Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Laura Secord

This is Bekah's delightful mini report on Laura Secord, a Canadian heroine during the War of 1812.

Laura Secord: Heroine of the War of 1812

Laura tripped again for probably the fifty-second time that night. Her skirt was torn, her feet hurt, her arms hung limp and her hair was a tangled disaster.  All around her wolves wailed and ravens rasped unwelcomingly.  Exhausted from running and stumbling through foul swamps and desolate forest all night, fearing every second for her life, she wanted to collapse on the ground. But no! She couldn’t. She must persevere! If she didn’t keep going the small community of Beaver Dams, along with James FitzGibbon’s “Green Tigers”, would fall to the Americans!

There were many Canadian heroes and heroines during The War of 1812, one of which was Laura Ingersoll Secord.  In 1775, when things started to get rough in America, Laura’s father moved his family of six children and her stepmother, Sally, to Canada. Laura then went on to marry a shop keeper, James Secord, in 1797 and together they raised a happy family. Times were not going to stay good, however - war was coming!  

The Americans declared war on Britain in June of 1812.  Three main factors contributed to this decision.  Firstly, Britain was at war with France and British soldiers were searching through American ships, looking for British deserters and cargo going to France.  Secondly, the Americans were trying to expand settlement to the north-west where the First Nations people lived.  The Americans believed the people in Upper Canada were encouraging the First Nations to fight the Americans.  Lastly, the Americans wanted to remind the world, Britain especially, that they were now a free country, no longer a British colony.

Laura Secord’s family left America when she was a child for a better life in Canada.  As a result, Laura now felt compelled to do whatever she could to help stop the Americans from taking over her beloved new country. Knowing the Canadians needed the information that the Americans were coming sooner than anticipated and determined not to give up, Laura finally arrived at a Native ally’s camp after her treacherous, seventeen hour trek. Here she convinced the First Nations leaders to take her to Lieutenant FitzGibbon.

Laura remembered how just the night before she and her husband had stood, ears pressed against the door that led  from the kitchen to the dining room, listening as the Americans planned a surprise attack on the Canadians. The American soldiers, led by the vile, British born traitor, Dr. Cyrenius Chapin, had recently taken over the Secord’s home and that evening, Dr. Chapin was outlining his plan to attack FitzGibbon and his “Green Tigers” at nearby Beaver Dams.  Already considered a hero by many Canadians, Lieutenant FitzGibbon’s skill and bravery had enabled his troops to win numerous battles in the War.  Outnumbered by the Americans, however, a surprise attack would devastate FitzGibbon and his men.  He had to be warned! James, Laura’s husband, couldn’t go because he was still suffering with a wound from an earlier battle. Laura, intent that the message get through to FitzGibbon before anything else could, insisted she would go on the 30 km trek. 

Thanks to Mrs. Secord’s bravery, FitzGibbon and his “Green Tigers” successfully defeated the Americans in the Battle of Beaver Dams.  This was only one of many battles during the War of 1812 - the war that united the peoples of Canada.

Bekah wrote this as part of her coursework for Bravewriter's online course "Mini Reports".  Here is her instructor's feedback on her final draft:
Fabulous work! You have been working hard and it shines through in this fine narrative. I really appreciate your willingness to adapt your format in the beginning of our class and then see the revision phase through to the very end. You made some important changes to your piece during that phase.
I especially like the following aspects you've incorporated in your report:
  • An attention-grabbing opening hook: not only does it take the reader into the "heart of the action," but it also contains adventure, intrigue and suspense. That's a sure-fire way to compel the reader to "keep reading." ;)
  • You do a fine job explaining this dramatic event. You're good at choosing vivid words to illustrate your meaning: arms hung limp, tangled disaster, wolves wailed, ravens rasped (alliteration too!), foul swamps.
  • Crisp clean formatting that complements the structure of your final piece: taking the time to finalize your word choices, to choose an illustration, and to find an appropriate title and neaten up grammar/punctuation helps your final piece shine.

1 comment:

  1. Bekah and Matt I second your Bravewriter teacher's comments. All poetry and writing shows excellent planning and creativity, and fantastic use of vocabulary to share your stories. Bekah I like how you use many different starters in your sentences. This shows you have read well and acquired an excellent assembly of vocabulary to make your writing lively. Blessings