The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Johnny Tremain

Several weeks ago, I assigned two of my literature circles to read Esther Forbes’ classic novel, Johnny Tremain. The other literature circles in my class have been reading similar books relating to the American colonial period and/or the Revolutionary War.

As part of our celebration of the end of ISAT week, I decided to have the class watch the Disney adaptation of this story. In actuality, we started watching yesterday morning before taking our science tests. As we watched the movie, I would pause it periodically so we could discuss what was going on in the story and how it related to early American history.

One of the students’ favourite parts of the movie was the scene showing the Boston Tea Party and the subsequent march to the Liberty Tree in Boston Common. As the men who dumped the tea into the harbour marched down the streets of Boston, they began to sing The Liberty Tree. The boys and girls quickly picked up the refrain of the song.

I took the video back a couple of minutes so we could rewatch the scene. This time, nearly everyone in the room sang along with the song:

We watched the rest of the movie this morning. A few students missed parts of the movie due to making up tests, but I have encouraged them to visit the library to check out a copy and watch it over the weekend. I may track it down to watch it again just for the fun of it!


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