Paul Revere...Midnight Rider

Virtual Museum

by Kimberly Hamilton

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A Schools of California Online Resource for Education Resource (SCORE)

This Virtual Museum teacher's guide for Grade 5 was developed as part of the Schools of California Online Resources for Educators (SCORE) Project, funded by the California Technology Assistance Program (CTAP).

Disclaimer: The links here have been scrutinized for their grade and age appropriateness; however, contents of links on the World Wide Web change continuously. It is advisable that teachers review all links before introducing this Virtual Museum to students.


This Virtual Museum Teachers' Guide is designed to help you acquaint your students with Paul Revere... both the heroic literary figure in Longfellow's poem, and the historical Paul Revere. Students will begin with a reading of Longfellow's "Paul Revere's Ride." They will then then delve into historical accounts of the real man and his famous ride. As they move through the Exhibit Halls and use interactive maps, students will explore Colonial Boston and take a Virtual Midnight Ride, following Revere's route from Boston to Concord. In each Exhibit Hall they will explore a variety of images that will strengthen their background knowledge of Revere and the events leading to the Revolutionary War.

As students gather information about Paul Revere and the Midnight Ride, they work toward the California Content Standards, indicated below.

Language Arts Content Standards

During this unit students will:

  • Read aloud narrative and expository text fluently and accurately and with appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression. [Reading Standard 1.1]
  • Understand how text features (e.g., format, graphics, sequence, diagrams, illustrations, charts, maps) make information accessible and usable. [Reading Standard 2.1]
  • Analyze text that is organized in sequential or chronological order. [Reading Standard 2.2]
  • Distinguish among facts, supported inferences, and opinions in text. [Reading Standard 2.5]
  • Students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of literature. They
    begin to find ways to clarify the ideas and make connections between literary works. [Reading Standard 3.0]
  • Identify and analyze the characteristics of poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction and explain the appropriateness of the literary forms chosen by the author for a specific purpose. [Reading Standard 3.1]
  • Create a multiple-paragraph expository composition. [Writing Standard 1.1]

Midnight Rider Virtual Museum



Entrance Hall


Midnight Rider Virtual Museum

Students will begin their exploration in the Entrance Foyer where they will be introduced to the Virtual Museum. From here they can visit five different Exhibit Halls, each with information and images related to Paul Revere and his Midnight Ride. In the various Exhibit Halls students will read "Paul Revere's Ride", meet the historical Paul Revere, and examine a factual time line of the Midnight Ride. They will explore Colonial Boston and the Revere House, and then take a Virtual Ride along Revere's route from Boston to Lexington. They will be introduced to the music of Revolutionary times.

The Exhibit Halls have been designed to be completed in order, beginning with Hall 1 and a reading of Paul Revere's Ride. This allows students to build their knowledge of Revere, Colonial Boston, and the prelude to the Revolution in a logical and sequential manner.

Paul Revere's Ride

Exhibit Hall 1

Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This activity is the backbone of the Virtual Museum. Here students will read an on-line annotated version of Paul Revere's Ride. Vocabulary words are linked to a glossary which appears in a frame at the bottom of each page. The student clicks on highlighted words in order to activate it.

After reading the poem, small groups (2-4) will prepare a section to read aloud. A rubric for evaluating their oral presentation is included. As a whole-class activity they will use a graphic organizer to analyze the sequence of events in the poem.

A copy of Paul Revere's Ride for printing out is available here.

As a final activity in Hall 1, complete the Sequence of Events Chart as a class activity. This chart will be used in the Compare/Contrast Activity in Hall 2.

The Historical Paul Revere
The Real Midnight Ride

 Exhibit Hall 2

The Historical Paul Revere

The Real Midnight Ride

Here students will be introduced to the historical Paul Revere with a short, illustrated biography and a link to the Revere House Website.

The second exhibit, The Real Midnight Ride, is a time line of the factual account of his ride (as agreed upon by Revere and most historians).

Students will complete a graphic organizer to compare and contrast the fictional and historical events of the Midnight Ride. The organizer is partly completed for the students.


Colonial Boston
The Revere House

 Exhibit Hall 3

Colonial Boston - The Revere House

Using an interactive (clickable) map, students will explore Colonial Boston, the starting point of Paul Revere's Ride. By clicking a location they will be able to view images and read information about Revere's House, Christ Church (Old North), and other related sites.

They can then visit Paul Revere's House on-line.

They may then build a paper model of the Revere House.

Ride With Paul Revere
 Exhibit Hall 4
Ride With Paul Revere

Using an interactive map of Revere's Midnight Ride, students cross Boston Harbor to Charlestown and travel along the Mystic River to Medford. They and "look into the future" and view images of the next day's battle at Lexington Green.

Assuming the role of Paul Revere, they will complete a multi-paragraph journal entry that includes the chronology, supporting details, and personal reactions to the night's events. A 4-point rubric for evaluation is included.

Students will complete a guided drawing lesson of the Somerset, the British Man-of-War mentioned in Paul Revere's Ride. This may be included as a graphic addition to their journal entry.


Music of the Revolution

Exhibit Hall 5
Music of the Revolution

Here students will be introduced to some of the popular music from Revolutionary days. Students will read both British and American lyrics, and if your browser can play MIDI files, will be able to listen to the melodies. If you cannot access the sounds, this is still a valuable activity. The two songs referred to in the Songwriting Activity are Yankee Doodle and God Save the King/America, which have tunes that are familiar to most students and teachers.

 NOTE: QuickTime is available as a free download for both Macintosh and Windows 95/98 platforms. It will enable later version browsers to play a wide variety of sound files including .WAV and MIDI.

Using an online rhyming dictionary, they will write their own lyrics to God Save the King/America or Yankee Doodle.

Resources & Credits
Resources & Credits