We received Sam the Minuteman from Progeny Press to review. It is a downloadable study guide that covers everything from vocabulary words to comprehensive questions, with so much in between. The Sam the Minuteman Study Guide is recommended for children in grades 1-3 and consists of 42 pages. The story is a quick read and since Sam the Minuteman is inspired by historical events (still a work of fiction), you can easily add this book and the study guide to a Revolutionary War themed unit study.
After reading Sam the Minuteman (the book does not come with the study guide, you'll have to purchase it or sign it out at the library), we created a small world using our Safari Ltd Revolutionary War figures (both sides). They recreated the scenario of the story, where Sam and his father and their townsfolk have to defend themselves from the approaching Red Coats (or Lobster Backs) who were marching towards Concord and their stash of weapons. We created a map pf Massachusetts using a large brown box, colored road lines and grass, used branches and leaves for trees, rocks with small homes painted on them, and the figures to represent the two groups.
The study guide can be used for both English and history lessons. There are different types of literacy lessons, covering vocabulary words, fill-in-the-blank questions, comprehension questions, word puzzles and more. On the history side, you can create timelines, answer true and false questions, learn about the freedom of American people, journal activities, arts and crafts, and even a homemade butter recipe!
For the questions portion of the lessons we answered at circle time, allowing the kids to work together to discuss the question and take turns answering. We revisited the story whenever we needed, but we were limited to the two weeks we had the book from the library. You'll also find an additional resources section at the back of the study guide that lists other books written by Nathaniel Benchley and books about the colonial times and Revolutionary War era.
We live in Massachusetts and in the neighboring town of Billerica, they have a Yankee Doodle parade every September. We attend every year to watch the parade and visit the Minuteman camps. The members of the Minuteman group dress up in attire appropriate for the time period and shoot their revolutionary era guns (it's just powder, no bullets). We used the parade and Minuteman camps to teach the kids about the life Sam lived.
After the parade we visited their camp to meet the ladies and craftsmen.
They have many displays for teaching how colonialists would have made a fire, cooked a pie in a cast iron cauldron, made candles, broomsticks and even bullets out of melted pewter. They also explain medicine of the day, how to load a gun, how they painted walls, and more. It's only a small group of people who do this, but it's very educational and the kids love it.
You're also able to explore the tents to see what their living quarters might have been like during the war.
We enjoy using Progeny Press for literature based unit studies. The study guides are inexpensive ($11.99) and they cover so much information. Students can easily complete the study guides within a couple weeks. We completed the study guide in just under two weeks.
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