Johnny Tremain and the American Revolution Mr. Lockridge [email protected] (913) 937-9967 Goal 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 founded. 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. Schedule 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. Monday Week 1 Introduction and Syllabus Week 2 Chapters 2 and 3 Wednesday 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 Independence 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…”) Projects 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.
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