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Using Historical Fiction in the Classroom Teaching Programs

This FalI I will be hosting a number of My Brother Sam is Dead Teaching Programs in Southwestern Connecticut. In these programs I will be providing information about the topics and issues My Brother Sam is Dead explores and how both teachers and students can benefit from its usage in the classroom.

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Novel
My Brother Sam is Dead

Talks focus on:

1. What was occurring locally between April 1775 and February 1779.
2. The topics and issues woven into the story line.
3. How local educators and parents can use this novel to their advantage.
4. Towns and cultural resources connected to this novel.




6th graders from Nathan Hale School in New Haven had a great time on November's "Tour of My Brother Sam is Dead" field trip.

Here are quotes from letters the 6th graders forwarded after the field trip:

"That was the [best] field trip I ever had about History…"

"I would never think that Connecticut would have that much interesting history! Thank you so much for taking us through Redding, showing us the great locations from My Brother Sam is Dead and answering our questions."

"One of my favorite parts of the trip to Redding was when we got to hear of what happened and where in the book."

"That was the best field trip I had this year! The parts I liked the best were when you showed us where the tavern was, where the Meeker family's graves were, and the field where Sam ran across after he took the Brown Bess. I wish I could run across that field just like Sam did."

"I had so much fun, especially when you showed us the graves at Redding Ridge. I never knew Tim and Sam were fictional. It's so surprising that I never knew how involved Danbury was [in the Revolution], yet I lived there for so long."

"Thank you for making the history come alive, I had a great time. Hope you do more fun things with other kids, I bet they will have a great time."


Resources Available Online:


Want the rest?

It's all in the Dropbox: My Brother Sam is Dead Dropbox Account


Word Document that explains what is at the Dropbox: My Brother Sam is Dead Dropbox

Photo Examples of the Dropbox:
My Brother Sam is Dead Dropbox

Please feel free to email me with any questions @ bcolley@colleyweb.com.



Putnam Memorial State Park- This is where Sam Meeker was encamped during the winter of 1778-79. This is the same camp Tim describes when he attempts to free Sam from the stockade.

Keeler Tavern Museum- Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Keeler Tavern Museum has been a farmhouse, tavern, stagecoach stop, post office, hotel for travelers and a private residence. The Meeker Family Tavern was very similar and thus Keeler Tavern gives a glimpse at the way Tim, Sam, Life and Suzanne lived and worked.

Putnam's Cottage / Knapp's Tavern Museum- Putnam's Cottage is intimately connected to the Revolutionary war, having housed General Putnam and hosted General Washington for lunch. The house has long been associated with General Israel Putnam and his heroic escape from the British during the Revolutionary War. General Putnam was Sam Meeker's General in the novel.

Compo Beach- The British landed on this beach in 1777. From here they marched north through Redding where they halted for several hours before their attack on Danbury Connecticut's military depot. Tim describes their visit in the novel.





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This information is provided by Brent M. Colley of the History of Redding web site.
All costs are out-of-pocket so donations and/or sponsorships are essential to continued research and updates.