This is a mini unit, 1-2 days, to correspond with the children's book, "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere", illustrated by Ted Rand, or the poem, "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It contains activities in poetry, art analysis, math, science and writing. It would probably be best suited for 4th or 5th grade. However, the poetry questions are challenging and could be used for 6th grade as well. The activities could be used as whole class instruction or as literacy center ideas. It would take about one school day to complete in its entirety.
The lesson begins with an introduction to poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, using the children's poem, "The Arrow and the Song". The teacher will transition to an anticipatory set using the "Mind's Eye" approach to gather background information and make predictions. Mind's Eye is a teaching strategy where the teacher dictates about ten key words from the text. Students are asked to make connections by predicting, creating visuals, asking a question, or stating their feelings. Then, the teacher will read a short background paragraph on the historical event of Paul Revere's ride.
Then, the teacher can use the first 14 lines of the poem as the content for their lesson. The poem is in a printable and in the PowerPoint presentation. Or the children's book can be used here. The students will answer some higher level comprehension and analysis questions based from the poem. Then, they will analyze a piece of art based on the event.
There are two short math lessons and two short science lessons. The first math lesson is a half page with three distance calculations to make. The second math lesson is converting pounds, shillings, and pence from a silversmith shop's pieces as Paul Revere would have made and sold at this time in history. The first science lesson is differentiating between speed and velocity using a one page handout. The second lesson is based from weather patterns in New England and the effect they did or could have made on Revere's journey.
Lastly, there is a slide and handout to practice memorizing the first 14 lines of the poem to recite. It has performance tips. The PowerPoint is created to correspond exactly with the handouts. I have taught this poem for many years to correspond with the events leading up to the American Revolution. My students come back for years and still remember the words to Paul Revere's Ride!