Did anyone else always find Patrick Henry to be the coolest guy ever? I always admired him when I was in school and thought he was one of the most interesting founding fathers. I loved the drama of his famous “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech and wrote a paper on it in high school. And then when I went to Williamsburg a few years ago I found more to admire about him.
Did you know he didn’t agree with how our government ended up, and because of that he felt it wasn’t right that he should be involved in any federal office despite being asked to several times? That’s right this incredibly ambitious man refused to take federal office because of his principles. A few politicians could use his morals.
Okay, getting back on topic and back to homeschool history lesson.
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Patrick Henry lesson plan
We read A Picture Book of Patrick Henry (I love David Adler books, as I mentioned in my History Books for kids post), I learned more things about him, for instance, he has no head for business. He ran two stores and one farm into the ground, but he’s a great lawyer.
I was trying to think of a good thing to do for what we learned about him, and came up with a simple booklet that we cut the top half in thirds, so it was a flap book. On each different flap we wrote something he tried his hand at and if he did well or not.
The kids remembered how he did surprisingly well for it being a fairly complicated book for their age. Sometimes I’m amazed at how much they remember about the books I’m reading them.
Extend this Patrick Henry lesson for older kids
This activity is obviously for very early writers and learners, but let’s take this same book and extend it for upper elementary and middle school.
- How did this failed business man become a Founding Father? How can you apply this to your life?
- Patrick Henry refused to join the new government because he disagreed with the power of the federal government. Write a letter attempting to convince him to join.
For high schoolers, analyze Patrick Henry’s speech. It’s a powerful oration, and a great example of debate skill. Look for what arguments he presents. What emotional words does he use?
Susan @ learning ALL the time!! says
I actually don't know that much about Patrick Henry…your post taught me a few facts 🙂
This series of picture book biographies by David A. Adler is great!!
I didn't know much about Patrick Henry either. 🙂 And you're right, it is AMAZING how much kids can remember from books. I'm always fascinated by the facts they can recall, especially if it is from a book they didn't seem to be paying that much attention to!
I love there books. I need to do this more with Little J.
Little Wonders' Days
I didn't learn much about him until college. I remember thinking though at the time “What a strong man to stand up like he did.” Now we need more like him.
Very cool! I'm always envious of your little spiral binder, too =)
Another great idea. Keep them coming!
An Almost Unschooling Mom says
I don't think I've ever given any thought to Patrick Henry at all – I'll have to go back and give him a look 🙂
Cool. I can't believe they remembered that stuff, too. What smart cookies you have there.
Raising a Happy Child says
OK, it's embarrassing, but I don't really know who Patrick Henry is. I am sure I will learn a lot more about US history from Anna (and from blogs like yours)
I love listening to the facts as well as the bits and pieces my cherubs pick up from books – sometimes it is surprising indeed.
He is one of the very few people I remember reading about when I was in school- I also thought he was very cool. I'll have to pull that book off my shelves. My kids are actually old for it (probably), but I always find children's books work well for learning at any age- at least as a jumping off point.