Social Studies and Children's Literature:

Book Title: Katie's Trunk

Author: Ann Turner Illustrator: Ron Himler

Publisher and Date: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992

Curriculum Developer: Emily A. Hill

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 Core:


Title of Lesson: Revolutionary War Journal

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 journal.

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.


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 Revolutionary War


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 transparency markers.


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 Katie's Trunk

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.


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 characters.

Costume ideas for the six characters in the book Katie's Trunk:

Food to cook that was eaten back then:


Title of Lesson: Newsletter or Newspaper

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 War.

Materials: topics to research, research materials, sample newspapers and newsletters, available library hours for research.


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.

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Topics the children can research:

Famous People to research:

Advertisements the children could study up on:


Famous people and events were adapted from the following internet addresses: