Free History Studies: Israel Putnam

Israel Putnam was a brave soldier who served in the French and Indian War and was a general in the American Revolution.

Read the current chapter online: “Putnam and the Wolf”

  • Map the following (you’ll find mapping resources below):
    • Connecticut
  • Narrate the story of Putnam and the wolf.
  • Israel Putnam, like John Stark, served in the French and Indian War.  You’ll find introductory resources to the French and Indian War in the last lesson.
  • Learn more about wolves.
  • Why do you think the farmers wished to catch the wolf in their traps?
  • Learn the difference between dog tracks and wolf tracks.
  • Learn more about sheep, the wolf’s prey.
  • More about Israel Putnam during the battle of Lexington and Concord from the Book of Knowledge:

    Many men of the region had joined the militia, a volunteer band.  They promised to be ready for service at a minute’s notice, and so came to be called minutemen.  When the red-coated British troops reached Lexington, they found a little band of minutemen drawn up on the village green.  The British commander, Major Pitcairn, ordered them to go away, but they did not move until they were fired upon.  Eight were killed and nine wounded….

    The news of Lexington had spread like wildfire though the countryside, and the farmers with their muskets came swarming from every direction like angry bees.  Sharp fighting took place, and the British were forced to retreat….

    The news of the victory quickly spread to the farthest frontier settlements.  Riders on swift horses told the story; boats carried it by sea to the harbors along the coast.  From all New England, men hurried to Boston.  Benedict Arnold and Israel Putnam led volunteers from Connecticut, and John Stark came down from New Hampshire.  Putnam is said to have left his oxen hitched to the plow.  Soon sixteen thousand men were besieging Boston….

    When the news reached North Carolina, late in May, the people of Mecklenburg County assembled at Charlotte and declared themselves independent of Great Britain.

    “The Revolution,” The Book of Knowledge

Further Investigation

The Wolf Den
Retelling from an old book illustrated with modern-day photos.

Israel Putnam
Short biographical summary at

Israel Putnam
Great bio from Mount Vernon.

The Battle of Bunker Hill
Narrative of Putnam distinguishing himself in battle from an old book illustrated with modern-day photos.


Connecticut Map/Quiz Printout

Interactive Map Maker {Free}
Make your own maps.


“Israel Putnam”
Chapter from American History Stories Vol. II by Mara L. Pratt recounting his early education, along with the anecdote of the wolf.

“Roger’s Rangers”
Chapter from Indian History For Young Folks by Francis S. Drake.  Like Stark, Putnam was a member of Roger’s Rangers.  This chapter details his adventures with the Indians.

Sam the Minuteman

Sam the Minuteman by Nathaniel Benchley
An I Can Read book that, despite its simple text, provides an exciting introduction to the American Revolution.

The Story of Putnam the Brave by Richard Henry Stoddard
Color-illustrated poem recounting the bravery of Israel Putnam.

“The First Thrust — The Battle of Bunker Hill”
Chapter from This Country of Ours by H.E. Marshall.  Putnam is also featured in Chapter LVI: The Darkest Hour — Trenton and Princeton.

Life of Israel Putnam by Increase N. Tarbox
Definitive work in the public domain…and approachable for older students.

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

Lexington and Concord: A Legacy of Conflict
A minute man lesson plan at the National Park Service.

The Revolutionary War {Free Unit Study}
Unit study that includes the book Sam the Minuteman mentioned above.  We’ve also included a few notebooking options and foldables.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

United States Map map for locating Connecticut.

Connecticut State Map map for notebook.

Animal Notebook Page
Simple page at for recording interesting information about wolves.

Israel Putnam Notebooking Pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

Enjoy the complete series:
Free History Studies: Stories of Great Americans
Free History Studies: Stories of Great Americans

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