History of Redding > My Brother Sam is Dead > Teaching Aids > Exploring the Topics  

Exploring Conflicting Opinions. This was a key element in the novel My Brother Sam is Dead. By examining examples of conflicting opinions within their own school, social groups, families, etc... students are made aware of how people's opinions can complicate situations.

Activity: Ask students to independently list examples of things they like...for example: ask them to write down "School Field Trip" ideas , using the results, list the top two School Field Trip ideas on the board.

Next have the children debate why one or the other should be chosen.

Hopefully this activity will cause a handful of students to express distain for one of the ideas while another group of students reacts positively for the same. If this occurs we have a present day example of "Tories" and "Rebels".

Next select a School Field Trip idea and have both groups work on planning the field trip. The feelings of the students that don't like the idea is what matters most here, by forcing them to go along with an idea they don't like, plan it, raise money for it, take part in it... they are experiencing feelings similar to those of the "Tories" during the Revolutionary War.

Later you can have the students discuss their feelings (positive or negative) either verbally or in writing.

Lastly, explain the purpose of the exercise, noting the hardships Tories/Loyalists experienced during the Revolutionary War and pointing out the frustrations the students felt while being "forced" to particiate in an activity they did not want to participate in. Make the students aware of the loyalists frustrations as Rebellion became a reality and what they were "forced" to endure.

Activity: Ask students to independently research examples of families that fled the United States during the Revolutionary War.

http://www.uelac.org/Loyalist-Trails/Loyalist-Trails-index-2008.php is a good place to start.


Resources Available Online:


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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