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 10-12
  • The Riddle of Penncroft Farm: Chapters 5 and 6 (page 78)
  • My Brother Sam is Dead: Chapter 5
  • Fighting Ground: Pages 40-53
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 4.

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:
• What does Jonathan observe about the men ready to fight?
• What is going through Jonathan’s mind when he sees the soldiers advancing?

• Why do you think Jonathan was spellbound when he sees the troops marching into view?
• How does the amount of men in Jonathan’s group add up against the approaching troops?
• Describe the look of the approaching soldiers? Why are they intimidating to Jonathan?
• Who are Hessians and why does that word bring about a dreadful weight?

• How is the men’s fears like a suffocating blanket?
• Why does the Corporal get agitated with the men and tell them to stand their ground?
• Why was it important for Jonathan to see the drummers and know they were much younger then him?
• Why do the men want the Syndertown Committee to come to their rescue?
• Should Jonathan be concentrating on getting water or fighting? Why?
• Why are the Hessians so much more awful to Jonathan than actual Tories that were fighting against his cause too?
• Why is it important for the men to spread out and not give the Hessians such a large target?
• Describe Jonathan’s emotions and feelings.
• Describe the fighting scene between the Hessians and Jonathan’s group.
• Why is Jonathan so confused and upset that things were happening so quickly?

• Why is it important for Jonathan to concentrate on loading his gun correctly? How could this hinder or help him in the fight?
• What do you think is going through Jonathan’s mind when he sees his father’s friend laying on the ground next to him?
• Why is it so important for Jonathan to go and get the gun even though he wants to run away?
• Why do you think all of the Americans are backing away, but Jonathan is still in the front?
• What do you think is going through Jonathan’s head when he realizes he is all alone and in the middle of enemy lines?
• Why does Jonathan decide to run?

• Why does Jonathan have so many questions running through his mind?
• Why do you think Jonathan’s group left him behind and all alone?
• Describe what Jonathan is going through seeing three Hessian soldiers charging in his direction.
• Do you think it is important for Jonathan to keep ahold of the gun or instead run for his life?
• What causes Jonathan to fall and have no strength to move?

My Brother Sam is Dead
Chapter 5:
• What caused to war to finally be real to Tim?
• Why doesn’t anything ever seem real until it affects you directly in one way or another?
• Why were the men angry about losing their guns to the Continentals? Were these soldiers fighting a fair war?
• Why were the soldiers, both Tories and Patriots, stealing innocent people’s cows and livestock?
• Why was problem becoming such a large issue for Tim’s family at the tavern?
• What was the worst part of the war for Tim? Why was this so difficult for him?
• Why did Tim envy Sam so much? What are some examples of this?
• Why can’t Tim go to school right now?
• What are surveyors?
• Why does Mr. Heron want Tim to walk to Fairfield for him, but not Tom?
• Do you think Mr. Heron is telling the truth when he says that Tim will be in no danger and he is just carrying business letters? Why?
• What sacrifice does father say he has made to the war? Is it truly a sacrifice?
• Why does Tim want to carry the letters to Fairfield?
• Do you honestly think it isn’t fair that father wouldn’t let Tim deliver the letters? Why?
• What caused father to stop yelling at Tim about the letter delivery?
• What reasons does father give Tim for not allowing him to deliver the letters? Do you think they are valid reasons?
• What excuse does Tim decide to use in order to go and deliver the letters for Mr. Heron?

Sarah Bishop

Chapter 10:
• What does Sarah hope to accomplish in New York City?
• Why didn’t Mr. Pennywell want anyone to feel as though the tavern was connected with rebels?
• Why do you think Sarah’s heart sank when she found out that Chad’s name wasn’t on the prisoner’s list?
• On the other hand, why did Sarah feel like shouting when she found out Chad had been captured?
• How can Sarah go about talking to Chad?
• Do you think the officer will actually use the money to help Chad? Why or why not?

Chapter 11:
• What causes Sarah to run out of the hotel?
• What do you think is going through Sarah’s mind when she realizes she has to jump from the window to get away from the fire?
• What was actually burning?
• Describe what the men with blackened faces were doing at the scene of the fire? Why do you think they were doing this?
• Why do you think Sarah picked up the knife?
• What consequence will Sarah have to pay for picking up the knife?

Chapter 12:
• Why is Sarah so concerned about her money and Major Stirling’s letter?
• Describe what Sarah must be feeling as she is brought in front of Captain Cunningham.
• Why does Captain Cunningham feel Sarah ripped into the buckets of water?
• Why do you think Lieutenant Stone had lied about Sarah?
• Why do you think the three women with Sarah in the wagon would say she was running around with the knife? How will it benefit them?
• What do you think will happen to Sarah?

The Riddle of Penncroft Farm
Chapter 5:
• Why isn’t Lars too enthusiastic about having Pat around?
• Why is Lars happy that Pat has never met Geordie?
• Why does Lars insist on saying that she didn’t do too shabby as a girl skipping rocks? Why wouldn’t he just say she did good regardless of her gender?
• Why does Pat think Lars has a chip on his shoulder?
• What does Aunt Cass mean when she says, “Lars would certainly have a better time with Patience than with grown-ups?”
• Why does Lars’s father want him to dress up for Halloween? Do you think it is important for him to do it for Aunt Cass?
• Do you think Aunt Cass is right when she ways that it’s human nature to forget the bad times, gloss them over, shine them up, and put them all neat and clean in history books?
• Why don’t history books tell about the misfortune too, why do they seem to focus only on the positive things?
• Why should Aunt Cass tell someone where her will is?
• What does Aunt Cass mean when she refers to someone finding her will, “But someone with the right spirit could find it?”
• Why doesn’t Aunt Cass like the idea about the museum?
• What happened to Aunt Cass?
• How do you think Lars is feeling about the whole situation?
• What do you think Aunt Cass meant by her message to Lars?
• Why does Lars feel as though he was bamboozled again by Aunt Cass?

Chapter 6:
• Why does Lars feel as though he is stuck in a nightmare?
• How will school keep Lars occupied?
• Why doesn’t Lars want to talk to Pat about what happened with Aunt Cass? Do you think he is handling the situation right?
• Why does Pat slap Eddie?
• Describe Eddie’s obnoxious behavior? How should Lars handle the situation?
• How can Lars be aching Aunt Cass’s death, but furious with Eddie at the same time?
• How does the thought of Geordie give Lars a spurt of self-confidence?
• Would you believe Lars if he told you he was friends with a shade? Why?
• Why is Lars embarrassed to know about the husking bee?
• How is, “They had what you might call an amazing time,” considered a pun when Lars is talking about the labyrinth?
• Describe your feelings towards Eddie? Why do you think he likes to boast so much?
• Why again does Eddie need to run and tell his dad about Aunt’s Cass’s death?
• What do you think is going through Lars’s mind at the meetinghouse?
• How is each person’s stories about Aunt Cass like a puzzle to put together?

7. After students have completed their reading for the day, have them work on day 4 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.
8. If time remains, review the week 2 vocabulary with students (both whole class and enrichment group). Possible review ideas:
* Have students write answers on the board in teams. Read the definition and have two students on the board write the answer.
  • Hold up the vocabulary words on flashcards and have students shout out the answers.
  • Say the vocabulary definitions out loud and have students shout out the vocabulary word.
  • Have students play charades by acting out the words.
  • With partners, have students write sentences with partners using the words.
  • Have students play Pictionary and draw the words.
  • Have students draw pictures of the words with partners and write a caption of the picture using the vocabulary word.



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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