Katie Hardy- READ 436

Famous Virginians during the Revolution and Building Our Nation
Text Set
(VA SOL VS.5 & VS.6)
Cheney, L.V, & Harlin, G. (2008). We the people: the story of our Constitution. New
York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genre/Grades: Picture Book /3rd-5th
Summary: In this picture book, Cheney
and Harlin tell an account of how the
thirteen colonies came together to create a
framework for a new government after a
successful fight for independence. The
result of multiple conventions in the
summer of 1787 produced the document
we the American government still
references today: the Constitution. Along
with vivid illustrations that help paint what
our nation was like during the aftermath of
the Revolution, the text includes quotes
from famous Virginias like George
Washington and James Madison. This
book can help illustrate how the
Constitution was written and the extensive process that it was, especially during a
time when the United States as we know it wasn’t formed yet.
Writing Activity: Because this text focuses on the drafting process of the
Constitution, students can have the opportunity to write their ideas of what a class
Constitution could include. Students can pull ideas from the U.S. Constitution and
work together with their fellow classmates like the delegates from the colonies did in
1787. These Constitutions can also go through the writing process: planning, drafting,
editing, revising, and publishing.

Glaser, J., & McDonnell, P. (2006). Patrick henry: liberty or death. Mankato, MN:
Capstone Press.

Genre/Grades: Historical Graphic Novel/4th-6th
Summary: In this biography, which is presented
as a graphic novel, the authors describe the life
and times of Patrick Henry, who could be argued
as the “Voice of the Revolution.” While known for
his “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” speech,
this graphic biography also helps tell the other
parts of his life, from a shaky start to becoming a
lawyer and patriot that helped inspire others
during a time of war and revolution. Readers will
be drawn in from the captivating illustrations and
story-like feel that comes from reading a graphic
novel. There is a lot of biographical information

packed into this graphic novel, which can be more entertaining to read than a
standard, text heavy biography.
Writing Activity: To continue the text style of a graphic novel, students could write
their own storyboards of what happened after Patrick Henry’s lifetime. These
illustrated panels could include their own drawings and dialogue of how Patrick Henry
impacted the American Revolution and how he helped shape the nation that we have
today.

Kalman, M. (2014). Thomas Jefferson: life, liberty, and the pursuit of everything. New
York, NY: Penguin Group.

Genre/Grades: Biographical Picture Book/1st-4th
Summary: This colorful picture book depicts the life and story of our third president
of the United States: Thomas Jefferson. Kalman wrote her book for a younger
audience, with witty words strung together to help tell the major events that happened
during Jefferson’s lifetime, including the American
Revolution and the beginning of the new nation.
The text highlights some of his greatest
achievements like the penning the Declaration of
Independence and purchasing the territory known
as the Louisiana Purchase, while also noting his
flaws as well, like owning around 150 slaves. This
text will captivate students with its bright
illustrations and creative writing, while also telling
some great historical information about one of the
most complex founding fathers.
Writing Activity: After reading this book, students
can comprehend what they have read by creating a
timeline of major events that happened during
Jefferson’s life. Because the students have learned
that Jefferson was a better writer than a speaker,
students can write a journal entry as Jefferson during one of the events on the
timeline they have created. Examples could include his thoughts on drafting the
Declaration of Independence, sending Lewis and Clark on their expedition, thoughts
on slavery, etc.

Mitchell, B., & Tavoularis, A. (2004). Father of the constitution: a story about James
Madison. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books.

Genre/Grades: Children’s Biography / 3rd-5th
Summary: In this biography, Mitchell and illustrator Tavoularis work together to help
tell the story of James Madison. The focus of this book starts at the age of nine with
focus of books and learning and eventually describes his role of “Father of the
Constitution” and the historian at the Constitutional Convention. The text also
describes the later aspects of his presidency with the War of 1812 and his other
influences in setting the new nation into stone.

Writing Activity: Students could write a
series of journal entries as Madison during
the Constitutional Convention, since he was
the historian, or note taker, during the event
itself. These journal entries could include
Madison’s interactions with other delegates
and how he started to piece together the
ideas that would end up becoming our U.S.
Constitution. Students could also write a
persuasive essay as to why James Madison
should be known as the “Father of the
Constitution,” and can reference specific
anecdotes from this text.

Schanzer, R. (2007). George vs. George: the American
revolution as seen from both
sides. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.

Genre/Grades: 4th-6th
Summary: Just like there are two sides to a coin, there are two sides to every story
and two sides of a war, and the American Revolution is no exception. With water color
illustrations, this book can help children begin to understand the different sides of the
war, and the kind of impact it could have had on the colonists. The Revolution is not
as black and white as some history
books portray, and while targeted to a
higher elementary audience, Schanzer’s
book can set the tone for a unit on the
American Revolution, as well as George
Washington himself. This book spans
the length of the Revolution and
includes most of the major battles and
key events like the Boston Tea Party and
the surrender at Yorktown.
Writing Activity: One of the main
focuses of this book is identifying
differing point of views during the
American Revolution, which is
ordinarily told from the point of view of
the winners: George Washington and
the Patriots. For a writing activity,
students could write separate letters as
both patriots and loyalists, writing to other patriots and loyalists. Students could even
“send” their letters to other classmates or people in the school. Students can reference
the points of views of Washington and King George that Schanzer references in her
book, and discuss their opinions of either George in their letters. With this activity,
students will also have the opportunity to practice writing and addressing a letter.