We read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Ralph Waldo Emerson's poems about the Battle of Lexington and Concord. We compare and contrast the form and content of both poems in venn diagram or In Regards To graphic organizers. For example, students compare length and time period written.
We also read these texts in small groups:
Students choose which texts appeals to them and they read them aloud together. The groups get to decide which way they read---either choral or taking turns.
As they read, they take notes on the important people in their books. In Heroes of the Revolution, there are multiple people, and I have them write notes on each.
After they complete their reading, I have them synthesize their notes into a poster. They choose facts to share about their character and draw a representation of the character. Here are just a few examples of the work I get.
I have students create the posters on easel paper. I keep a stash in my room at all times for days just like this one. I just cut off how much I need and go about my day. That way if students make mistakes, I have the paper right on hand, and I don't have to run to the workroom for more. (Affliate link).
The students really like learning about the American Revolution and the stories behind the people.