Linda Crotta Brennan - Author of Books for Young Reader

The Black Regiment of the American Revolution
by Linda Crotta Brennan, illustrated by Cheryl Kirk Noll

In 1778 Rhode Island offered slaves freedom in exchange for fighting in the Continental Army. The "Black Regiment" became one of the finest military units fighting for independence in the Revolutionary War.

Classroom Activities:

    READ the description of the men who were part of the Black Regiment on page 5. What was the same about them? What was different?

    DISCUSS the reasons why the French didn't help the Americans during the Battle of Rhode Island. Do you think they could have helped? What might have happened if the French had fought in the Battle of Rhode Island?

    IDENTIFY why it was important for the Black Regiment to hold their line against the Hessians in the Battle of Rhode Island. What might have happened if the Hessians had beaten them?

    THINK ABOUT the weapons people used during the Revolutionary War. WRITE about how the weapons affected the way they fought battles.

    SEARCH for all the names of the men in the Black Regiment mentioned in the book. Pick one of those men. DRAW a picture of what he might have looked like. WRITE about him, using the facts in the book and your imagination.

    Imagine that you were a member of the Black Regiment. WRITE about something that happened to you during the Revolutionary War.

    RESEARCH other Black heroes from the Revolutionary War. FIND OUT what those men did for their country.

    LIST the places where the Black Regiment was stationed during the Revolutionary War. (Tiverton, RI; Newport, RI; Croton-on-the-Hudson, NY; Yorktown, VA; Saratoga, NY.) FIND all those places on a map of the first 13 states.

    LIST some of the problems the men of the Black Regiment faced after the war was over. What are some of the problems minorities face now? How are they the same? How are they different?

    Do you THINK the men of the Black Regiment changed the way people thought about slavery? How and why?

    Why do you THINK Rhode Island decided to abolish slavery gradually? Do you think that was the right way to do it? Why or why not?

Brainstorm A Story

  1. Start with a Character: What is he/she like? What does she/he care about?
  2. Give that character a problem
  3. Who is in the story with the character?
  4. Where and when is the story?

Five-part story structure:

  1. Introduce characters, setting, and problem
  2. Give character an obstacle to solving the problem
  3. And another obstacle
  4. And another obstacle
  5. Resolve the conflict

Use dialogue, action, and 5 senses description to tell your story.

Critique Guide: Questions To Ask


    Who is the main character?

    What are the characters like?

    Does your story have enough conflict?

    I want to know more about (a character, a place, what happened).

    Do you need this character or scene?

    The (beginning, middle, or end) needs to be (longer or shorter).

    I was confused when...

    Did you show with dialogue, action, and description?

    I'd like to hear the characters talk to each other.

    There should be more action when...

    Could you include more description of...(five senses)


    Does the first paragraph introduce the main topic.

    I'd like to know more about...

    Could you change the order of...

    Could you tell me what really excites you about your topic?

    Could you use more sensory description and action?

    Is this really true?

    At the end, could you tell me what I should have learned, or where I can go to learn more?



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© Copyright 2008-2023 Linda Crotta Brennan. All rights reserved.

Linda Crotta Brennan, award-winning writer of books for young readers, is the author of Marshmallow Kisses, Flannel Kisses, The Black Regiment
of the American Revolution, North Carolina: Rookie Read About Geography, Simple Economics Series, and a contributor to Women of the Golden State.
Ms. Brennan is available for writing workshops, school visits, book signings and book readings.