A complete list of the novels available
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Created by Brian Thornton
||Capo Creations, Box 1411, Haileybury, Ontario, CANADA. POJ 1KO
Phone: 705 672-5737
Not to be used or copied in any manner without specific written consent of the publisher
All Rights Reserved
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Answer all questions in sentence form.
Locate the following in your atlas or on the internet: Niagara River, Queenston, Fort George, Burlington Bay and Stoney Creek. Some, but not all, may be found in the map at the beginning of your novel.
Who is telling the story?
Why did Mr. McCann take such a long time to answer Thomas as he entered the store?
Why did the American soldiers who had entered the store not see Thomas?
Explain why most of the shelves in the store were empty.
How did Thomas help the stranger in the grey-coat who was struggling with the two American soldiers?
Who was Lieutenant James FitzGibbon?
Why does FitzGibbon ask Roberts to cut off the American soldiers' footwear?
Why does Mr. McCann express surprise when FitzGibbon requests three gags?
Why does FitzGibbon insist that Tom accompany him?
According to Thomas, what do they do with horse thieves? Do some research to see if this assessment is correct.
Why does Thomas freeze in his tracks while leading the horse around the corner of the store?
Vocabulary: militia, redcoats, putter, halfpence, slung, squirreled, musket, coot, grey-coat, buckled, regulars, restrain, plundered, brigade, crowned, homesteads, gag, addled, jeopardy, sly, detachment, cavalry, mare
Enrichment: Create a title page or bookmark based on the novel.
Draw a large map showing the towns, forts and bodies of water. Place the large map on a bulletin board to share with your classmates.
In small groups discuss what items you would stock up on if war was imminent in your region? Justify your choices.
Using the internet or your library, research Fort George. Include photos or drawings. Construct a model of the fort. Research other forts that might have existed in Canada during this time period.
Using your dictionary, note the different pronunciations of the word lieutenant. Which pronunciation do you normally use?
Why is Tom shocked by FitzGibbon's behaviour when he informs him that he is being chased by four or more American soldiers?
Why was Thomas shocked when the lieutenant levelled (aimed) his gun at Thomas?
Why does FitzGibbon head for the apple orchard?
Who is Dr. Cyrenius Chapin?
Where did Thomas' family originally come from?
Why does Lieutenant FitzGibbon wave his hat and yell at his American pursuers instead of fleeing into the woods on horseback?
Why is Thomas shocked when he hears about the Green Tigers?
Who, along with FitzGibbon and his troops, was keeping the Americans penned in Fort George?
Why does FitzGibbon laugh when he thinks of the two soldiers who had been left bound, gagged and shoeless in Mr. McCann's store?
Vocabulary: trough, livery, stirrup, surge, spurred, flint, plucked, reinforcements, steed, rump, coaxing, loyalties, bolted, stealth, bluff, hemmed, receded, famine
Enrichment: Loyalties during a conflict or war are often divided along family lines. How would you react in a war if told that you had to fight and perhaps injure or kill you father or brother, cousins or even friends?
Write a short summary of each chapter in a notebook.
Invite someone to your classroom who collects and displays model soldiers.
Why did FitzGibbon consider the Decew's farm to be a safe haven from the Americans?
Who recognizes Thomas shortly after he and FitzGibbon have entered the camp?
Approximately how many men were camped at the Decew's farm?
To whom does FitzGibbon propose a toast?
Why is FitzGibbon planning to "break camp"?
What plan does FitzGibbon have for Thomas?
Discuss why Tom is surprised when he meets William Merritt.
Why is Thomas so familiar with the area displayed on the crudely sketched map?
What is Merritt's plan for Thomas and why is FitzGibbon opposed to it?
Vocabulary: patrols, pickets, harvest, pitched, stakes, ladle, boisterous, toast, carefree, fellowship, expedition, enlisted, ushered, blush, invade, liberate, depot, deprive, crude, diagonally, minimize
Enrichment: Compare and contrast farming methods with 1812 and now. Make sure to mention crops and machinery.
Napoleon said " an army moves on its stomach." Explain what Napoleon meant. Explain how this would affect military strategy and with your classmates discuss which is more important in a war--guns or food.
Write a short biography of James Fitzgibbon and his role in the War of 1812. Share your findings with your classmates.
Explain why Tom was shivering.
What river are the men crossing?
