Mr. Andrew Bankert

7th Grade

Clinton Middle School



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General George Washington has a problem during the American Revolution.  It is 1775 and the British hold advantages in virtually every important area needed to win the war. He needs to find out what the enemy is doing before they do it if the Americans are to have a chance at victory.  Besides the British army, there are German Hessians, Indians and Loyalists to keep track of.  The British are also using informants to report on the American activities, but they are confident they can win the war without this “extra help!”  Washington’s idea is to act as his own “spymaster,” and recruit spies to gather information and report to him or the people he trusts the most. The best spies never get caught and we may never hear about them.  Will American spies be effective in helping the Americans win the war?  This webquest will help you answer that question!


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After conducting individual and group research on this topic using the resources listed below, your group will;


·        Complete the graphic organizer (paper copies will be provided) outlining the work of three spies or spy gangs who worked for either the Americans or British during the American Revolution. 

·        Your individual final product will be a one paragraph report on one of the spies or spy gangs answering the following questions:

o   Who was the spy and where did he/she/they spy?

o   What did the spy do?

o   What techniques did he/she use to gather and transmit information?

o   Did the spy have an impact on the war?

o   How effective was the spy overall?


Description: rev4.jpg image by maggie6138




            Students will be arranged in groups of 3-4.  Students will complete the first three worksheets below based on George Washington’s problem – the power of the British army and the need for information about the enemy!

After completing the first three worksheets student groups will choose three spies from the list below.  Using the resources listed below (and others you might find on your own) student groups will find out information on the three spies they have chosen.  They will fill out the attached graphic organizer to outline the work each spy did.  Each student will then choose one spy to write his/her paragraph on. 


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Ethan Allen

Edward Bancroft

John Champe (soldier)

Lydia Darrah

Benjamin Edes

Margaret Kemble Gage

Clément Gosselin

Nathan Hale

Thomas Knowlton

John Laurens

Sybil Ludington

Saul Matthews

John Brown of Pittsfield

Paul Revere

  • James Rivington

 Abraham Woodhull


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·        http://www2.si.umich.edu/spies/people.html

·        http://www.pbs.org/benfranklin/l3_world_spies.html

·        https://www.cia.gov/kids-page/6-12th-grade/operation-history/revolutionary-war.html

·        http://www.kidinfo.com/american_history/american_revolution.html

·        http://www.revolutionary-war.net/revolutionary-war-spies.html

·        http://www.historycentral.com/revolt/


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Teacher Name: Mr. BANKERT

Student Name:     ________________________________________







Graphic Organizer

Graphic organizer or outline has been completed and shows clear, logical relationships between all topics and subtopics.

Graphic organizer or outline has been completed and shows clear, logical relationships between most topics and subtopics.

Graphic organizer or outline has been started and includes some topics and subtopics.

Graphic organizer or outline has not been attempted.


Information is very organized with well-constructed paragraphs and subheadings.

Information is organized with well-constructed paragraphs.

Information is organized, but paragraphs are not well-constructed.

The information appears to be disorganized. 8)

Amount of Information

All topics are addressed and all questions answered with at least 2 sentences about each.

All topics are addressed and most questions answered with at least 2 sentences about each.

All topics are addressed, and most questions answered with 1 sentence about each.

One or more topics were not addressed.

Quality of Information

Information clearly relates to the main topic. It includes several supporting details and/or examples.

Information clearly relates to the main topic. It provides 1-2 supporting details and/or examples.

Information clearly relates to the main topic. No details and/or examples are given.

Information has little or nothing to do with the main topic.

Paragraph Construction

The paragraph includes am introductory sentence, explanations or details, and concluding sentence.

The paragraph includes an introductory sentence, explanations or details, and concluding sentence.

Paragraph includes related information but was not constructed well.

Paragraph structure was not clear and sentences were not typically related within the paragraph.



Description: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Sybil_Ludington_stamp.jpg




Students will understand that spies played an important role in the American Revolution on both sides.  History often ignores the contributions of the “ordinary” citizen who performs extraordinary deeds.





Standard 1, Key Idea 1

Key Idea 1: The study of New York State and United States history requires an analysis of the development of American culture, its diversity and multicultural context, and the ways people are unified by many values, practices, and traditions.

Performance Indicators--Students will:

* investigate key turning points in New York State and United States history and explain why these events or developments are significant


* gather and organize information about the important achievements and contributions of individuals and groups living in New York State and the United States

  • understand how different experiences, beliefs, values, traditions, and motives cause individuals and groups to interpret historic events and issues from different perspectives
  • compare and contrast different interpretations of key events and issues in New York State and United States history and explain reasons for these different accounts
  • describe historic events through the eyes and experiences of those who were there. (Taken from National Standards for History for Grades K-4)




1. Listening and reading to acquire information and

understanding involves collecting data, facts, and

ideas; discovering relationships, concepts, and

generalizations; and using knowledge from oral,

written, and electronic sources.


• interpret and analyze information from textbooks and

nonfiction books for young adults, as well as reference

materials, audio and media presentations, oral

interviews, graphs, charts, diagrams, and electronic data

bases intended for a general audience

• compare and synthesize information from different


• use a wide variety of strategies for selecting, organizing,

and categorizing information

• distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information

and between fact and opinion

• relate new information to prior knowledge and


• understand and use the text features that make

information accessible and usable, such as format, sequence, level of diction, and relevance of details.


2. Speaking and writing to acquire and transmit

information requires asking probing and clarifying

questions, interpreting information in one’s own

words, applying information from one context to

another, and presenting the information and

interpretation clearly, concisely, and comprehensibly.



• produce oral and written reports on topics related to all

school subjects

• establish an authoritative stance on the subject and provide

references to establish the validity and verifiability

of the information presented

• organize information according to an identifiable structure,

such as compare/contrast or general to specific

• develop information with appropriate supporting material,

such as facts, details, illustrative examples or anecdotes,

and exclude extraneous material

• use the process of pre-writing, drafting, revising, and

proofreading ( the “writing process”) to produce well constructed

informational texts

• use standard English for formal presentation of information,

selecting appropriate grammatical constructions

and vocabulary, using a variety of sentence structures,

and observing the rules of punctuation, capitalization,

and spelling.