To review events of the 1850s which brought the nation to the brink of war.
1 class period
Begin this lesson by reading with the class the introductory paragraphs, and chronology of events during the 1850s which led to a deterioration in North-South relations.
Go over the directions for the group activity in the section Negotiating a Settlement of North-South Differences. Divide the class into groups of preferably four students. Determine which group members will be Northern representatives and which will be Southern representatives. Assign each group to an area of the room where they can begin negotiations. These discussions will give the students a feel for the tense relationship which existed between the North and South on the eve of the Civil War.
After negotiations have concluded, you may want to have a volunteer from one or more groups read their settlement to the class.
My students have always enjoyed the competition in this activity as opposing sides in each group try to come up with the best settlement for their side.
Teacher Instructions are included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.