Soldier's Day Lesson Plan Three - What Would You Do If?

Educational Goal

To introduce the students to the concept of scarcity within the Continental Army.

Behavioral Objectives

Students will:

  • Solve a scarcity based problem as a small group.
  • Discuss how problems such as these would affect individual soldiers and the Army as a whole.


Lesson 1 “Enlistment Day” and Lesson 2 “What Does a Soldier Do?”


Mess- a group of 6-8 soldiers grouped together for distributing/cooking food, as well as for sharing available tents.


30-45 min.


Completed "Pack Your Pack" Activity sheets, “What a Mess!” Activity, pencils, and paper


What would you do if:

  1. The electricity in your house went off and you needed to finish your homework?
  2. You were baking and only had a ¼ cup measuring cup, but you needed 1cup of flour?
  3. You were grounded from all electronics for 2 days and had free time?


  1. Introduce the term “mess”.
  2. Divide class into groups of 6-8 students to represent mess groups, and have them move to separate areas of the room.
  3. Pass out “What a Mess!” sheets to each group, and have the groups choose a reader, recorder, etc. for the activity.
  4. Groups will have 15 minutes to prepare a solution to their problem.*

* There is no right answer to the problem. This is a situation that many Continental soldiers found themselves in, which resulted in many different solutions.


  1. Mess groups share their solutions to the activity.
  2. Discuss with group any frustration they might have had with the activity and situation. Also discuss any consequences that could come of the choices that each group made.
  3. Discussion questions:
    • Think back to the things that the Army promised you before you enlisted. What were they?
    • During this activity, did you get everything you were promised?
    • How did this make you feel?
    • After this experience, how will you adjust to being a soldier from now on? Why?

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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