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 7-9
  • The Riddle of Penncroft Farm: Finish Chapter 3 and 4
  • My Brother Sam is Dead: Chapters 3 and 4
  • Fighting Ground: Pages 26-40

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 3.

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 are the men’s questions so important when they are asking the Corporal?
• What does the man mean when he says to the Corporal, “You’ve got a reputation for being overfond of killing?”
• What does the Corporal mean when he says, “If they do come, it’ll be your home they’ll burn, as well as mine?”
• What causes the men to get up and follow the Corporal in silence?
• Why do you think the men have fear in their faces?

• Why does marching help Jonathan to feel better?
• Why do you think the men are annoyed with Jonathan’s whistling?

• Why do you think the men are not talking but instead walking in silence?
• How is the hollow and empty sound coming from the men’s marching like what Jonathan is feeling now?

• Why do you think many of the houses look so similar in these parts of the country?
• Why do you think the band of men make the woman getting water uneasy? How would you feel if you were in the same situation?
• What causes the men to not offer Jonathan any water, but instead be greedy for themselves?
• Why would the woman’s face turn pale after hearing that enemy troops were headed near her?
• Do you think the woman has every right to be concerned and run away? Explain.
• How did the woman’s reaction help to ease the men?
• Why would the men be angry when one of their own shot the gun?
• How does Jonathan begin to feel more pride when the people of Rocktown are looking at him?

• How do you think the men and Jonathan are feeling when they reach the highest point for them to fight?

• Do you think the location they stopped at will be beneficial for them to fight on? Why?
• How will the rain hinder their chances of fighting?
• Why is an ambush not possible from the location the Corporal chose to fight on?
• Do you think the Corporal’s was lying about the Syndertown folks coming to help them fight? Why?
• How the drumming sound alert the soldiers?

• Why do you think the men were like statues not moving when they heard the drum?
• How will forming a line to fight help or hinder the men?
• Why would it be important to have the short men in the front and the tall ones in the back of the line?
• How has the Corporal’s attitude changed?
• How do you think the men and Jonathan are feeling at this point?

• Describe Jonathan’s experience with loading his gun?
• What emotions and thoughts do you think are running through Jonathan’s mind when he is loading his gun?
• Do you think Jonathan is prepared to fight in a war when he had so much difficulty loading his gun only one time?
• Do you think Jonathan is truly ready for what is about to come?

My Brother Sam is Dead
Chapter 3:
• Why do you think Tim’s life wasn’t any different now the war had started?
• Describe some of the battles of the Revolutionary War.
• What do you think would happen to father if someone discovered he had the Rivington’s Gazette?
• Why do you think father is so strong willed in standing behind the King?
• Why doesn’t anyone mention anything about Sam?
• Why was it better for Tim to be a tavern-keeper’s son rather than a farmer’s son? Which one would you want to be? Why?
• What were some activities Tim did for fun?
• Why does Betsy Read hang around the tavern so much?
• What does the saying “Idle hands make the Devil’s work,” mean?
• What do you think Betsy has to tell Tim about Sam?
• Why is it important for Betsy to hear that Tim wouldn’t tell father if Sam came back? Is it right for them to ask Tim to keep such a secret?
• What clue does Betsy give that Sam is back in town?
• What do you think Tim is feeling when he realizes Sam is back?

Chapter 4:
• Describe Tim’s reaction to knowing that Sam is back in town.
• What is the only thing preventing Tim from going to see Sam? How does he finally get around it?
• Why is Tim so curious about the Continental soldiers that have come through Redding?
• What does Tim observe when he sneaks into the tavern behind the soldiers? What must be going through his mind?
• What were the soldiers looking for at the tavern?
• What does Tim realize is a big similarity between his father and Sam? How could this be dangerous for both of them?
• What causes Tim to try to take the Brown Bess from Sam? Do you think this was the right thing to do?
• Do you think Sam would give up the gun if he knew his family was in danger? Why?
• Describe the scene between Tim and Sam with the gun.
• Why can’t Sam go to the tavern to help out his family?
• Sam states that lots of men sneak off to see their families, so he did the same thing. Is this the right attitude to take?
• Why does Tim call Sam a coward even though he doesn’t mean it?
• Why didn’t Sam stay to talk with father? Do you think he did the right thing?

Sarah Bishop

Chapter 7:
• Why didn’t the neighbors all help Sarah with the fire?
• What would you have done if you were a neighbor to Sarah and saw the fire coming?
• Describe Sarah’s father’s condition.
• Describe the scene at Sarah’s house.
• What feelings and emotions do you think are going through Sarah’s mind at this time?
• Do you think Sarah and her father deserved the fate they were now handed just because they weren’t Patriots?

Chapter 8:
• Where does Sarah get a job?
• What is Sarah’s motivation for working at the tavern? Do you agree with her?
• What causes the rebels to shout and wave their hats at and around the tavern?
• Describe the stance the Lion and the Lamb tavern has on the war?
• Do you think Sarah will find out information about her brother Chad?

Chapter 9:
• Why do you think the soldiers and officers weren’t interested in peace? Do you think you would want peace if you were in the same situation?
• Many soldiers didn’t think they would be killed in battle, why do you think they had this attitude? Is it a good attitude to have?
• Do you think Sarah’s message will get to Chad? Why?
• How do you think the people around Brooklyn Fort are feeling about the battle?
• Sarah’s is called a pretty picture by one of the new farm girls, what do you think is going through her mind after hearing these words?
• How are the Hessians and British different in their actions at the tavern?
• What new role does Sarah take on at the tavern and how does this help her to learn about Chad?
• Why is Sarah hopeful when she hears that Chad might be a prisoner? Would you want a family member to be a prisoner in this situation?
Riddle of Penncroft Farm
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?

Chapter 4:
• Why does Lars’s mom think he has an imaginary friend?
• Why didn’t Lars tell him mom about how his first day of school was a disaster?
• What does Aunt Cass mean when she says, “Yees, perhaps I do, but I wouldn’t exactly say he lives around here?”
• The boy seems to mention that he did things when he was around Lars’s age, but he appears to now be Lars’s age? What do you think about that?
• How does Geordie react to Lars’s handshake? Why does this seem odd?
• What is a riddle?
• What types of chores did Geordie have to do at home?
• Why does Lars now feel like he is more lucky to be at Penncroft Farm, whereas Peter isn’t as lucky to be in Minnesota?
• What happened to Geordie’s brother?
• Why did Lars’s knees buckle when he realized Geordie was talking about the American Revolution in 1777?
• What side was Geordie’s father on during the revolution? Why did he take this side?
• What caused Will, Geordie’s brother, to join the revolution?
• How did Will joining the Patriots almost cause a split in his family? Do you think he should have taken the side of his father?
• Even though Lars thinks someone is playing a trick on him by sending Geordie, why does he still think that Geordie is so believable?
• What is a phantasm?
• Why doesn’t Geordie like the term ‘ghost’? Why does he insist that he is just hanging out not haunting anything?
• How did they turn the barn raising into a fun event? Would you like to do work in this way?
• Why does Lars want to stand in front of Geordie when his father enters the barn? Do you think his father can see Geordie too?
• Why has Lars’s mood changed so abruptly? What do you think he thinks of Penncroft Farm now?

7. After students have completed their reading for the day, have them work on day 3 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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