Midnight Ride of Paul Revere—Fact, Fiction, and Artistic License
Overview of the activities
Read the directions and make use of the resources this LaunchPad is linked to to gain a better understanding and appreciation of Wood's painting.
In order to complete the assignments, you will also need the following resources:
- A large version of the image of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
- A PDF version of the Longfellow poem about Revere's ride
1. Look and think about it
Look at the Grant Wood painting, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere for a few minutes. Then answer the questions that follow.
- What words came to mind when you first see it?
- What does it remind you of?
To continue this activity, use the following PDF worksheet.
2. Read primary source accounts
Read primary source accounts from the April 1775 evening. You and your classmates should be in small groups to read an eyewitness account. Each student group will become "expert" in one eyewitness's testimony. Once all students have read one witness's account, you should "jigsaw" to hear other accounts. These jigsaw groups include an "expert" for each primary account.
- National Park Service "Links to the Past" Minuteman resources for first account witnesses
- PDF worksheet for the primary source accounts activity
- Paul Revere's personal account of his ride, excerpted from the Library of Congress
- The historical witnesses handouts (PDF files) from the NPS Minuteman resources:
- Hannah Davis Leighton handout (colonist)
- Alice Stearns Abbott handout (colonist)
- Ensign Jeremy Lister (British)
- General Thomas Gage (British)
- Reverend Emerson (colonist)
- How do these accounts differ from each other?
- How are the accounts similar?
3. Write a synthesis
Synthesize what you have learned by creating first person accounts of the night in April 1775. You should complete all three journals on Worksheet 3 so that you have a rounded picture of the three perspectives presented.
Complete the "Historical Facts/Fiction" worksheet