The Revolutionary War spy unit provides everything you need to not only explain but also help your students experience America’s first espionage operations! The resources supply foundational knowledge about spying and Revolutionary War spies. Then, they provide a structure to guide students through fun, engaging activities that develop their critical thinking skills by putting them in the shoes of a Revolutionary War era spy. PLEASE NOTE: This resource in INCLUDED in the following novel unit for Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson! Check out this mega-resource if you plan to teach the novel: Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson Unit: Novel Study, Tests, Spy Tasks, Projects.
The resources in the spy unit include:
Spy School: Build investment in the unit and generate excitement for students’ learning by using this activity. Students will use their problem-solving and critical thinking skills to solve puzzles, crack codes, and hone their observation skills. Implementation suggestions and an answer key are included.
Vocabulary: The vocabulary of spying provides essential knowledge about common terms invoked in espionage. It also establishes a common language in the classroom when engaging in spy readings and activities.
Nonfiction Articles: The 8 close reading lessons develop students’ background knowledge about espionage and Revolutionary War spies. The readings include accounts about a diverse set of actors in order for students to develop an understanding of the war that includes these lesser known actors. Each close reading includes questions that will develop essential skills aligned to the reading of informational texts under the Common Core State Standards.
Activities: The 5 spy activities will develop students’ critical thinking abilities as they apply their understanding of espionage. Students will think from multiple perspectives when they put themselves in the shoes of a Revolutionary War spy. They will also develop important habits of mind, such as being observant and thinking from another’s perspective.
Essays: This resource contains two different essay questions. The first question challenges students to analyze how the author of Chains (by Laurie Halse Anderson) portrays spying. The second question asks students to consider the morality of spying based on what they have learned. Suggestions for answers/topics are included.
Answer Key: The key provides potential answers for every question asked in every assignment if applicable. Of course, not all analytic questions have just one answer! Part of the strength of the analysis questions is the room they leave for students to demonstrate their unique thinking and use textual evidence to support their stance. Therefore, use the answers at your discretion but know they provide a solid foundation for the type of performance that makes for quality work.
***A modified document is also included to for easy printing!***