Here’s what we did.
I looked at A LOT of online lesson plans for a Civil War unit. Many of them were awful, but there were quite a few good ones, too. Ultimately, I settled on using THIS ONE (we’ll call it A) as the basis for our unit, as I thought it was really really well done. I supplemented with some discussion points from HERE (we’ll call it B).
We went over the Disunion lesson from A and added discussions from P6-7 of B. We also watched the video Division from PBS and a blurb about the cotton gin. We did a LOT of talking about differences between the north and the south – culture, lifestyle, beliefs. A lot of the basis for this discussion came from The Fall Of The House of Dixie, which I read prior to starting this unit.
I also had him pick a page from our HistoryScribe Civil War packet (from CurrClick).
He drew a picture illustrating the differences between life in the North and life in the South.
We discussed the causes of the war. We read Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Horace Greely and discussed. We discussed how deeply slavery was entrenched in the south, and how you had to have convinced yourself of a number of things in order to be OK with it. We discussed other points of contention, such as tariffs, and the issue of how to handle the Louisiana Purchase lands. We added discussion points from p 4-5 of the Day 2 lesson plan from B.
We printed out a map of the US from 1861 and colored it by Northern states, Southern states, and Border states. (using this as a guide) I had him also list out differences between the North and the South from our discussion yesterday, and then he also made a list of the strengths of each side. This actually took several attempts due to total lack of concentration. (We planned to watch this video, but didn’t realize it was only going to show us part before making us sign up for a free trial with our credit card. Poo.)
We watched the BrainPop videos Civil War Overview and Civil War Causes.
This day was heavy on conversation.
We did the “The Country Goes to War” lesson from A.
We discussed how the Constitution of the Confederacy was similar to and different from the US Constitution, and what those differences said about the Confederacy. We listed alternate names for the war and why people might choose to frame the war the way they do. (“War of Northern Aggression,” for example.) We decided War Between the States is most accurate.
We read excerpts from the inaugural addresses of both Lincoln and Davis and discussed. (Both gave excellent speeches, by the way. I love reading them.)
I had him do another page from the HistoryScribe book.
We planned to watch one of the many general overview type videos I found online, but did not.
I also made Sausage and Apples for lunch.
We did the 3rd lesson from A. Talked about Lincoln’s legal basis for the Emancipation Proclamation. Watched several videos from History.
I also had him pick a person from the list found on this link to research and write a paper about. He chose Booth. He’ll start researching as soon as we get our library books this week. :)
We did some discussion about slavery.
He played this game on the iPad (also available as a download for computer)
I made Johnnycakes for dinner.
Day 5: Underground Railroad
We listened to/discussed Follow the Drinking Gourd and read through Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
We watched the Brainpop video on the Underground Railroad
We read Unspoken by Henry Cole (I had Wally read it to Genna)
We drove by Jordan House.
Wally already knew a lot about the Underground Railroad from other books he’s read recently.
Day 6: Life of Soldiers
We did the Life at War lesson from A.
We looked at this video.
We read the letters and did some of the activities from the lesson in A.
We listened to some songs from Civil War era CDs we got from the library.
Day 7: Life on Homefront
We did the Home Front lesson from A
We looked at the book Dressing a Nation: Civil War Fashions.
We listened to more music.
Day 8: Shifting Tides
We did the Shifting Tides lesson from A UP TO the Gettysburg Address
Wally was still finishing up his report on Booth, so we didn’t go any further (we were also heading into a holiday weekend).
Day 9: Gettysburg and Battles
We read about the battle at Gettysburg and then about the Gettysburg address a few years later. We talked about the way that the dead soldiers were treated on each side, how it was different. Read the Gettysburg Address and discussed.
Read Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, a beautiful picture book
Wally chose a battle to research and make a poster on, and he worked on this independently for 4 days.
Day 10: Ending the War
We followed the lesson plan
We discussed a bit of the North’s atrocities during the war.
We tried to put ourselves in the shoes of the people in the south.
We read several first-person accounts of the surrender and discussed how people on each side felt.
We brainstormed a list of the problems that would have to be overcome to really get going again as a nation and move on.
Wally also read:
Two Miserable Presidents
A Picture Book Of… books for everyone from this era we could find.
You Wouldn’t Want to Be… books for this era
Nurse, Soldier, Spy by Edmonds
Mary Walker Wears the Pants
Harriet Tubman, Secret Agent
Civil War Interactive History Adventure
The Journal of James Edmond Pease, a Civil War Union Soldier
United No More
Dressing a Nation (we just looked through this)
Timeline of the Civil War (we just browsed)
Fleeing to Freedom on the Underground Railroad (more browsing)
Abraham Lincoln Photobook
We read Red Badge of Courage as a read-aloud during lunch.