What would make good discussion questions regarding the book Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer?A question that would result in different opinions.
Some good discussiion questions relevant to Paul Revere's Ride might include the following:
- How does Paul Revere's Ride represent an alternative to the kind of approach to history that has been typical in recent decades?
- Which noted American poet dealt most famously with Revere's ride?
- Which state holidays celebrate Revere's ride?
- What is a famous phrase associated with Revere's ride?
- How does Fischer's book differ from various recent approaches to Revere?
- According to Fischer, who was Revere's great antagonist?
- What was Revere's life like before his famous ride?
- How was Revere remembered by many of his contemporaries?
- How did Thomas Gage's personality differ from Revere's?
- What kind of behavior, by both the British and the Americans, suggests that they were conscious of themselves as historical figure?
- What did Revere's ride suggest or reveal about social collaboration?
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I think that it would be interesting to learn more about the common person of Paul Revere apart from the man who made his famous ride—the craftsman. Did his occupation add anything to his strength as a member of the "colonial opposition?"
Revere was known as a leader and organizer, which made him extremely effective in pulling together so many diverse personalities in the groups organized to fight against England's oppression. In light of this, I would discuss why this skill was equally important to the ride that he made. I would wonder, too, if it was not more important in that the ride would not have been successful if the people had not been adequately prepared. Or would it?
I would also ask how the ride has become so powerful in a sense of colonial folklore—what are the elements of this event in Revere's life that make it so memorable? Was it the man himself or Longfellow's poem?
There are a multitude of questions that the novel Paul Revere's Ride could raise in the mind of readers.
1. What impact did the culture of society have on the decisions made by Paul Revere and General Gage?
2. What did the different perspectives shown by Revere and Gage have on defining their characters?
3. What can you learn about the values of both Revere and Gage based upon their actions and decisions?
4. The first paragraph of the text offers the popular view of how many regard Revere. Based upon your knowledge of Revere, does this description match your personal image of Revere?
5. When looking at the image of Revere, as painted by Copley, what can you tell about Paul Revere?
6. Is Revere's "Yankee speech" misleading? Why or why not?
Interesting questions to consider might include the following issues:
1) What was Paul Revere's contribution to/involvement in the Revolution?
2) What examples of heroism and bravery stood out to you in the story and why?
3) What did you learn about standing up for issues you believe in?
4) What moment in the story impacted you most?
You want to consider Bloom's Taxonomy when writing a good open-ended question. Basically, you can never go wrong by asking people to place themselves in another's shoes, or make a judgement. Here are some tips on writing higher-order thinking questions.
Any time an author writes about an actual event, there will be a point of view. In other words, he will write in ways that reveal his own thoughts about the characters and events of the story. From your reading, then, what is this author's point of view (attitude) regarding Paul Revere as well as the British? Prove it.