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June 28

Esther Forbes, author of Johnny Tremain, was born in 1891.

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Esther Forbes, author of Johnny Tremain, was born in 1891.

Grades 3 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text

 

EVENT DESCRIPTION

 

 

Written more than 60 years ago, Johnny Tremain is a children's literature classic that continues to find a place in classrooms around the country. Esther Forbes published several books, but is best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1943 biography, Paul Revere and the World He Lived In, and Johnny Tremain, a 1943 Newbery Medal winner.

 

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY

 

 

Have students explore the genre of historical fiction by writing original works. Introduce students to some different types of historical fiction. Some good selections for the Revolutionary War era, in addition to Johnny Tremain, are other fictionalized biographies such as Guns for General Washington: A Story of the American Revolution by Seymour Reit, or Emma's Journal: The Story of a Colonial Girl by Marissa Moss.

Have students select an historical event they have studied in class, and decide on a format for their story. For example, students can write a first-person narrative, a journal or diary entry, or a fictionalized biography. Students can select different subjects for their writing. Alternatively, have the whole class write on the same topic, and then compare all the finished pieces.

 

WEBSITES

 

 
  • Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes

    This resource includes a brief synopsis of Johnny Tremain and a list of related texts. Also featured is a printable study guide that offers classroom activities, graphic organizers, and more.

     

  • Why & How I Teach with Historical Fiction

    Scholastic offers this article by Tarry Lindquist on using historical fiction in the classroom. The page provides practical suggestions in addition to annotated lists of literature at four grade levels.

     

  • Language Arts: Novel Guides

    McDougal Littell's ClassZone offers these ideas for teaching Johnny Tremain.

     

  • Liberty! The American Revolution

    Learn more about the history of the American Revolution at this companion site to the PBS documentary. The site features a detailed chronology of the period, as well as games and activities.

     

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It's Independence Day!  Or is it?

Grades   3 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  July 4

It's Independence Day! Or is it?

Students consider why there are so many different dates associated with the Declaration of Independence and why the nation's birthday is celebrated on July 4.