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Serialized Story Guide for Teachers, Students and Families

By Antonette Bomentre-Walter and Chris Yatchyshyn

Chapter 5 - The Times that Try Men's Souls


statesman - noun; one versed in the principles of government

prohibiting - verb; preventing from doing something; forbidding by authority

awkward - adjective; the wrong way; lacking dexterity or skill

aide-de-camp - noun; a military assistant to a superior officer

correspondent - noun; one who communicated with another by letter

mercenaries - noun; soldiers hired by a foreign country to serve solely for wages

strategists - noun; persons skilled in the science and art of military command exercised to meet the enemy in combat under advantageous conditions

Recalling the Facts

1. The colonies had thoughts of independence from which country?

2. What were the colonists concerned about paying to the English?

3. When Franklin asked Thomas Paine to write about the English-American relations, what was the name of the pamphlet he wrote?

4. Which pamphlet name did Benjamin Rush decide would be a better fit for the colonists?

5. What did Thomas Paine do that worried Anna?

6. What job did Paine have in the army?

7. In December 1776, where did the Continental Army have a terrible retreat?

8. Which of Paine's articles did General Washington have his men read before crossing the Delaware River on Christmas Eve?

9. What was Thomas Paine's new pen name that he used to sign his Crisis articles?

Comprehension Questions

1. What concerns was Thomas Paine trying to voice? How did he do that?

2. Who left for Philadelphia first and how long did it take the other person to follow?

3. Where did Frederich find Anna? What was she doing?

4. What did Thomas Paine arm himself with when he went off to war? Why?

5. What prompted Thomas Paine to write the first of his 13 The American Crisis articles?

In the News

Thomas Paine was described as "America's first war correspondent" writing articles that were published in Philadelphia's newspapers throughout the war. Search the newspapers of today and locate articles and/or photos that were provided by newspaper war correspondents of today. Find your local newspaper: Link to the directory of New Jersey newspapers OR Link to the directory of Pennsylvania newspapers.

Take It to the Real World

Some news correspondents have their own television shows. Some shows were created due to news situations. Look through today's newspaper and locate the TV schedule. List the shows that are news-related. How many male correspondents are there as compared to female correspondents? Find your local newspaper: Link to the directory of New Jersey newspapers OR Link to the directory of Pennsylvania newspapers.

Make a Prediction

Will Thomas Paine's stand for "unity in the colonies" make a difference in the success of independence from England? Explain your answer.

Essay Questions

  1. During the war Thomas Paine wrote articles instead of fighting. Which was more valuable to the revolutionary cause, writing or fighting? Why?
  2. Why did George Washington have the Crisis I read to all his men before crossing the Delaware River on his way to Trenton? What was so important about that battle?

Answers to Comprehensive Questions and Recalling the Facts

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