Lesson Plan

Siege Tower: What would you do?

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Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
60 Minutes
State Standards:
South Carolina 3rd Grade
Standard 3-3

South Carolina 4th Grade
Standard 4-3

Note: While these standards do not specifically list Ninety Six, this activity will lead to further understanding of this standard.


At the end of this activity, the student will be able to:
- summarize the course of the American Revolution in South Carolina.
- Compare the perspectives of South Carolinians during the American Revolution.
- demonstrate an understanding of conflict between the American colonies and England.


On site: Laminated maps and vis-à-vis markers for each student. (This will be placed in the siege tower.) Off site: Notebooks, 2oz of clay per student, toothpicks and paper plates

Download On-site and Off-site Materia


Teacher will discuss the siege with the students. Teacher will then pass out the laminated maps and vis-à-vis pens to each student. Teacher will pose a question and students will write their answer. Next students will pair up and discuss their answers. Take volunteers to share out. 

Teacher: From this spot we can see the parallels and trenches really well. I want you to remember how the patriots attacked the fort. Now I want you to think like a strategist. That is someone who plans the attack strategy or how they will attack the fort. First I want you to think about how Greene attacked. Why do you think his plan failed? What would you do different? I am going to hold up the questions so that everyone can see. (Teacher holds laminated copy of questions.) On the back of your map, I want you to write your answer to these questions. I am going to give you 2 minutes. (Give students time to respond.) Now I want you to pair up and discuss each other’s answers. I am going to give you 3 minutes. (Give students time to talk.) Who would like to share out their answers? (Let students volunteer and discuss the possibilities.)  


Siege: a military operation in which troops surround a place and cut off all outside access to force surrender.

Parallel: a battle strategy where trenches are dug that run parallel to the fort in order to sneak up and attack.

Trench: a ditch roughly 3 feet deep

Strategy: a plan of attack

Assessment Materials

Post-site activity

Students will be given clay, toothpicks and a paper plate to work on. The students challenge is to design a fort.

Students will be given clay, toothpicks and a paper plate to work on. The students challenge is to design a fort. First students should draw a diagram in their notebooks. When their design is complete, students can get the materials and build their fort. Afterwards, have students reflect on their forts and their design explaining the reason why they designed they fort like they did. (This is a good place to discuss the engineering design process and how Col. Cruger might have used this process to build the star fort redoubt.) Allow students volunteer to share about their forts construction and the reason why they built it.

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