Lesson Plan

The Battle of Cowpens: The Spacial Landscape

map of Cowpens National Battlefield

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Grade Level:
Third Grade-Fifth Grade
Mathematics, Revolutionary War, Social Studies
Group Size:
Up to 24
in the park
National/State Standards:
NC: Math: 3rd 1.01-1.05, 1.09-1.15; 4th 1.01-1.05, 1.07-1.12, 1.14-1.17, 3.01-3.03; 5th 1.01-1.05, 1.08, 1.15, 1.17-1.18. Soc Stud: 4th 6.1-6.
SC: Soc Stud: 3.9.2, 3.10.1, 4.6.3, 4.6.5, Math: 3rd II-D; 4th V-C, D, F: VI-B; 5th I-D, E; VI-C, D


GOAL: To gain skills in math and learn of the Battle of Cowpens by completing mathematical exercises.


  • The student will use mathematical skills of addition, conversion, sequence, etc., to determine spatial and numerical data related to the Battle of Cowpens.
  • The student will analyze spatial and numerical data to gain historical insight into the Battle of Cowpens.


Actions and troop movements across the Cowpens landscape have been studied, foremost, in the disciplines of history and geography. Yet, the Battle and the events before and after it lend themselves to spatial and numerical studies as well. Movement, velocity, trajectory, pace, troop numbers and other terms associated with the battle offer an excellent opportunity for the study of math. Opportunities for the study of math relate to the following:

  1. Troop movement – speed, distance covered by army units
  2. Numbers of troops
  3. Battle tactics and long-term strategy
  4. Battle statistics


Additional Resources

Babits, Lawrence E. A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

Babits, Lawrence E. Cowpens Battlefield: A Walking Guide. Johnson City, Tennessee: The Overmountain Press, 1993.

Bearss, Edwin C. Battle of Cowpens: A Documented Narrative and Troop Movement Maps. Johnson City, Tennessee: The Overmountain Press, 1996.

Fleming, Thomas J. Downright Fighting: The Story of Cowpens. (Official National Park Handbook). Washington, D.C.: Division of Publications, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1988.

Moncure, John (Lieutenant Colonel). The Cowpens Staff Ride and Battlefield Tour; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1996.

Last updated: April 14, 2015