Student Activities

A Siege Becomes A Battle

Overall Rating

Add your review
Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Social Studies



This activity uses multiple short excerpts that discuss the sequence of events leading to Greene's attack and eventual repulse at the Star Fort. Students will use chronological thinking to construct a deeper understanding of the siege and attack on Star Fort. 

The fort at Ninety Six was originally built to protect settlers from Indian attacks in the mid-18th century and later served as a strategic post during the southern campaign of the American Revolution. The town and fort were captured by the British during their 1780 campaign in South Carolina. The village became an important outpost for British control of the South Carolina interior and Georgia frontier during the southern campaigns. Patriot leaders saw the capture of the village and fort as necessary to liberate the South Carolina interior from British control. The fort underwent a nearly month-long siege in mid-1781 by Patriot forces under General Nathanael Greene.


1. Students will develop a fuller understanding of the events surrounding the siege and attack on Star Fort.

2. Students will build chronological thinking skills through sequencing events.

3. Students will use analysis of written information to reach historical conclusions.


Step 1: Review the definition of chronology and chronological sequence. Chronological sequence organizes information in the time sequence that the events occurred.

Step 2: Introduce and discuss the “Chain of Events” graphic organizer. This organizer reinforces the pattern of chronology. Students chart the events in the order in which they were presented in the passage, and then summarize each event and outcome as a reinforcement of understanding.

Step 3: Read the excerpts “Greene Begins the Siege” and discuss the passage. Then model how to record the events onto the graphic organizer. Drawing on the students’ discussion of the passage, ask the class to identify the main events and model how to summarize each in their own words.

Step 4: After modeling the strategy, distribute blank copies of the graphic organizer and have students work in pairs to take notes based on “The Siege Becomes a Battle”. Rotate among the pairs providing guidance where needed.

Step 5: After the students have completed the activity have students completely answer the following question using evidence from the activity:

• What sequence of events led to Greene’s unsuccessful attempt to storm Star Fort?


1. The type of student responses to the questions and tasks in the lesson and the questions that they pose to the teacher during the lesson.

2. The quality of discussion about the various excerpts used in the lesson.

3. The amount of interaction and quality responses in Steps 4 and 5 where students practice chronological thinking in pairs and have to synthesize what led to Greene’s unsuccessful assault on Star Fort.


Park Connections


The village of Ninety Six and the Star Fort were crucial to British control of the South Carolina interior. This activity addresses Greene’s decision to lay siege to the fort to retake the surrounding area. The centerpiece of the park is the Star Fort which provides an incredible opportunity to extend the lesson with a visit to the park.

Additional Resources


Download Activity Materials

Last updated: January 14, 2016