Red Badge of Courage, The - E-Guide

Progeny Press

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Grade Range: 9-12

English/Language Arts Credit: 1/4 Credit

Setting: 1863, American Civil War

Genre: American Literature

Page Count: 52 + Answer Key

Approximate Completion Time: 10-11 weeks

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Stephen Crane’s classic novel looks at the trauma and horror of war through a young man’s eyes. Henry Fleming joins the Union army as a green recruit dreaming of glory and heroic acts on bravery on the battlefield. He wants to earn his “badge of courage.” He imagines himself "a blue determined figure standing before a crimson and steel assault, getting calmly killed on a high place before the eyes of all." Camp life, he soon discovers, is far less exciting than the army of his imagination. During long periods of enforced idleness, Henry is plagued by adolescent doubts: Will he distinguish himself in battle? Will he run? He longs for the fighting to begin so that he might be tested, might "watch his legs" in the midst of battle to see whether they stand firm or flee. But the harsh reality of the Civil War, his terror during his baptism of fire, and the terrible death of his friend send him fleeing the battlefield.
Falling in with a convoy of wounded soldiers, Henry wishes that, like them, he too had an external sign of valor, a wound, “a red badge of courage” to prove to the other soldiers and himself that he was made of heroic material. Henry must learn, through much mental and spiritual agony, to stand in the face of physical danger with no thought to his own heroics nor to the opinions of others. He learns to despise his earlier dreams of war and glory. Instead he finds a quiet manhood, non-assertive but of sturdy and strong blood. He has faced death and become a man.

Progeny Press' Red Badge of Courage English/Language Arts PDF curriculum will provide your High School grade student with:

Background Information: Gain valuable context with the backdrop of the American Civil War.
Author Biography: Learn about Stephen Crane.
Vocabulary: Discover and master words from the novel through various activities designed to enhance your understanding and vocabulary growth.
Literary Techniques: Learn the way words are used to shape a compelling story, including creating settings, conveying double meanings, drawing parallels, using synonyms and antonyms, employing foils, similes, character development, metaphors, self-justification, role models, natural law, Christ-like figures, and the theme of growing up.
Moral Lessons and Character Values: Explore themes such as the relationship of the church and war, drawing lessons from Jesus' example, finding wisdom in nature, recognizing our smallness in the face of a greater power, the journey to adulthood, dealing with fear and cowardice, facing mortality, embracing courage, achieving maturity, managing anger, showcasing heroism, understanding the impact of suffering and its transformative nature.
Activities and Writing Assignments: Participate in activities that encourage a focus on inner character rather than outward appearance, complete word searches, write essays discussing topics like the concept of a just war, Abraham Lincoln's role in the Civil War, nature as a counterbalance to human experiences, the process of growing up, and an exploration of the Civil War's timeline. Get creative with writing exercises like composing letters from a soldier's perspective, crafting biographies of notable Civil War figures, creating historical plays or scenes, or even embarking on a field trip to a Civil War historic site. Additionally, conduct an interview with a war veteran to gain deeper insights.
Suggestions for Further Reading:  We include an in-depth reading list of more books by the same author(s) and other books that tie in with, or are similar to, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. Movie suggestions included.

All of Progeny Press' language arts PDF download unit lessons are written from a Christian worldview!

Features and Benefits of a Progeny Press ELA PDF study guide

Digital PDF Download

  • PDF files are available to download with no shipping costs
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    Note: Mobile devices may require an alternative app that supports and saves fillable form fields and interactive features.
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    • Print the whole ELA study guide at once
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    • Print multiple copies of the entire curriculum study guide for classroom sets
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  • PDF format makes it easy to use with multiple students
  • Complete answer key PDF file included for the teacher to make grading simple!

Formatted with your High School grade student in mind, Progeny Press language arts study guides divide the book into writing assignments and lessons that strengthen their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and refine their critical analysis and writing skills. Each Progeny Press novel study accomplishes all of this without busy work that can drain the fun out of reading and literature! Kids have loved using Progeny Press ELA curriculum in homeschool, co-ops, and private schools around the world for over 30 years!

Book Awards:
#30 on the 100 Best Novels Written in English

Extra Information

Progeny Press
Recommended Grade Level:
Virginia, USA, 1863, American Civil War
American Literature
Study Guide Page Count:
58 pages
Study Guide Author:
Gregory Power
For the Book By:
Stephen Crane

Warranty Information

Available to download for 1 year from date of purchase or until maximum download allowance is reached (whichever occurs first). Once downloaded, back the file up onto a Recordable CD or USB drive for safekeeping. Progeny Press retains the right to refuse replacement of lost or damaged products and/or files.

    2 Reviews

  • Posted by Renee H. on 16th Jan 2016


    I love all the guides

    I love all the guides that I have used and this one is no exception. I love the "Dig Deeper" sections that make my child think about how the story relates to lessons to taught in scripture.

  • Posted by Becky L. on 27th Apr 2015


    The Red Badge of Courage

    I purchased the ebook for my 8th grade daughter as part of a supplement since we are studying the Civil War and of course because it is a classic. I thoroughly enjoyed the depth of questions Progeny Press included as well as the vocabulary. The "Dig Deeper" questions were a good mix of Biblical Insights and introspective thoughts for students to explore and delve into. We had many good discussions with this book. Great guide, Progeny Press. Keep up the good work.