Johnny Tremain and the American Revolution

Johnny Tremain
and the American Revolution
Mr. Lockridge
[email protected]
(913) 937-9967
The goal of this course is to invite students to see the world of the American Revolution
through the window of a classic work of children’s literature, Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes.
Although it is a work of fiction, the book offers a clear view of the historical realities of the birth
of the United States of America, and it captures the spirit of liberty upon which our nation was
In so doing, students will stay sharp on their reading and writing skills over the summer and get
the most out of a very detailed and fascinating story by slowly reading and discussing with a
group of peers. Mr. Lockridge will amplify and extend the historical dimension of the literature
by offering important background information.
The class will meet each Monday and Wednesday from June 1st to July 1st from 11-12pm CST.
Please try to be five minutes early to test your microphone and ensure that everything is
working properly.
Week 1 Introduction and
Week 2 Chapters 2 and 3
Chapter 1
Week 3 Chapters 5 and 6
Chapter 7
Week 4 Chapters 8 and 9
Chapter 10
Week 5 Chapters 11 and 12
Declaration of
Chapter 4
History topics
Colonial America, Boston, Atlantic
trading, John Hancock
Paul Revere, “taxation without
representation,” Tories and Whigs, Sons
of Liberty
Revolutionary literature, Sam Adams,
East India Company, the Boston Tea
Party, the British military
John Adams, Lexington and Concord,
Paul Revere’s ride, the Minute Men
Yankee Doodle; Thomas Jefferson; the
road to Independence
Reading and Discussion
Please come to each class having read the assigned chapter. Chapters are due to be completed
by the beginning of the class period under which they are listed (above). For younger students
or for slower readers, feel free to read portions aloud or allow them to use an audio book to
read along.
Students should try to speak up in class at least once per class period. Although some may be
shy at first, this should not be a major obstacle if everyone does their best to contribute from
the beginning. Remember that contributing does not necessarily mean giving an answer to one
of my questions; students may
Ask a question (“Who is General Gage?”)
Give a reaction (“It really bothered me when…”)
Share an opinion (“I don’t think Johnny should have…”)
Make an observation (“I noticed that…”).
Make a connection (“This reminds me of…”)
In addition to the reading, I will encourage the students to do two projects. Parents may modify
or omit these projects to suit the needs of their own children, but please do communicate with
Mr. Lockridge about that so that he can plan classes accordingly:
1) Presentation: Students should always try to share things that they have learned outside of
class to contribute to a discussion. They are also encouraged to come to class prepared at least
once during the term to share more in depth on a particular topic, any aspect of Colonial or
Revolutionary War era America. Presentations should be 3-5 minutes in length and may be
given informally from memory or read from a prepared text. Examples might be weapons of
the American militia, popular meals in early America, family life, or something about the life of
a particular famous American or location.
2) Personal letter: Once during the semester, please share a written work with the class that is
inspired by Johnny Tremain. This should take the form of an imaginary letter impersonating
one character in the story and addressed to another character in the story. For example (and
feel free to choose these ideas—all of them will be unique), you might write a letter of apology
from Dove to Johnny, and letter of thanks from Johnny to Rab, or a letter from Cilla asking
Johnny where he has been.
Feel free to contact the teacher via e-mail or phone (especially time sensitive issues). Brief
narrative evaluations will be provided within two weeks of the end of the course.