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 13-15
  • The Riddle of Penncroft Farm: Finish Chapter 6 and 7
  • My Brother Sam is Dead: Chapters 6 and 7
  • Fighting Ground: Pages 53-66
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 5.

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 do you think Jonathan can’t get up even though he knows that he has to?
• What do you think is happening to Jonathan when his mind only has silence?

• Why is Jonathan crying so much?
• Do you think Jonathan was prepared for war?
• What kind of pain do you think Jonathan is feeling?

• Why wouldn’t Jonathan’s fingers allow him to let go of the gun?

• Why does Jonathan feel he has failed in all that he was meant to do?
• Why do you think Jonathan wishes he was dead, but scared that he was alive and might die?

• Describe Jonathan trying to get up and move.
• Do you think it is right for Jonathan to just run away from something he wanted to do so badly?
• What emotions are running through Jonathan’s head when he sees a Hessian soldier not to far away from him?

• Do you think the Hessian soldiers are really looking for Jonathan or is he just paranoid? Why?
• What do you think Jonathan should do?
• Do you think Jonathan should try to escape or just stay quietly where he is at?
• What do you think is going through Jonathan’s mind when he realizes he is completely surrounded?
• Are the soldiers actually looking for Jonathan?
• If Jonathan could understand the Hessians, do you think he would be so scared? Why?
• Do you think it was smart for Jonathan to jump up or should he have waited a while longer?
• How is the language barrier difficult for Jonathan?
• What causes Jonathan to begin to cry?
• What do you think the soldiers will try and do to Jonathan?
• Describe Jonathan’s first encounter with the Hessians.

• What does the soldier want to do with the rope?
• Why does Jonathan begin to feel hatred for the Hessian soldiers?
• What causes Jonathan to feel a sharp pain in his heart?

• Where do you think all of the bodies had gone after the fighting?
• Do you think the Corporal and the men are looking for Jonathan? Why?
• Why do you think Jonathan feels a need to be taken care of by the Hessian soldiers?
• Why does the sound of the rain feel Jonathan with sorrow?
My Brother Sam is Dead
Chapter 6:
• Why does Tim tell Mr. Heron that his father had changed his mind and let him go deliver the letters?
• How does Mr. Heron compare Tim to Sam? How does this make Tim feel?
• Why does Tim feel bad about lying to his father? Should he feel guilty about doing it?
• What directions does Mr. Heron give to Tim about delivering the letters?
• What information do you think is in the letters?
• Why would Betsy make him nervous when he was trying to deliver the letters?
• What was Betsy doing on the road?
• What side of the war do you think Mr. Heron is on? Does this change anything about Tim delivering the letter then?
• What mistake does Tim slip to Betsy?
• What convinces Tim to open the letter?
• What did the letter say? Why do you think Mr. Heron wrote this letter for Tim to deliver?
• Will Tim succeed in his mission?

Chapter 7:
• Why doesn’t Tim want to go anywhere near Mr. Heron?
• What did Sam have to say in his letters to his mother?
• Why were father and mother arguing about Sam’s letters?
• Do you think father will ever forgive Sam for running away?
• Why do you think it was alright for father to run away from home at sixteen, but not alright for Sam to do the same thing?
• Why were Tim and father going to Verplancks Point?
• Why was it important for their trip to be planned close to winter? How will this benefit Tim and his father?
• Why does father want to take Tim along with him on the trip? How do you think this makes Tim feel?
• Describe the plan father had laid out for the trip.
• Describe Tim and father’s run-in with the cowboys?
• What do you think father is feeling with the cowboys even though he appeared calm on the outside?
• Why does Tim decide to runaway from the cowboys? Do you think he was making a smart decision?
• What caused the cowboys to leave Tim and father?
• Why did the new men help Tim and his father get to New York?
• Why didn’t Connecticut look any different to Tim than his own home? What do you think he was expecting to see?

Sarah Bishop

Chapter 13:
• Do you think the officer is genuinely sorry he made the mistake about Chad’s whereabouts? Why?
• Why did the officer give Sarah back her money and why is he allowing her to go and see Chad?
• Describe the setting in the boat heading to the prisoner ship.
• Describe David Whitlock.
• Why is Sarah so lost and alone now?
• How has the war destroyed Sarah and her family?
• What do you think Sarah will do now?

Chapter 14:
• Why do you think Sarah jumps overboard?
• Even though she does not know how to swim, do you think her will power will help her to survive?
• Is Sarah acting as a fool? Why do you think so?
• Why do you think the man encourages Sarah to stay the night rather than wander off alone?
• What kind of questions do you think Mrs. Pennywell was asking Sarah?
• Describe how you feel Sarah is feeling at this time.

Chapter 15:
• Why does Sarah want to wash away everything? Why is she unable to wash away her memories and her fear?
• Do you think Mrs. Pennywell is right in saying that Sarah could have convinced them at her trial that she wasn’t guilty? Why?
• Why does Sarah feel so much anger?
• What kind actions is Mr. Pennywell showing Sarah and why does she want to leave now?
• What do you think is going through Sarah’s mind when she sees the soldiers she escaped from?
• Why can’t Sarah come out of her hiding place?
• Do you think the soldiers will discover Sarah? Why?

The Riddle of Penncroft Farm
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?
• Why do you think Lars ultimately got up to say something about Aunt Cass? What do you think Aunt Cass would have thought about his speech?
• Why doesn’t Pat want anyone to know that her real name is Patience?
• Now what do you think about Aunt Cass saying someone can find her will with the right spirit?
• What do you think will happen with the will?

Chapter 7:
• Why does Lars feel so confused while he is looking over his history materials? Have you ever felt overwhelmed like this?
• What did Lars discover in his bedroom? Why was he so incredibly disappointed?
• Describe the uniforms Patriot soldiers wore.
• Why did Washington want his soldiers to wear leather hunting shirts as part of their uniform?
• Why do you think it was important for soldiers to all appear uniform?
• Why did Geordie’s father become less angry, but more sad with Will leaving to join the Patriot forces?
• What is the Continental Congress and what laws did they place on the colonies?
• How does the decreed on apples affect Geordie’s family?
• What gift had father given Geordie when he was young and why did his mother protest it?
• What gift had father given Will and what was inscribed on it?
• Why does father forbid Geordie to mention Will’s name again? Do you think he is doing the right thing?
• Do you think Geordie will be safe from harm even though he is on the side of the British army?
• Why is Geordie filled with dismay when he sees the Continentals in Welsh’s tavern?
• What do you think is going through Geordie’s mind when he hears the first shouts and sounds of marching feet at Welsh’s tavern?
• Why is Geordie happy that his horses are slow as molasses?
• Describe Geordie’s ride home from the tavern.
• How do you think Geordie’s father will react when he finds out he has helped the Continentals?
• Why does Geordie decide to help the Continentals?

7. After students have completed their reading for the day, have them work on day 5 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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