Lesson Plan

Taking a Stance on the Tone of "Paul Revere's Ride"

Use LearnZillion and Google Drive to write an argumentative essay.
Lisa M.
Classroom teacher
Tamanend Middle School
Warrington, United States
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My Grades 7
My Subjects English Language Arts

Student will answer text-dependent questions through a close reading of the poem, "Paul Revere's Ride," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Students will infer Longfellow's message and determine the theme of the poem.

Students will plan, draft, revise, and edit an argumentative essay that determines whether Longfellow's tone throughout the poem was hopeful or grim.

English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 7
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Conversing

As a warm-up, I ask my students to respond to the following questions by writing or drawing.

1. What does the word patriot mean to you?

2. What might a patriot always do?

3. What might a patriot never do?

4. What are some actions that could be described as patriotic?

After students answer these questions on their own, we participate in a Think-Pair-Share to discuss their answers. I explain that we are going to be reading a poem about a patriot; they should keep our classroom discusson in mind as we read.


2 Direct Instruction

During direct instruction, the students complete a close reading of "Paul Revere's Ride." I use LearnZillion for both the close reading and argumentative writing components of this lesson. To use LearnZillion, you will need to create a free account. Before I begin using a LearnZillion lesson set, I create "classes" in my dashboard. By creating classes, I can assign lessons to my students and they can access these lessons by using a "Quick Code" that I provide. This is great for differentiated instruction, involving parents, extra practice and so much more!

Students listen to the poem with the LearnZillion Read Aloud Video for "Paul Revere's Ride." Students then complete an independent second reading of the poem. Students are encouraged to highlight, underline and take notes on the poem as they complete the second reading.

As a class, we answer the following guided questions from the LearnZillion lesson set. 

1. What is the effect of the point of view that Longfellow develops in the first stanza of “Paul Revere’s Ride”?

2. What can you infer about Longfellow’s message by examining the roles of both Revere and his friend in “Paul Revere’s Ride?”

3. How does the shift in point of view in the last stanza relate to a theme of “Paul Revere’s Ride?”

I use the LearnZillion slides and customize them in order to differentiate my instruction. In order to provide enrichment for my gifted students, I assign additional text dependent questions through the videos provided in this lesson set. I can also provide additional support to my students who are struggling by giving them a chance to watch the videos that correspond with the slides a second time to aid their comprehension.


3 Guided Practice

After the close reading, students are ready to draft their argumentative essays. Students respond to the following prompt: 

Did Longfellow portray Revere’s journey with a hopeful or grim tone?

I use the LearnZillion Lesson Set "Writing Argumentative Essays about Paul Revere's Ride" to guide students through the planning and drafting of the essay. I can modify the lessons as needed, depending on the needs of my learners. Students can work indpendently on computers while I guide smaller groups through the lessons. I can also assign the lessons to my students so that they can view them at home and with their families. I use the final lesson in this set during independent practice because it involves revising.

4 Independent Practice

At this point, students are ready to put together their argumentative essays and begin the revision process. I use Google Drive so that my students can easily share their work with me for feedback. Google Drive is one of my favorite apps for collaboration! During the revision process for this essay, I focus on the revision skills covereed in LearnZillion's Express ideas precisely and concisely; eliminate wordiness and redundancy lesson set. I assign this lesson set to my students after they have completed their drafts on Google Drive. This lesson set provides targeted writing instruction. It is unique because it provides guided practiced and also allows students to go back into their own drafts and address commmon writing mistakes. The needs of each student are met because this instruction is so specific. I can choose to assign individual lessons to each student or assign the entire lesson set. This is perfect for differentiating my writing instruction, which can be very difficult in my larger classes!

5 Wrap-Up

To wrap up, students submit their final draft to me through Google Drive. I use my school district's argumentative wiring rubric to grade the essay. The Ansel and Clair: Paul Revere's Ride app is awesome and engaging for extension opportunities! It is filled with interactivity, animations, music and thematic mini-games. SchoolTube also has great videos that are student and teacher made about Paul Revere. Students might be encouraged to create a movie trailer or perform a dramatic interpretation of this famous poem. The opportunities for extension are endless!