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Spies of the Revolutionary War (Creative Writing Unit and Lapbook) Review by Missica Pullen

Jan May
New Millennium Girl Books
690 Laurel Dr.
Aurora, IL, 60506 US

My son and I decided to revisit the Revolutionary era to close out his sixth-grade year. Creative writing is not his strong suit, and I often struggle to find a suitable product that interests him enough to cause him to want to write. When I ran across Spies of the Revolutionary War, Creative Writing Unit and Lapbook, I was quite hopeful that maybe this would do the trick.

We received a physical copy of Spies of the Revolution, Creative Writing Unit and Lapbook. At 80 pages, this book is full of fun and engaging lessons. Your child will learn how to develop a character, create a setting, and weave an interesting plot, all while building a lapbook that also teaches them the history of the Revolutionary period. I love products that double up to cover more than one subject, and Spies of the Revolution certainly does that by covering both language arts and history. At $16.95 for the print version, you certainly get a lot of bang for your buck!

The lessons are arranged in an easy to follow, logical manner. You begin with creating a character. This character sets the stage for the rest of the learning experience. What I found most interesting is how the author weaves in history and writing lessons while making it seem as if the student is playing a game. For example, in the first lesson students learn how to create a character. But at the same time, they also read about George Washington's Culper Spy Ring, Benedict Arnold, Paul Revere, and more. Then they are tasked with creating a spy character on their own. In lesson two, they learn about secret codes, then they are tasked with creating their own code for their character. By lesson six, they are including dialogue for their characters. Each lesson ends with "Writing Time" and an specific writing task for your child to complete. When your child finishes all of the lessons, you can award them with a certificate that is included at the end of the book.

The lapbook portion is located at the back of the book, after the writing and history lessons. At the end of the book, you'll find templates, instructions, and photos of projects to include in your lapbook. The lapbook includes literary elements such as "The Five Elements of a Plot," as well as history elements, including famous quotes. In addition to the projects of the lapbook, the lessons include other projects like Creating a Battle Drum.

We have really enjoyed using this book, and I will fully admit to learning from it, as well. For the first time, my son has filled the lined pages with his writing. He asks to do his lessons, and will go on and on for an hour or longer about details of his character, or what the setting is like. While I like the instructions for the teacher within the first lesson, I wish there was an included lesson plan. I would like to have a daily check off list that states: "Do this page on this day." But regardless of that, we have truly benefitted from our review of this book.

This book fits right in with our revisit to the American Revolutionary period, and I look forward to keeping this as a keepsake for him to look back on years from now. If you have a child, boy or girl, who enjoys learning about spies, or if you are working your way through the Revolutionary era, please check out this useful book. I feel it is important to note that my son has "unique" needs, and he still found this book enjoyable, easy to use, and has learned a great deal from it. The lessons are short, which is great for kids with attention or focus troubles. The text is interesting, and I found it easier to read than standard font. Specific questions are asked so that children who have a more difficult time with abstract vs. concrete concepts are gently led into more creative ways of thinking. I highly recommend Spies of the Revolution to others.

-Product review by Missica Pullen, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2017