Lesson details


Social Studies

English Language Arts



Reading - Informational Text

The American Revolution



Language, Craft, and Structure-Apply vocabulary strategies

Meaning and Context-Analyze/evaluate credibility/accuracy of information

Meaning and Context-Consider viewpoints of others

Meaning and Context-Engage in a range of collaborative discussions

Meaning, Context, and Craft-Write informative/explanatory text

The War for Independence

Recommended Technology: 

Computer with internet access
Brainscape App

Other instructional materials or notes: 

Downloadable Worksheets - found in resources
Pens to write over blackened words

The Pursuit of Francis Marion

1-2 hours
Lesson type: 
Traditional Lesson
Lesson overview: 

Help the Patriot Cause!! - The following letter is an “imagined correspondence” between Colonel Francis Lord Rawdon, British commanding officer of the British outpost at Camden, and Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton, head of the British dragoons, a mounted cavalry unit who harassed SC citizens and partisan fighters.  The “pretend correspondence” has been censored by the writer in an attempt to relay secret information about the American rebel Francis Marion, and British movements in the upcountry of SC.  Therefore, certain words have been purposely blackened to prevent the “patriot enemy” from decoding the information should the letter be apprehended.  

Students however, have an advantage that would have been unavailable to American patriots.  Using their textbook, the ETV Hall of Fame video, and listed vocabulary, students should try to decode the correspondence, choosing terms that will make the meaning of the letter understandable. Flash cards with vocabulary terms and definitions have been created to help students in their understanding of the vocabulary, and to help them decipher the coded correspondence.

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Lesson created by:
Lisa Ray
Lesson Partners: 
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