Social Studies and Children's
Book Title: Katie's Trunk
Author: Ann Turner Illustrator: Ron
Publisher and Date: Macmillan Publishing
Curriculum Developer: Emily A.
Summary: "Katie, whose family is not
sympathetic to the rebel soldiers during the American Revolution,
hides under the clothes in her mother's wedding trunk when they
invade her home. "Katie's Trunk gives an exciting and
thought-provoking glimpse of the beginnings of the American
Revolution, made even more vivid because it is based on a true
incident that happened to one of the authors' ancestors." (Katie's
Trunk, Pg. Intro.).
Social Studies Relevance: This book would
fit in nicely with a unit on the beginnings of the American
Revolution and the study of the Boston Tea Party. It could also tie
in the courage we all must have sometimes in life by ourselves or
with our families. It could be an incredible tool for finding out
what life was like back then and what the people had to deal with
during the American Revolution.
Grade Level: 5th grade
Relationships to Social Studies State
- Evaluate the causes and outcomes of the
- Create individually, or in a group, one or
more of the following: Newspaper, Newsletter. Identify important
persons, events, and themes in United States history:
LESSON PLAN #1
Title of Lesson: Revolutionary War
Objective: Given class presentations and
activities, students will on a daily basis, record their thoughts and
feelings about events and people during the Revolutionary War in a
Materials needed: all different colors of
paper to put together for a journal, cardboard pieces cut into a
cover form, scissors, pencils, twine or rope, hole punch and examples
of a journal to show the students.
- At the beginning of your unit of the
Revolutionary War show the students an old copy of a journal (but
don't tell them what it is). Ask them what they think it is. Give
them hints about what it is: "In this book there is writing. You
can write private stuff in here. It can be kept and read hundreds
of years down the road." Once the students have guessed what it
is, ask them what sorts of things they would write in their
journal. If any one is keeping one now, maybe have them share the
kind of things they write in them.
- Explain to them that back in the Revolutionary
War and all other times in people's lives, journals were kept to
express one's feelings or thoughts. These journals were hidden and
later found and people have read them and learned about what it
was like back then.
- Explain to them that while we are studying
this time in history you would like them to keep a journal of
certain events, make daily entries in their journals, and have a
thought and question section.
- Pass out all the needed materials that the
children will need. For their book they can design their own
Revolutionary War cover or you can have them use one of yours.
Each child should have two cardboard pieces, at least fifteen
different pieces of colored paper, and some twine to tie the book
- When the children have completed making their
book, write on the board the titles that they should have every
ten pages in their book. The categories are:
- A. A "Daily Entry" Section that will
include an answer to a topic that will be written on the board
each day they come into the classroom. Some of the topics you
could we are:
- * Would you more likely be a Patriot or
* Would you use your voice, your pen, or
your gun to fight for the things you believe in?
* Who would you be more apt to be like if
you lived during the time of the Revolutionary
* What Revolutionary War leader would you
have admired most, had you lived during the time of the
* Do you think the Revolutionary War
could have been avoided?
B. An "Interesting Facts" section: Students
can record any interesting facts that they find particularly
interesting when we are studying the war.
C. A "Thoughts and Questions" section: They
can record their personal feelings or questions they may have
concerning the war in this section.
- When you are explaining how to do these
entries and things make sure you tell them to be as creative as
possible because towards the end of your unit they are going to
pull some of these entries of thoughts and facts and make them
into a newsletter.
Evaluation: Periodically through out your
unit, gather the journals together and look over them. Write comments
in them and determine if the children have understood facts and
stories you have shared with them.
*Adaptions were taken from: Revolutionary War
Thematic Unit. Pg. 29 and 33.
Title of Lesson: Trunks and the
- Students will be able to identify items in a
class discussion on trunks and discover what things could have
been stored in those trunks during the Revolutionary
- Students will identify positive and negative
outcomes of Katie's decision to hide herself in her mom's
Materials Needed: copies of trunk picture
for the children to write on, book Katie's Trunk, copies of the
decision tree, overhead, transparency of decision tree and
- Pass out the worksheet containing a picture of
a trunk on it. Begin by asking the children what the name of this
object is. When they guess what it is have them for four or five
minutes make a list on their trunk of what they would have put in
there. When they are completed, list those ideas on the board.
Allow a pretty good list to be built.
- When they have completed that, show them the
picture from Katie's Trunk of Katie climbing in her mother's
trunk, Ask them why they think she is climbing in there?After
suggestions, ask the children to think back about the things that
took place during the Revolutionary War. Ask them what would make
Katie hide in the trunk?
- Discuss vocabulary with the students so that
they may had a greater understanding of what those words mean when
they come to them in the story.
- If you feel the need, have the children flip
through and see what words they think they may not know and
- Read Katie's Trunk.
- Pass out a decision tree paper to each child.
This decision tree has one box labeled good consequences, below
that in another box is the bad consequences. In the next column
over is a another box again repeating the same things. Have the
children get in groups of four and label the good and bad
consequences of Katie running to the house and hiding in the
trunk. Then have them label the good and bad consequences if Katie
would have stayed in the woods, with her family. Give them 5-10
minutes.Bring them back together and do a group decision tree by
having suggestions from each group's tree. Use overhead and
transparency of tree to write on.
Evaluation: Examine the trunk and decision
tree worksheets to see if students have identified things that go in
a trunk and if they have discovered the good and bad consequences of
Katie staying in the woods, or hiding the trunk.
