Prior to the lesson, have designated places for students to sit in their novel study groups.

Group Size: Any

Learning Objectives:

Students will read fluently.

Students will comprehend new text.

Students will effectively create summaries.

Students will visualize the text they are reading.

Students will learn about the events surrounding the Revolutionary War.


1. A Revolutionary War novel for each individual student

2. A Revolutionary War novel packet for each student

3. Discussion questions for each novel (attached in Daily Question folder and embedded in lesson)


Reading Schedule:

  • Sarah Bishop: Chapters 4-6
  • The Riddle of Penncroft Farm: Chapter 2-Chapter 3 (page 36)
  • My Brother Sam is Dead: Chapter 2
  • Fighting Ground: Pages 12-26

1. Have students get into their Revolutionary War novel groups to discuss the reading from the day before.


2. Each student should share their question they created from the reading the day before. Encourage all students to have an opportunity to share their thoughts towards the question.

3. Have a variety of students share their summaries and see how them compare to those of their group members. Encourage them to add information or take information away if they feel it is necessary.

4. Have students begin reading for day 2.

5. Remind students to stop and discuss the reading, as well as document their gists. You may also want to hand out a reading guideline sheet for groups to use when an adult is not present. This sheet is located in the Introduction folder of this unit.

6. While reading, continually stop to ask questions. These questions could be used a study guide each week for the comprehension quiz or as a study guide for the final assessment. Below are the day's questions for each novel:

The Fighting Ground:

• Why does the strange man say that they don’t have any more time? What do you think is happening that they need to leave so quickly?
• What does the tavern keeper mean when he says, “It’s groundbreaking time?”
• What causes the tavern keeper to stay behind while the other men head out with the Corporal?
• Why is Jonathan wondering so much about the Corporal and his intentions?
• Do you really think Jonathan is needed in the war?
• How do you think Jonathan feels now that the Corporal needs him?

• Why does Jonathan have so much pride when the Corporal asks him to come along in the fight?
• Why does Jonathan lie and say that his father told him to come?
• Why does Jonathan have to provide his honor as a man to return to gun?
• What feelings are going through Jonathan now that he has a gun of his own to use?
• Why does the tavern keeper try to convince Jonathan to sneak out the back and not get involved in the war? Why doesn’t Jonathan take his advice?

• Why is Jonathan so uncomfortable with the gun?
• What causes the men to be annoyed with the corporal in regards to how many people they will be encountering soon?
• How does the Corporal become the leader in their fight?
• What is the difference between an ambush and an open fight? Why are the men excited about the prospect of an ambush?

• Why was Jonathan’s father’s friend surprised to see him?
• Why is Jonathan lying about his father giving him permission to go and fight?
• Why does the man say that Jonathan’s dad might be better off with a bad leg?
• Why does Jonathan decide it is better to stay last when marching?
• Do you think the man doesn’t really have the answers or doesn’t want to alarm Jonathan?

• Why are the men so exhausted from their march even though they have went far?
• Why do you think the Corporal is so anxious to get moving?
• What causes Jonathan’s arms to ache so much?
• What do you think is going through Jonathan’s mind when he sees above the hill the place where they are going to fight? Why?
• Why does the stillness make Jonathan so uneasy?
• Why do you think it is important for Jonathan not to be noticed too much?
• What do you think causes Jonathan to want to know exactly what is happening?
• How do you think Jonathan could benefit by watching the other men?
My Brother Sam is Dead

Chapter 2:
• What makes you think that Tim hasn’t left Redding very much?
• Describe the town of Redding.
• Describe the churches and where people should live if they went to a specific church.
• Why do you think Tim really didn’t understand why all of the adults were arguing about listening to the King?
• What were some of the sides individuals took in regards to the King?
• What do you think the Patriots were sometimes called Rebels as well?
• Why can’t Tim enjoy the day? What has put such a damper on him?
• Why doesn’t Time’s father want Sam to fight in the war? Do you think he has such strong feelings because Sam is on the opposite side of the war from his father?
• Do you agree with father’s statement, “You never get rid of injustices by fighting?” Why do you feel that way?
• What were some of the townspeople feelings about Sam going off to war?
• Why did Tom Warrups tell Tim where Sam was at? What do you think Tim will do with this information?
• Why can’t Tim answer Betsy when she asks him about what side of the war he is on? Do you think it would be an easy decision to make?
• What would lead you to believe that Sam is stubborn?
• What does it mean to be willing to die for your principles? Do you think this is the right thing to do?
• What can Tim do to be a hero in Sam’s eyes?
• Why didn’t Sam want Tim to see that he had stolen father’s gun?
• How does Betsy lay a guilt trip on Tim after he sees the gun?
• What danger could Sam potentially put his family in since he now has the gun and they are unprotected?
• Do you think it is right for Sam to put Tim in the position to not tell father about him stealing the gun? Why?