Explain what happens when Lieutenant FitzGibbon reaches the heights on the other side of the river.
Why did FitzGibbon suspect that the Americans didn't realize how many soldiers they were facing?
Describe the Lieutenant's planned course of action.
Describe in detail the various methods of deception and trickery FitzGibbon employs when he is speaking to the American commander.
Vocabulary: vessel, bluster, terrain, incline, materialized, scowl, obstruct, deception, truce, resolve, integrity, negotiating, aide
Enrichment: It is often said that truth is the first casualty of war. Explain.
Can you recount any times when you have used "psychological warfare" in your everyday life? Did it work? Explain. Hints: games or sports
With one or two of your classmates, research and then list as many causes as you can of the War of 1812. Compare the list with other groups.
What choice did Lieutenant Fitzgibbon offer Tommy?
Why was Tommy having trouble locating the entrance to the trail despite the fact that he had ridden or walked on it dozens of times?
Why are the soldiers wearing metal trinkets and why does FitzGibbon order the men to remove them?
How do FitzGibbon and Merritt manage to enter the blockhouse?
Describe the chaos at the end of the chapter.
Vocabulary: petticoats, sector, barracks, pardon, funnelled, trinkets, secure, canteens, rations, conceal, scarlet, blockhouse, volley
Enrichment: Locate books or information on the internet that can provide insight into military strategy in the early 1800's. Have one of your classmates play the role of an American commander and conduct an imaginary interview with him.
Draw a picture to illustrate the scene at the blockhouse.
Choose two groups. Have one group design a poster to entice Canadians to join the war effort while the second group should design a poster that might have been used to recruit Americans to join the war effort.
Describe the scene as the attack begins.
Why did Tommy's stomach give a "flip"?
What struck Tommy as odd as he watched the two men dressed in their red and blue uniforms politely converse with one another?
What deal did FitzGibbon strike with the American officer?
Why did FitzGibbon ask Tommy to smash open the whisky barrels with an axe?
Vocabulary: punctuated, fortification, eerie, illuminated, corpse, provisions, abundance, mortal, pungent, ignites, debris, pulpit
Enrichment: Research various uniforms warn by soldiers during this time period.
Attempt to locate military music from this era.
Many adult hobbyists collect and paint toy soldiers. Invite someone from your community to come into your classroom and discuss both their hobby and the War of 1812. If this isn't possible you may wish to visit a military museum.
Pretend that you have been asked by your commanding officer to report the death of the American soldier to his family in Lewiston. Describe what you would do and how you might feel in this situation.
Why was Tommy eager to accept FitzGibbon's invitation?
Why was Tommy experiencing difficulty sleeping at night?
Describe the load the pack horse was carrying.
What news did the scouts bring to FitzGibbon?
Why is Tommy surprised when FitzGibbon orders his men to head for the escarpment?
Where did the men hide when they realized the Americans had turned up the trail?
According to Jamison why was this a good time to feed the horses?
Why is Tommy surprised at FitzGibbon's next course of action?
Vocabulary: casually, pack horse, escarpment, riddled, dismounted, overhang, balked, refuge, muzzle
Enrichment: What is a barter system? Explain why a barter system might become very commonplace during a time of war or conflict.
Pretend that you are Lieutenant FitzGibbon. Outline a plan of action in this situation.
Why did FitzGibbon think the cave "lead somewhere"?
What did Tommy remember about this particular cave?
Why were the soldiers forced to leave their weapons behind?
How were Tommy and FitzGibbon able to defeat the American soldiers?
Who started the practice of scalping?
Explain FitzGibbon's description of the "ignorant savages".
Why did many of the Indians choose to fight with the British forces during the War of 1812?
Vocabulary: slope, grazed, reluctantly, dim, accustomed, trickling, renewed, jagged, abruptly, echoed, ignorant, allies, tension
Enrichment: Research the role of the Indians in the War of 1812. Make a short presentation to your classmates.
Describe Tommy's reunion with his mother.
Why had Mrs. Roberts been so upset initially with Lieutenant FitzGibbon?
What caused Mrs. Roberts to change her mind about FitzGibbon's course of action?
Describe what happened when the Americans arrived at the Roberts' farm looking for Thomas.
How did FitzGibbon respond when Mrs. Roberts told him that it would be nice to have Tommy back home on the farm?
