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The Winter at Valley Forge: Survival and Victory (Adventures in Colonial…

by James E. Knight

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A soldier chronicles the harsh winter colonial soldiers, led by General George Washington, spend at Valley Forge during the American Revolution.

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Summary: This is a story of the hardships and survival at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777 as told by Corporal Toby Grimes. The story details the lack of food, the harsh conditions and the indomitable spirit of the men fighting in a war against the British Army. These men believed in their cause to the point of facing starvation, while some gave up and surrendered to the enemy many stood their ground to defend their rights to freedom from the British Crown. The men faced many difficult times during that winter braving the snow with only the canvas from their old tents wrapped around their feet for shoes. There was sickness and death to deal with as well, but the fighting spirit of these courageous men was victorious in the end.

Personal Reaction: I love historical stories told from the perspective of someone that was there. There is no way we can truly know all that they encountered but seeing it through the eyes of one person helps us to get a glimpse into their lives. The details given help us understand all that these men went through to endure for our freedom. Sadly enough many do not understand or care to understand the sacrifices made by those who fought for our freedom then and those that continue to defend our nation today.

Classroom Extension:
1. This is a great addition to any class discussion on colonial life and our fight for freedom from British rule.
2. One way to have the children get a brief glimpse of what took place would be to have their lunch period delayed (planned with the cafeteria and the administration) having intercom messages delivered to the classroom that lunch would be delayed. And then just when they think it is time to go, another message delaying it longer. After several delays, the students will be so grateful to get to lunch and this is a great way to relate what the soldiers would have felt having waited for days on end for food to arrive.
3. Students could use pop cycle sticks to build log buildings simulating what the soldiers lived in complete with dirt floors.
4. Students could make “shoes” from canvas strips of cloths to see just how uncomfortable they would have been and how they would not keep your feet warm. ( )
  msmarymac | Feb 20, 2014 |
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A soldier chronicles the harsh winter colonial soldiers, led by General George Washington, spend at Valley Forge during the American Revolution.

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