My Brother Sam is Dead Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'My Brother Sam is Dead' by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier is a novel about a family divided during the Revolutionary War. This lesson will guide classroom discussions about this novel.

My Brother Sam is Dead

My Brother Sam is Dead by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier explores relationships between family members that disagree politically during a divisive period in American history. Students will make connections to characters with divided loyalties. Additionally, students will experience the Revolutionary War from a different perspective. These questions will lead to class discussions about this story.

Chapters 1-5

The questions in this section will support comprehension of the first part of the story.

  • Describe the disagreement between Sam and Father.
  • Why does Sam call the British 'Lobsterbacks'?
  • Why do you think it is significant who fired the first shot?
  • How do the dinner guests feel about fighting the British? Why?
  • What secret does Tim keep for Sam? Why?
  • Why does Sam leave home? What advice would you give to Sam and his father?
  • Describe the setting of the story.
  • Where does Sam go when he leaves home?
  • How does Timmy feel about the battle between the Rebels and the Patriots? How do you know?
  • Who is Betsy? How does she support the war effort?
  • Why do the Rebel soldiers go to the tavern?
  • How does Tim respond when he sees them?
  • Why does Sam return to the tavern?
  • Describe Tim and Sam's relationship.
  • Why does Tim want to help Mr. Heron? What are the challenges he faces?

Chapters 6-11

The following questions will help students understand chapters 6-11 of My Brother Sam is Dead.

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