Vocabulary: console, distress, accompany, petty, snooping, senile, retribution, atrocities, hayloft, transpired
Enrichment: Research farming during the early 1800's in Upper Canada especially the Niagara Region. Compare and contrast with modern farming in the Niagara Region. Create a bulletin board to display the results of your research.
What news did Mrs. Roberts have for Tommy about his father?
Why would FitzGibbon always be in debt to the Roberts?
What did FitzGibbon attempt to buy from Mrs. Roberts?
Describe the changes that Tommy notices in his mother.
What is the noise that Tommy hears outside the barn one evening?
What promise did Tommy make to his brother?
Vocabulary: field hospital, inquiries, grateful, debt, shrill, cast, shuffling, depression, stooped, skulking, vengeance
Enrichment: Research medical procedures that would have been used on and around the battlefields in the early 1800's. Compare and contrast these procedures with modern day medical procedures. What kind of training or education would doctors receive. Locate information about women doctors during this period. Make a short presentation to your classmates.
Research and explore the role women played in the War of 1812. Make a report to your classmates.
What had kept Tommy awake for hours at a time the past couple of nights?
Why had Lieutenant FitzGibbon required the large supply of butter?
What would probably have happened if FitzGibbon's disguise had been uncovered?
According to FitzGibbon what was the difference between a brave man and a coward?
How was FitzGibbon able to determine the number of Americans in the fort?
How did FitzGibbon promise to help Tommy?
Vocabulary: chores, weary, obstacles, involve, strolled, jingling, disguise, magpies, sentries, desert, baited, rumours, tales, massing, ominous
Enrichment: Locate some pioneer recipes on the internet or elsewhere and actually bake some bread or meal. Make up some of your own butter for the bread. Let your classmates sample the finished product.
Does the adage, "All's fair in love and war" really apply? Conduct your own research on the internet or elsewhere and see what you can discover about conventions of war past and present.
Who would FitzGibbon and Tommy be travelling with to Burlington?
What reason did FitzGibbon give to Tommy for deciding to travel at night?
Why were the Indians able to find their way so easily during the night?
Describe the comic tale recited by Lieutenant FitzGibbon about the Canadian militiamen who got separated from their company during battle.
Vocabulary: reassured, retrieve, astride, tethered, shrub, fidgety, gestured, vivid, cluster, smattering, muted, clasped, signposts, hazards, comic
Enrichment: What role did the natives play in the War of 1812? What role did the natives play in other Canadian wars or conflicts?
How did Tuska, the young Indian boy, honour Tommy?
How does FitzGibbon try to reassure Tommy as they prepare to enter the tent at the field hospital?
Why does Tommy quickly become wobbly on his feet upon entering the tent?
Why was Tommy so surprised when he discovered his neighbour in the tent?
Why did Mr. Givens mention that he would learn to write with his left hand as well as he ever had with his right?
Why were patients relocated into the barn?
Vocabulary: tunics, wallowing, encountered, cot, wobbly, swathed, erupting, slumped, inhaled, stench, hearty, ingenious, devising, maim, skirmishes, camaraderie, envied
Enrichment: Write a newspaper story about the War of 1812 and in particular about the events around Queenston.
Describe the obvious signs that Tommy's father was not well.
Why was Tommy reluctant to tell his father about many of his adventures with FitzGibbon?
Why was Mr. Roberts trying not to reveal his pain to his son Tommy?
Why does FitzGibbon announce to Tommy that he is deserting and joining the American forces?
Why does Tommy freeze in fear?
Vocabulary: gaunt, nicked, brow, furrowed, grimace, debating, trotted, plough, gait, switch, dispose, quarrel, recovery, territory, stray, crumpled
Enrichment: What does Pa mean by the "Good Book"? Locate the expression, "Pride goes (goeth) before a fall"
How was Tommy able to determine the location of the shooters?
What advantage did Tommy have over the American soldiers?
Why does Tommy run towards the third soldier?
How did the American soldier react when he saw Tommy running towards him?
What request does the dying soldier make of Thomas?
What sight greets Tommy when he returns to locate the horses?
Vocabulary: huddled, sighted, retort, saplings, fumbled, tingled, gaping, exposed, vomiting, propped, revenge, numbly, contorted, haltingly, clutched, lead, churned
Enrichment: Pretending you are Tommy and make a diary entry for this episode.
