character map is thoughtful; descriptions are detailed and informative. The character map is fully developed; accurate details and insightful descriptions. The character map is complete; descriptions are simple and settings are accurate. The character map includes basic details, but is not fully developed. The character map does not accurately reflect the characters.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• summary is clear and highly detailed
• descriptions are thoughtful and highly developed
• significant details that make characters unique and dynamic
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• summary is clear and accurate
• logical descriptions that clarify and develop the idea
• characters are similar; includes relevant details
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• summary is short, but accurate
• descriptions are simple and consistent
• characters similar to description
• some relevant ideas
• summary has several errors
• descriptions are brief and lack detail
• characters vaguely looks like description
• often very brief
• summary is has significant errors
• descriptions are difficult to follow
• characters do not look like description
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

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