American Portraits

“The Regulars are Coming Out:” Paul Revere and Diligence

In this lesson, students will learn about the actions of Paul Revere during his midnight ride in April of 1775. They will study how his diligence in working towards American independence helped to advance the cause and use this example to better understand how they can be diligent in their own lives.

Founding Principles

Individual Responsibility image

Individual Responsibility

Individuals must take care of themselves and their families and be vigilant to preserve their liberty.

Narrative

In the evening of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere received word through the Boston spy network that a group of British troops were making quiet preparations for an expedition to seize a cache of weapons in Concord and arrest two ringleaders of the resistance, John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Revere prepared to ride out and warn the countryside that the British were coming at no small risk to himself. The British had thousands of troops in Boston, warships in its harbor, and roving patrols to capture riders such as Revere. However, Revere had ridden through danger before; during the past few years had been a key messenger in spreading news in the American resistance….

Narrative PDF

Compelling Question

How can you act diligently in order to protect what is important to you?

Virtue Defined

Diligence is intrinsic energy for completing good work.

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, students will learn about the actions of Paul Revere during his midnight ride in April of 1775. They will study how his diligence in working towards American independence helped to advance the cause and use this example to better understand how they can be diligent in their own lives.

Objectives

  • Students will analyze Paul Revere’s role in the midnight ride.
  • Students will understand how to remain diligent in their own lives.
  • Students will apply their knowledge of diligence to their own lives.

Background

After a decade of American resistance against British taxes and tyranny, the Boston Tea Party in December 1773 finally prompted a harsh British response that sent the two peoples on a path to war. The following year, the British Parliament passed the Coercive Acts to severely punish Boston until restitution was made for the destroyed tea. These acts galvanized a united response to the British as the colonists sent representatives to the First and Second Continental Congress to decide on a common course of action. Meanwhile, the colonies kept each other updated on events through Committees of Correspondence that depended on riders to travel back and forth with the letters between leaders of the resistance. As the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord in April 1775, the cause of liberty in Boston became the cause of America.

Vocabulary

  • Tyranny
  • Restitution
  • Galvanized
  • Cache
  • Militia
  • Indefatigable
  • Propaganda
  • Denouncing
  • Eluding
  • Interrogate
  • Disparate

Introduce Text

Have students read the background and narrative, keeping the Compelling Question in mind as they read. Then have them answer the remaining questions below.

For more robust lesson treatment, check out our partners at the Character Formation Project

Visit Their Website

Questions

Walk-In-The-Shoes Questions
As you read, imagine you are the protagonist.

  • What challenges are you facing?
  • What fears or concerns might you have?
  • What may prevent you from acting in the way you ought?

Observation Questions

  • What was Paul Revere’s role in the midnight ride?
  • What was Paul Revere’s purpose for making the midnight ride?
  • What about your life could you compare to the diligence shown by Paul Revere?
  • What does Revere’s purpose in participating in the midnight ride tell you about his identity?

Discussion Questions
Discuss the following questions with your students.

  • What is the historical context of the narrative?
  • What historical circumstances presented a challenge to the protagonist?
  • How and why did the individual exhibit a moral and/or civic virtue in facing and overcoming the challenge?
  • How did the exercise of the virtue benefit civil society?
  • How might exercise of the virtue benefit the protagonist?
  • What might the exercise of the virtue cost the protagonist?
  • Would you react the same under similar circumstances? Why or why not?
  • How can you act similarly in your own life? What obstacles must you overcome in order to do so?

Additional Resources

Give Feedback

Send us your comments or questions using the form below.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Close