"This teacher's guide gives many wonderful suggestions of how to integrate subjects with the historical content of this novel.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.
No matter what motivations drew Lafayette to help America, his actual arrival on our shores had to have been a bit of a let down for him. Yesterday, June 13, marked the anniversary of the day in 1777 that Lafayette arrived in America on his noble quest. Lafayette and fellow military officers and shipmates, however, did not start out quite as gloriously as they doubtlessly envisioned. Here is how historian James Gaines describes what happened soon after they arrived: "After trekking for three days and two nights through pathless forests and burning sands, they arrived in Charleston looking 'like beggars and brigands,' and they were received accordingly".
-Gaines, James R. R.. For Liberty and Glory: Washington, Lafayette, and Their Revolutions
A Buss From Lafayette Teacher’s Guide
3. Joss says (p. 13) that one reason Lafayette helped us was that he hated the British because they killed his father. Research how Lafayette first learned about the American Revolution, what happened when he visited England before he went to America, and why both of these show that teenager Joss has oversimplified the teenager Lafayette’s feelings about England.