Sarah Bishop

Chapter 4:
• Do you feel as though the colonists should be on the British side since the British were basically their parents creating the colonies?
• What side of the war is Chad on? How can you tell?
• Why would father tear Common Sense into pieces?
• Does father respect the beliefs of Chad or the Patriots?
• Why do you think Chad and David decided to enlist in the army?
• What is father’s reaction to Chad’s news?
• What does father mean when he says that Chad will live off the country? How will this cause hatred among the colonists?
• Who are Hessian soldiers?
• Why won’t father give Chad his gun?
• How does Sarah feel about Chad’s leaving?
• How is it the law’s fault that Sarah’s family lost everything?
• Why did Sarah begin to think about witchcraft after seeing Mrs. Ryder?

Chapter 5:
• What causes father to not be interested in what the Preacher Cleghorn has to say in church anymore?
• What is the different between a revolution and a civil war?
• Why is father thinking about not sending Sarah to school? Do you think he has a right to keep her at home?
• What happened to father’s horses and five other families while they were at church?

Chapter 6:
• What happened to the stolen horses from church?
• What are some ways Sarah’s family made some money?
• Why do you think Sarah’s father is so against her going to school?
• Why does father say, “It is good in stressful times to hear the music of these words?”
• Why is it hard for Sarah’s father to remember the music of the words because of Quarme, Purdy, or Ben Birdsall?
• Do you think father should forgive the men, since he is a Christian?
• What do you think will happen with the men on horses?
• What do you think is going through Sarah and her father’s minds as they look and listen outside?
• Why do you think Sarah’s father was so eager to speak his mind when he was in danger? Would it have been better for him to go with the majority rather than stand apart?
• Why did Sarah mention that Chad was a Patriot off fighting the war?
• What did the men do to Sarah’s farm and animals?
• Why do you think they tarred and feathered Sarah’s father?

The Riddle of Penncroft Farm
Chapter 2:
• Describe the picture of George Hargreaves.
• Why don’t you think Lars thought the twitch in Aunt Cass’s lips wasn’t solemn at all? What do you think she is up to?
• Why were the beds shorter in the 1770’s? How are they different from today?
• Why does Aunt Cass call the American revolution more of the first American civil war?
• What happened to the portrait Aunt Cass originally had? Why did she give it away?
• What are settles?
• Why does Aunt Cass call Lars a punster? Can you make your own pun?
• What don’t you think Lars is interested in the tour Aunt Cass is giving?
• How do you think Lars feels when he finds out there is a kid living nearby named Pat?
• Why do you think Aunt Cass’s face crinkled in an impish smile when she mentioned that Lars and Pat could maybe be best friends?
• Why would Aunt Cass’s feelings towards Lars make him a bit jealous? What can he do to change the feelings?
• What are pacifists? How would they have felt during the American Revolution?
• How did Lars family end up with Penncroft farm and not the Hargreaveses?
• How would people benefit if Aunt Cass turned Penncroft Farm into a museum?
• How is it different living in the city compared to the country?
• What emotions was Lars feeling as he was going downhill in the wagon?
• How did the wagon stop? What do you suspect happened?
• Can panic really change your perception on things?

Chapter 3:
• Why is Lars still pondering over what happened in the wagon? How would you have felt if you were in the same situation?
• How is Lars feeling about starting a new school?
• How do you think Lars feeling being new in school and the only one not wearing a Halloween costume?
• Why did Lars blurt out that only kindergarteners wear costumes in Minnesota? How do you think it makes the other students perceive him?
• What is a flyover country?
• Why do you think Lars brother gets to stay in Minnesota? Do you think it is fair to Lars?
• Describe the character Edward Owens.
• What is Colonial Day? How do you think Lars feel about it?
• What types of things in history do you think Lars will learn about now that he is in Pennsylvania? How will this benefit him?
• Why does Lars react to Pat by saying she is a girl?
• What impression does Pat get of Lars the first day she meets him?
• Do you think Lars intended to be so hurtful to Pat? Why?
• Why would Eddie need to tell his dad about Lars moving to Penncroft Farm?
• Describe the boy Lars encounters on the covered bridge? What is so different about him?
• Why does the boy call Lars ignorant and how do you think he knows him?
• Describe the games Lars plays with the boy.
• Where do you think Lars’s new friend went to?
• Why is Lars so drawn to this mystery boy, but he pays no mind to Pat?

7. After students have completed their reading for the day, have them work on day 2 of their packet completion. They need to complete their gists, summaries, visualizations, as well as their questions to begin a discussion for the following day. Assign for homework if it is not completed.



Monitor student's ability to answer the comprehension questions for each day's readings.

Benchmark or Standards:

The Standards for the English Language Arts:

Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.

Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the word; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment.

National Council for Social Studies Standards:


Understands the causes of the American Revolution, the ideas and interests involved in forging the revolutionary movement, and the reasons for the American victory
Understands the impact of the American Revolution on politics, economy, and society

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