Introductory Pages and Unit-Long Learning Resources

This unit of study uses several materials to help students record and organize the many names, dates, and places related to the Civil War. This document describes how and when these resources will be used.

Lesson One: What Do You Know About the Civil War?

Student interest in the Civil War is activated through a class display of historical documents and photos. Students also listen to interesting facts about boys who served in the war. Students complete a pre-assessment and then participate in a small group K-W-L activity to share prior knowledge about the Civil War.

Lesson Two: How Did Economic Issues Lead to Civil War?

Students analyze differing conditions in the North and South related to income sources and labor forces through an inquiry lesson involving map and data interpretation.

Lesson Three: How Did Conflict Over Laws Contribute to Civil War?

In this inquiry lesson, students use timelines and historical sources to examine legal and cultural conflicts between the Northern and Southern states as well as between the states and the federal government. Students then use the information they gain to answer the question: What are the legal and cultural conflicts that led to civil war?

Lesson Four: Should Dred Scott Be Free?

Students study the life of Dred Scott and his pursuit of freedom in the courts (U.S. Supreme Court Case Scott v. Sandford, 1854). They analyze related court case summaries and discuss how the Dred Scott case may have contributed to the Civil War.

Lesson Five: The Issue of Slavery: Is Compromise the Answer?

Students research eighteenth century historical decisions regarding the admission of new states into the Union and the issue of slavery. Student groups create timelines of significant events and evaluate how these decisions contributed to the pending civil war.

Lesson Six: Should the South Secede from the Union?

Students participate in a Structured Academic Controversy to examine different sides of the 1860 issue,
Should the South Secede from the Union?

Lesson Seven: How Were Battlegrounds Selected?

Students use maps and timelines to analyze the changing strategies of both the North and the South and
ways in which the geography of the east coast and the topography of the battlefields impacted their

Lesson Eight: Who Was Freed by the Emancipation Proclamation?

Students read and interpret the Emancipation Proclamation and identify the perspectives in a historical account. Groups read recruitment posters for African-Americans created after the Proclamation was issued in order to determine the Proclamation’s impact.

Lesson Nine: What is the Historical Significance of Gettysburg?

Students first examine the significance of the battle at Gettysburg as a turning point in the war and then prepare for and participate in a Socratic Seminar on Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address that engages them in analyzing the issues, ideas, and values of this significant historical speech.

Lesson Ten: When Will the Fighting End?

Students use maps and timelines to analyze the changing strategies of both the North and the South and how the geography of the east coast and the topography of individual battlefields impacted their decisions. Students also evaluate Sherman's "total war" in the south.

Lesson Eleven: What Was Daily Life Like During the Civil War?

Students select exhibits from a classroom “museum” of life during the Civil War in order to investigate aspects of life for soldiers, women, and freed Blacks in the South in order to develop empathy and perspective recognition. Students analyze historical evidence and record important points.

Lesson Twelve: What if You Lived During the Civil War?

Students continue working with the information they learned about daily life in Lesson 11 to prepare dramatic, musical, or written historical interpretations. The focus of the lesson is on perspective recognition, helping students to internalize the beliefs, attitudes, and experiences of people who lived in the past.

Lesson Thirteen: What Do We Know About the Civil War?

In this two-day lesson, students create War Cards representing important people, places, events, and ideas related to the Civil War and use those cards to play several games for review. Students then complete a post-assessment.