"This teacher's guide gives many wonderful suggestions of how to integrate subjects with the historical content of this novel. . .[and] suggests questions that challenge higher level thinking."—Susan Elliott, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Quinnipiac University; Literacy and Curriculum Development This guide is for Dorothea Jensen's award-winning (Literary Classics, Purple Dragonfly, eLit Awards, etc.) historical novel for young readers, A Buss from Lafayette. It contains bulletin board ideas, vocabulary exercises, varied student handouts, puzzles, games, reading comprehension quizzes, discussion questions, and both individual and class projects. Its cross-curricular activities include language arts/reading, social studies, mathematics, health/safety, art, music, dance, drama, recipes, and suggestions for real and virtual field trips. A full answer key is provided.
The main topics covered are the American Revolution, Lafayette's role in our War of Independence, Lafayette's Farewell Tour of America in 1824-5, and everyday life and customs in rural America in the 1820s.
Dorothea Jensen was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Chillicothe, Illinois. She majored in English at Carleton College and earned an MA in Secondary Education at the University of New Mexico. She has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South America, taught middle and high school English, tutored refugees in ESL, and written grant proposals for various arts organizations
Her first historical novel for young readers, THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM, was named an IRA Teachers' Choice Selection soon after publication. It has been used as an enrichment resource in classrooms all over the U.S. for many years.
Dorothea's second such novel, A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE, is set in 1825 in the small town in New Hampshire where she has lived since 1991. It has won a number of awards, detailed in its book description on this site.
Dorothea is working on a new story set in 17th century Massachusetts called A SCALP ON THE MOON.
Dorothea also writes modern Christmas stories in verse. Modeled on the 19th century classic poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" these award-winning Santa's Izzy Elves story poems feature decidedly 21st century elves savvy in modern technology.
A year or two ago, I visited the mission in Santa Barbara, California. One of the exhibits described how the head of the mission had gathered money together to send to George Washington in 1780. This support for the American side in the Revolutionary War was quite a surprise to me. Apparently, even though Spain was not our direct ally (but was allied with France, which WAS our direct ally) the padre felt that supporting our side would weaken England, which would benefit Spain. I wrote a blog about this. Check it out here:
A Buss From Lafayette Teacher’s Guide
Ask students if the state, region, or even the community they live in played a role in the Revolutionary War, either within the United States or elsewhere. If so, how and when? Do they have ancestors (American, English, French, Spanish, Native American, etc.) who might have participated in those events? Keep in mind that a number of Spanish cities in America (notably St. Augustine, Florida and Santa Fe, New Mexico) were founded more than 150 years before the Revolutionary War took place!