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We’re nearing the end of our Civil War unit. We’ve been using the following learning target to guide us - I can analyze the political, geographical, and philosophical differences between the North and South throughout the American Civil War.
The Civil War is perhaps the most pivotal chapter in American history and the “crossroads of our being” as a nation. This war's profound impact on shaping the present-day United States makes it an essential area of study for students and teachers. Student - Jackson Petro
I agree with Jackson. Understanding the American Civil War and its effect on the trajectory of our nation is a worthwhile endeavor. Many of the challenges our country faced during this time in history are still with us today.
Here are some of the resources that I’ve used in planning and some that I’ve used with students.
- The American Battlefield Trust is a monster Civil War resource. You’ll find a sample curriculum for elementary, middle school, and high school-age students. Our students also use the site when they complete their battle research presentation.
- Teaching the Civil from PBS Learning Media has lessons on the causes, slavery and abolition, technology and social change, and battles.
- We Are Teachers has a list of 14 websites to teach kids about The Civil War.
- The Boys’ War: Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk About the Civil War*- This book by Jim Murphy has captioned the attention of my 8th graders for over 15 years. It’s hard to believe there were young boys actively participating in Civil War Battles. I highly recommend this book.
- Civil War 150 from History.com - Find a diverse list of Civil War resources. Students make connections by studying geography, acting, using art, and STEM skills.
- American Civil War Lesson Plans - Choose from 29 resources.
- Civil War Crash Courses Part 1 and II - John Green does a great job summarizing the important factors and outcomes of the Civil War.
- Make Connections- This isn’t a resource, but it is something that can be quite engaging and eye-opening for students. It’s powerful to take time and analyze connections between the Civil War and Reconstruction time periods and the present day. Students begin to see the repetitive nature of history and also learn that history is something that unfolds every moment.
- Article - The U.S. is Heading Toward a Second Civil War. Here Is How We Avoid It - I thought this article would be worth including.
- Eyewitness Books - Civil War* - Discover the war that turned brother against brother - from the birth of the Confederacy to Reconstruction by John Stanchak
- Don’t Know Much About the Civil War - Everything You Need to Know About America’s Greatest Conflict but Never Learned* by Kenneth C. Davis