Title of Lesson: Up close and personal with
Objective: Given the story Katie's Trunk,
the children will be able to write down two questions that are
relevant to the Revolutionary War, that they would like to ask a
character out of the book Katie's Trunk.
Materials: six students to play the roles
of Katie, mother, father, Celia Warren, John Warren, Ralph. Six
chairs, six easy costumes or features the children could wear or have
to portray their character they are representing, have parents
volunteer to make food that would have been eaten back during the
Revolutionary War period.
- Upon completing the reading of Katie's Trunk,
have the children return to their desks and write down one
question (relevant to the Revolutionary War) each that they would
like to ask certain characters, if they were here and alive now.
As the teacher, I would collect their questions and hold them over
night so they don't loose them.
- While observing the children in the classroom,
observe those students that you think would be able to handle a
role as a character, and could handle answering questions when
they are asked. Choose six students that would fit the part and
one by one ask them to be a character and explain what they will
be doing. Ask them not to tell the others that they have been
given a character part because it will be a surprise when each
character is introduced.
- After the children have gotten their part,
within the next few days have the children prepare some type of
outfit that they could wear to represent their person. If they
have problems getting a hold of things have them talk with you.
Included in this lesson plan are ideas for what the children could
- The day the children are going to perform,
pass back the questions each child wrote to a
- Two or three days after you have assigned the
parts, stand in the front of the class and explain that today is a
special day because we have some visitors that were willing to
come to school today and interview with us for a while. Begin by
inviting each person out. One by one give each character an
introduction and have the student take their seat in the
- Explain how excited you are to have them here
today and that the floor will be opened up to questions and
discussions about the American Revolutionary War. You as the
teacher ask the character certain questions that have to do with
the American Revolution. Then have the students refer to their
sheets that they wrote questions down on, and have them begin
asking their questions.
- After the interview is over make sure the
students have a standing ovation for the characters and then
excuse the characters to go change back into their clothing they
wore to school.
- While they are changing explain to the
children that you thought it would be fun to study the food that
the people ate back during the American Revolutionary War period.
Prior to this activity, you should have asked for volunteers to
make food and assigned them where to bring it to, on the day you
Evaluation: Examine the questions to see
if the students have identified two questions that should be relevant
to the American Revolutionary War, that they could ask the
Costume ideas for the six characters in the book
- Katie could be wearing an old pioneer dress
with snow boots and gloves.
- Mother could wear a shawl or even an old
wedding dress (which could make interesting questions for the kids
to ask about).
- Father could be wearing nicker pants and have
a long pony tail on the back of his head.
- Ralph could be wearing same as the father but
with shorter hair, wearing a jacket and carrying a
- Celia Warren could have two braided pony tails
and a long dress.
- John Warren could be wearing the same things
as the father, plus an old war hat and carry a cardboard shot
Food to cook that was eaten back then:
- homemade bread, butter, and honey
- bean soup (all different kinds of
- fresh apple and rhubarb pie
- homemade wine ( use homemade apple
Title of Lesson: Newsletter or
Objective: As a result of researching
background on the American Revolution, students will contribute
appropriate articles and advertisements to a newspaper or newsletter
from the time period before during and after the Revolutionary
Materials: topics to research, research
materials, sample newspapers and newsletters, available library hours
- Place students in cooperative learning groups
and assign each group a topic.
- Each child within the group will find research
material on their topic and write up a half page summary on their
topic. (suggested topics are listen below.)
- The children that have been assigned the
studying of advertisements need to take notes individually and
then come up with a rough draft ad that could be put into a class
newspaper or newsletter.
- When each individual has their task, bring
them together in their cooperative group and have them share their
- After the children have all shared, have them
in their groups begin to put pieces of information they have
gathered together into one article that will go into a newspaper
or newsletter. They are required in their summary to have dates
and places listed of where it took place.
- The children that are studying ads will
discuss their individual studies and share their rough draft of an
ad. When the children have completed this they may decide together
as a group which ads to put into the newspaper. They all may go in
- These ads and articles need to be approved by
the teacher or other assistants to the teacher.
- When each group is complete have one person
from the group share their group's article or ad that they came up
- Begin to put the newsletter or paper together
as you would like to. There are many ways.
Evaluation: Examine the summaries, rough
drafts and final articles and advertisements that will go in the
newspaper or newsletter to determine if the students have reflected
their important places, events, and ads that were taking place
before, during, and after the American Revolution.
Return to Children's
Topics the children can
- The Boston Tea Party
- The Stamp Tax
- The Tea Tax
- The Quartering Act
- The Townsend Act
- Boston Massacre
- Battle of Lexington and Concord
- Intolerable Acts
- The Battle of Bunker Hill
- Battle of Saratoga
- The Quebec Act
- The Royal Proclamation
- The Halifax Resolves
Famous People to research:
- Paul Revere
- William Pitt
- Ethan Allen
- Thomas Jefferson
- Thomas Paine
- Charles Morris
- King George the 3rd
- George Washington
- Patrick Henry
- John Singleton Copley
- Benjamin West
- John Dickenson
- John Adams
- Josia Quincy Jr.
- Nathan Hale
Advertisements the children could study up
- Selling items advertisements
- Doctor advertisements
- Agency advertisements
- Dentist advertisements
- they could even included obituaries in this
Famous people and events were adapted from the
following internet addresses: