Here is the supporting PowerPoint to a powerful simulation that really gets students thinking about the tensions between the North and South just before the Civil War. It allows history to come alive so that they understand the differences between the candidates. Students will understand why the South was so angry with the North after the election, and how the election lead to the battle at Fort Sumter.
To do this activity, have students work together in Think-Pair- Share Cooperative groups. Divide the class into the North, South, and Border States. Be sure that the population of the North is larger than the South's. Students need to be able to express the beliefs of the North and South in1860. Have presenters dress up utilizing old suit coats or story bought beards…etc. Each re-enactor pretends that they are the candidate from this time period. Utilizing the mock candidates’ speeches, each re-enactor delivers their speech with strength and drama using actual quotes from the candidates. Next have students work with their partners to interpret the meaning of each speech. To do this, they will use the graphic organizer. Students will determine each candidate’s position on slavery, westward expansion, and the powers of the government. I would suggest that students listen to a speech and then immediately analyze the text to determine the candidate’s position. I have included an extensive preview because I really want you to have a clear understanding of how this activity works. When you purchase this item, you will receive the speeches of all four candidates, the ballots for all three areas of the country, and photos of the candidate to use. Be sure to purchase the lesson materials to use with this PowerPoint at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Causes-of-the-Civil-War-Simulation-Activity-Presidential-Election-of-1860-596832