In the story, Sam joins the American Revolutionary Army ...

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My Brother Sam is Dead – Book Project Seventh Grade American Revolution Unit

We have reached the end of the American Revolution unit! Using your own prior knowledge from the unit as well as the actual text; My Brother Sam is Dead, complete the following book project. Keep in mind all your work must be typed and only the three visuals at the end should be done off the computer. You will also need a cover page with your full name, subject, date, and title.

There is a lot to choose from below so read the instructions carefully or you will find yourself doing a lot more work than is necessary. Have fun with it and be as neat, creative, and thorough as you possibly can. Remember, this book project will be 20% of your final grade so make it worthwhile!

From this first part (Comprehension and Recall Questions), you are to choose 8 of the 14 questions to answer. Make sure your answers are thorough and the question is restated.


1. As the war begins, Tim is upset because his father and his brother Sam disagree about a decision Sam has made. What did Sam decide?

2. Why does Sam steal his father's musket?

3. Why does Tim try to return the musket to his father?

4. One day, as the war progresses, Tim is delivering a message for Mr. Heron, a neighbor. What happens to Tim on the trip that is completely unexpected?

5. Why does Betsy struggle to get the message Tim is carrying?

6. What does the message really say?

7. Because Tim's brother is away, Tim must help his father on the annual trip to sell cattle and purchase goods. What loss does Tim suffer on the way home?

8. Why do the British troops arrest Captain Betts, Mr. Rogers, and Jerry Sanford?

9. What awful event does Tim witness at Captain Starr's house?

10. Why is Sam allowed to come back to Redding?

11. What has happened to Tim's father?

12. Who arrests Sam? What is he accused of?

13. What finally happens to Sam?

14. At the end of the story, Tim finds out what has happened to his father and Tim's friend, Jerry Sanford. What fate did they share?

From this second part (Higher Level Thinking Questions), you are to choose 4 of the 8 questions to answer. Make sure your answers are thorough and the question is restated.


1. The citizens of Redding don't all agree about the colonist-British dispute. What are some of the conflicting ideas among the residents of Redding?

2. In the story, Tim grows up during the American Revolutionary War. Write a paragraph about the difficult circumstances during which Tim must grow up.

3. What does Tim admire about his brother? What does he dislike?

4. Why does Tim try to avoid Mr. Heron?

5. What is Tim's attitude toward lying? Why, in spite of his attitude, does Tim begin to lie to his father?

6. On the journey home, how does Tim avoid capture by the cow-boys?

7. Tim says that he “grows up” after his father's disappearance. In what ways does Tim show that he's grown up?

8. Tim remembers these words his father often said: “In war the dead pay the debts of the living.” How do you think these words apply to Tim?

From this third part (Literary Elements Questions), you are to choose 4 of the 7 questions to answer. Make sure your answers are thorough and the question is restated.


1. Point of View: From whose point of view is this story told? In the first-person point of view, whose feelings and thoughts do readers get to know best?

2. External conflict: What conflict in the outside world are the citizens of Redding facing? With whom is Tim in conflict?

3. Suspense: What uncertainty or anxious feeling do you have as you finish reading Chapter 9? Why does this suspense make you want to read on?

4. Internal conflict: What contrasting ideas and values does Tim struggle with inside his mind? Be thorough in your response.

5. Irony: Irony is the contrast between what one would expect to happen and what actually happens. What's ironic about Mr. Meeker dying on a British prison ship?

6. Point of View: In the story, Sam and his father argue about the war. Write a paragraph describing the different points of view Sam and his father have regarding the American Revolution and war in general.

7. Character: Imagine that Tim is your friend in real life. Write words and phrases that would help you describe him to someone who doesn’t know him. (What does Tim look like? What kind of personality does he have? What does he like to do?)

From this fourth part (Personal Response), you are to choose 4 of the 10 questions to answer. Make sure your answers are thorough and the question is restated.


1. Tim's father has a violent temper. How does Tim cope with it? What do you think of Tim's way of coping with it?

2. Do you think Tim would really have shot his brother if Sam hadn't managed to get the gun back? Explain.

3. Have you ever been in a highly dangerous situation? What actions did you take right away? Looking back, do you think these actions were effective? Explain.

4. Mr. Meeker says he doesn't care who—the British or the Revolutionaries—the beef-cattle finally end up with: he simply needs the money to support his family. What do you think of Mr. Meeker's viewpoint?

5. How would you describe Tim's feelings in the Epilogue? Do you think his feelings are natural, or strange? Explain.

6. Suppose you could write a “happy ending” to this story. What would happen in your happy ending? What would the story tide be? Would your ending be realistic and historically accurate? Explain

7. In the story, Sam joins the American Revolutionary Army because he feels that the colonists are taxed unfairly by the British. His father thinks that fighting over taxes is not worth the lives that will be lost. Sam claims he is standing up for a principle. Write about a time when you stood up for something you believe in. Describe what you did and how it made you feel.

8. In the story, Tim Meeker watches a group of soldiers enter the Meeker tavern. Write a paragraph describing the scene Tim views when he sneaks in to see what the soldiers want.

9. In the story, Tim has to take on important responsibilities while his father and older brother are absent. He helps his mother run the tavern and make decisions concerning the farm. Write about a situation in which you had to take on important responsibilities. Describe what you did and how you felt about the situation.

10. At the end of the story, Tim tells the reader that he has written down the events as they happened fifty years before. The story is his memory of what happened to him and his family during the Revolutionary War. Write about a memory you would like to preserve and give reasons why you want to keep it alive.

From this fifth part (Vocabulary Definition), you are to choose 10 of the 16 words to define.


1. agitator

2. independent

3. injustice

4. rebellion

5. colony

6. commissary

7. Continental Army

8. Lobsterbacks

9. massacre

10. Minutemen

11. parliament

12. patriot

13. tavern

14. treason

15. militia

16. scorn


Imagine you’ve been asked to draw three big, full-color illustrations for a new edition of My Brother Sam Is Dead. The illustrations should show just three of the many exciting and important events in the story. Select and draw these three illustrations, and write brief captions that tell what is happening for each. NOTE: Each visual should take up ½ of an 8 ½ by 11 sheet of white printer paper. Put two on a page and the third on its own page


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