Describe FitzGibbon's good fortune.
Why is FitzGibbon anxious to leave?
Why does the normally talkative FitzGibbon inform Tommy that it will probably be best if he doesn't talk?
Vocabulary: winced, fiancee, absorbed, comply, pale
Enrichment: Research weapons of the day including cannons and muskets?
Explain the origin of the following expressions: a. Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes. b. flash in the pan
Locate some military music of the day and play it in class.
Why did Tommy's family invite Matthew Williams to share a meal with them?
What did Tommy miss about home?
Why was FitzGibbon anxious to take a hard ride in the countryside?
What image haunted Tommy when he closed his eyes at night?
Explain the letter in Tommy's breast pocket.
Why was Tommy able to recognize Mrs. Secord immediately?
Why did Mrs. DeCew become worried as she listened to Mrs. Secord?
What information did Mrs. Secord bring from Queenston?
What did the Caughnawagas' patrol see?
Vocabulary: emerged, feast, assigned, alternative, perked, unkempt, smudges, marmalade, betraying, solemnly, envisioned, bolster, idle, lubricated, creased, escort, swarm, contingent, tactical
Enrichment: Research Laura Secord's role in the War of 1812. Dressing in period costume, assume the role of Laura Secord and make a short presentation to your class.
Write a poem celebrating the heroic role of Laura Secord in the War of 1812.
Cook or bake something at home or school representative of the time period. If you do it at home, record the event with photographs or videos and share them with your classmates.
Explain why Tommy wonders if he has heard FitzGibbon correctly?
Why was FitzGibbon reluctant to retreat?
What was the strangest part of Tommy's fear of battle?
How seriously are FitzGibbon's Bully Boys outnumbered?
What does FitzGibbon suspect as he ponders the unusual route taken by the Americans?
Vocabulary: engage, haste, dissolve, aftermath, littered, warrant, infamous, riveted, stammered, column
Enrichment: Research the Battle of Beaver Dams to discover what actually happened. Compare these results to Eric Walters' description of the event.
What plans had FitzGibbon made to prevent the escape of the calvary?
Why was Tommy reluctant to consider himself a hero?
According to FitzGibbon, what was the difference between a brave man and a coward?
Why does FitzGibbon change his jacket?
Why does he want to call a temporary truce?
What did FitzGibbon request from Colonel Boerstler of the American forces, that almost caused Tommy's mouth to drop open?
What does Tommy offer to do for the colonel that causes the commander's mouth to drop open in shock?
What does Colonel Boerstler decide to do.
Vocabulary: carriage, barrage, comrades, strewn, regiment, sulphur, hail, promotion, adversary, sacrifice, marksmen, bugler, subordinate, option, stifle, astute, impact, conventions, cunning, consequences
Enrichment: Research information on the fair and ethical treatment of prisoners of war. In addition to various sites on the net it would be wise to locate international agreements on the fair and just treatment of prisoners including the Geneva Convention.
What rules if any were in place at the time of the War of 1812 concerning the rights of prisoners of war?
Research the treatment of prisoners of war during the American Civil War.
Should prisoners of war have any rights? Explain your answer.
What boggled Tommy's mind?
What "special" fate awaited one of the prisoners?
Why had Tommy heard thunder when there wasn't a cloud in the sky?
What good news does FitzGibbon convey to Tommy?
Vocabulary: boggled, jig, traitor, Crown, scanned, brewing, mischief, confronted, dominating, frothing, intertwined, dispersing, clumping, acidic, abandoned
Enrichment: Debate with some of your classmates whether or not you agree with capital punishment. Be sure you are able to defend your opinions with facts. It might be wise to do research on the internet.
What is the setting of this chapter?
Who arrives just after Tommy has successfully removed the stump?
Where is the visitor stationed?
What motivates Tommy to clear the land?
What career decision had Tommy made?
Vocabulary: taut, resisting, insignia, harness, recruiting, enlarged
Enrichment: Explain the adage, "Good fences make good neighbours." Do you agree? Explain.
PostscriptMake sure to read the short postscript as it offers some insight into the historical accuracy of this Walters' novel
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Brian Thornton, Capo Creations, Box 1411, Haileybury, Ontario, CANADA POJ 1KO
Not to be used or copied in any manner without specific written consent of the publisher All Rights Reserved