Benedict Arnold’s Treason55 min
- How did Benedict Arnold fail to show integrity through his actions?
- What impact did Benedict Arnold’s lack of integrity have on the Revolutionary War?
- Students will understand what integrity means.
- Students will explain the impacts that a lack of integrity have on a self-governing society.
Martin, James Kirby. Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero. New York: New York University Press, 2000.
Martin, James Kirby. “Benedict Arnold’s Treason as Political Protest.” Parameters, 11:63-74.
Wallace, Willard M. “Benedict Arnold: Traitorous Patriot,” in George Athan Billias, ed., George Washington’s Generals. New York: William Morrow & Co., 1964. 163-92.
Depending on class size and the number of additional cards you made, split students up into either small groups or as individuals. Distribute the “Infamous Examples” name-cards that you put together prior to class. Students should engage with each other in “dinner party” style to learn about each other and take notes while doing so. Afterward, guide a student discussion about any commonalities they noticed among the characters. Additionally, ask if they think any figures are outliers.
Have students read the “Integrity: Benedict Arnold’s Treason Essay” either individually or in small groups. Once they are finished, distribute the “Discussion Guide: Benedict Arnold’s Treason.” If students read individually, have them pair up to discuss the questions together or in their small groups. Debrief afterwards with a classroom discussion.
Return to the character cards from the warmup and have students write a quick response explaining similarities and differences between their character and Benedict Arnold. Debrief afterwards with a class discussion as time allows.
Have students complete the “Integrity Worksheet” that night for homework. Students should also follow the instructions on the “Virtue in Action” worksheet and keep a journal for a week.
Have students research a historic figure or someone from current events who is a model for the virtue of integrity. Students can create a PowerPoint, video, or essay explaining who the figure is, how they acted with integrity, and compare and contrast him/her with Benedict Arnold.
Hero to Traitor: Benedict Arnold & Vice
They always say “learn from the past,” but looking at the vastness of history, this is a daunting task. This week, Gary is joined by guest Kirk, Director of Content, to look at the decisions of Benedict Arnold, a prominent American Revolutionary military hero who defected to the British side in 1780. How can looking at Arnold’s own virtues and vices teach us how we can make good decisions?
The Global Impact of the American Revolution DBQ
This Lesson can be used at the beginning of Chapter 4 to reinforce and review the key events of the American Revolution covered in Chapter 3. This activity will also introduce students to the effects the Revolution had on the world stage in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.