"This teacher's guide gives many wonderful suggestions of how to integrate subjects with the historical content of this novel.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 is proud to be one of a very few people who has boarded a pirate ship and attacked a Viking vessel manned by real Vikings wearing horns and furs. She was born in Boston, but grew up in Chillicothe, Illinois, site of the Viking adventure. She then earned a BA in English from Carleton College and an MA in Secondary Education from 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, written grant proposals for various arts organizations, written a play performed in Noh style, and raised three children.
Her first historical novel for young readers, THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM, has been used in classrooms for many years as an enrichment resource for kids studying the American Revolution. Her next novel, A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE, is set in 1825 in the small town in New Hampshire where she has lived since 1991.
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!