The Torchman - A Ghost Sailor and The Burning of the White House in the War of 1812
The Torchman - A Ghost and The Burning of the White House in the War of 1812 When the governor of a small state and his wife get an invitation to spend time at the White House, and actually sleep there for a few days, they are very excited. Little do they know that they will be learning or re-living history as they witness the British ghost torchman who tries again and again to burn the room of the White House when they are in it!

The Torchman - A Ghost and The Burning of the White House in he War of 1812is one of the stories in the U.S.History based True Ghost Stories That Teach - Historically Based Stories with Content Area Connections by Lonnie Dai Zovi. These six pages (4 full pages of reading, 2 of exercises) contain a high interest short story written at a 4 - 5th grade reading level, but of interest to all students, 4th grade to GED or adult ESL or Citizenship students. (Intermediate level ESL, ELL reader) Besides enjoying the story (who doesn't love a good ghost story?), the students will learn, review, discuss, investigate, and write about:

1) The War of 1812
2) The burning of the White House
3) Minor White House trivia
4) Words beginning with "re"
5) Minor government official titles

Other skills enhanced are:

1) Vocabulary improvement
2) Reading comprehension skills
3) Paragraph writing

All the stories in this collection capitalize on the students' great interest in ghosts, and other weird phenomena. These stories take advantage of this interest by using the stories to:

Teach U.S. History
Practice reading
Improve comprehension
Expand vocabulary
Highlight or teach certain aspects of language
Make connections to other content areas
Stimulate discussions
Write interesting paragraphs or simple essays

To take full advantage of True Ghost Stories That Teach, the students should read the stories aloud, dramatizing and using voices and other sound effects (readers' theater). The stories have been designed for readers of all ages, as have the exercises. These exercise may be done together as a whole group, partners or individually.
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  • War_of_1812_Ghost_in_the_Whitehouse_in_the_torchman_by_lonnie_dai_zovi--done.pdf
  • TRue-GHost-Stories-That-Teach-SCope-and-Sequence.jpg
  • The-Torchman-REDPREVIEW-1-.jpg
  • The-Torchman-REDPREVIEW-2-.jpg
  • The-Torchman-REDPREVIEW-3-.jpg

About this resource


Created: Sep 5, 2015

Updated: Feb 22, 2018

Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan

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