Songs like "Yankee Doodle" were made popular by boys who signed up for the colonial army to play the drums or the fife, a wind instrument that looks like a flute.
Army leaders depended on the young fifers and drummers to give commands to the troops during a battle. Each drumbeat or tune had a different meaning. The drum's loud rattle could be heard over the roar of muskets and cannons. The fife's shrill notes could carry a long distance.
After a battle, the fifers and drummers helped to gather the scattered company together. On the way back to camp, they kept up the soldiers' spirits with lively marching tunes in camp, they signaled when it was time to eat or to take a break.
The musicians often wore a different uniform from the soldiers so that officers could locate them quickly. But the different uniforms enabled the enemy to locate them also. Because of their important role, the boys were key targets, and many did not survive to see the outcome of the war.
<<from the painting by AMM15W Willard
A story is a narrative made up by the author. Use this student's writing as a model when you write a story of your own.
The Boston Tea Party
My father, James Codder, was going to throw tea off the boat. "Dad, please don't go to Boston Harbor. You might get arrested," I begged him.
A good story has a clear plot with a problem.
He simply said, "No, Drew, the taxes are way too high. I have to stand up for what I think is right. You'll understand when you're older."
"I don't think I will," I told him. He didn't listen to me. "One more day," I said to myself while I was getting into my bed.
It's important to introduce the characters and the setting right away.
The day came when my dad was going to Boston Harbor. "Drew," he said, "You're coming. We need a lookout." I didn't even want to argue because I'd have to go anyway. I kept saying to myself, "I'm too young to go to jail. I'm too young to go to jail." I was living in fear practically the whole day!
Dialogue makes the story real for the reader.
When we were eating dinner, my father and I were dressed in black, and my father said with pride, "Tonight's the night!" I got my coat and my scarf, and went outside shaking with fear.
"It's going to be about an hour's walk," he told me. I almost fainted. I hated the thought of my dad going to Boston Harbor in the first place, and now I had to walk three miles with him to get there. It just wasn't fair. I didn't want to argue, or I'd be grounded forever. We talked about what we would do when we got to Boston Harbor. We were going to meet the other people at a boat called the Beaver, which was filled with tea from England. I was exhausted, but my father was marching with pride.
Details create mental pictures for the reader.
After about ten minutes, I asked, "Are we there yet?" When I heard that it would be about ten more minutes, I felt relieved; at that point, I couldn't even feel my legs. We got there in time so I didn't collapse. We got to the boat, and everyone else was already there.
Student Writing Model Continued
"This is my son Drew," my father said as he introduced me to his friends.
They looked at the boat and stared at it for a long time.
Then someone said, "Let's do it! Let's throw this tea into the harbor!"
A good story often has suspense.
When everyone was getting into the boat, my father said, "You'll have to stay here." I nodded my head, and then I sat on a bench. It was freezing near the harbor. The men put on Native American clothing. I thought it was odd, but then my dad explained to me that they didn't want to get caught. I couldn't help thinking that this wasn't really fair. I hoped no one would get caught or be blamed.
I sat on the bench, terrified. After about ten minutes, I called up to my father, "Can we go? I'm cold and scared!" My father didn't hear me, so I just closed my eyes. I wondered if we were going to get caught. I tried to forget about it. I looked at my father. He looked back at me and smiled. I looked at the boxes, and there were only ten boxes left! I was so relieved!
I went up to the boat and askec my dad, "Can I throw the last box off the boat?" He nodded his head.
I climbed aboard and took the box from my dad's hands, and threw it as hard as I could. It made a big splash. I felt very important.
Everyone got out of their disguises and got off the boat. We were about to walk home, but one of my dad's friends said, "Need a ride?" My dad delightedly nodded his head. We got into the carriage and rode into the night.