Andre's Boot

Artillery Orders

Compelling Question: How does a person become a traitor?

Staging the Question: Read Aloud "Treason of the Blackest Dye..."

Discuss: What is treason? What was the attitude toward treason in the 18th Century? 

Standards and Practices:

New York State Social Studies Framework: 4.3d, 7.3d, 11.2b
Social Studies Practices:
Gathering, Interpreting and Using Evidence
Chronological Reasoning 

Treason in New York
Benedict Arnold Pass for John Andre

Supporting Question 1: What was Major John Andre doing near Tarrytown on September 23, 1780? 

Formative Performance Task:

Andre's Boot: Analyze the documents found in Andre's boot. Share the evidence with members of the group. Determine what Andre was doing near Tarrytown, NY on September 23, 1780. 

Featured Sources:

Artillery Orders and Estimate of Forces at West Point

Pass for John Anderson

Estimate of Men Necessary to Man the Works at West Point

Benedict Arnold Letter October 30, 1776

Supporting Question 2: How did Benedict Arnold feel about his experience in the Continental Army? 

Formative Performance Task:

Read and analyze the letter from Benedict Arnold to Colonel Varick. Read for tone and content. Generalize about Arnold's overall attitude toward his service in the Continental Army using evidence from the letter. 

Featured Sources:

Letter Benedict Arnold to Colonel Varick about Rewarding for Merit, October 30, 1776

Benedict Arnold Letter Offering West Point

Supporting Question 3: Based on the evidence, was Benedict Arnold guilty of Treason? 

Formative Performance Task:

Corroborate the evidence. Determine of Arnold was guilty of treason and list the evidence that supports your conclusion. 

Featured Sources: 

Letter from Arnold offering West Point

Notes from documents in Andre's Boot

Summative Performance Task

Argument: Write an argumentative essay describing Arnold's path to treason and determine whether or not he was justified in his decision to help the British. 

Extension: Consider what may have happened if Andre had not been caught in 1780. 

Taking Informed Action: 

Choose a current event topic. Find at least two sources supporting each side of the issue. Analyze each source for reliability and validity. Which side appears to have the strongest argument? Why?