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Teacher's Guide for COBBLESTONE The Swamp Fox: Francis Marion and the American Revolutionary War

December 2001

Teacher Guide prepared by: Stephen Currie, a frequent contributor to COBBLESTONE .

  • Write an imaginary diary entry of a British soldier during the campaign of March 1781. Then write another entry for one of Marion's men which covers the same day.
  • Do you think guerrilla fighting is ever justified? If so, when and where? If not, why not? Was it justified as it was used by Marion and his men? Be prepared to explain and defend your answer.
  • Imagine that you are a South Carolina colonist in the days before the Revolution. Write a letter to a friend describing your life. Use the information given in the articles, and be sure to talk about the land, the people, and the weather.
  • Write a Recruiting poster to encourage soldiers to come and join Marion's men in the South Carolina swamps. Give reasons why joining up would be a good idea.
  • Write a skit about one of the events in Francis Marion's life. Act it out with the help of a few classmates.
  • Write a poem describing how Marion might have felt upon returning home after the war.
Questions for Discussion
  1. What were the biggest mistakes made by the British commanders in the Carolinas during the Revolutionary War? Explain your answer.
  2. What was the importance of militias in the South during the Revolution? How might history have been different had they not been used by the American commanders?
  3. What adjectives might best describe Francis Marion's personality? Which traits were most important in helping him defeat the British even though he had many fewer troops?
  4. Do you think Francis Marion deserved all the attention and praise he received after the war was over? Why or why not?
For Further Research
  • Find out more about one of the generals mentioned in the text. Give a brief oral report to classmates describing what you learned.
  • Learn more about another war in which guerrilla action figured prominently. You may use the article on guerrilla warfare for ideas, or you may do research on your own. How was the guerrilla activity in the war you studied similar to the activity in the Revolution? How was it different?
  • Use cardboard, wood scraps, or other small objects to build a replica of Fort Sullivan as it might have looked after Marion and his men completed its construction. Use the description of the fort in the text to help you.
  • Draw a rough map showing the routes taken by Marion and the British troops during March 1781. Use the information in the text to help you, and label the points at which the two sides came into conflict.
  • With a partner, compose a song telling about the life and deeds of the Swamp Fox. You can use an existing tune or make up your own.
  • Make a poster showing the wildlife that might have been growing in the South Carolina swamps during the Revolution. Don't forget to include plants as well as animals.
  • With a partner, write and perform a short interview in which a television news anchor asks Francis Marion questions about his life.
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