To review events which led to the outbreak of the Civil War; to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Union and Confederacy.
1 and 1/2 class periods
This is one of the more unique lessons I have ever written. It provides a very engaging way for kids to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the Union and Confederacy.
Give each student a copy of pages 82A - 82C only. Page 82D will be given out at the beginning of the second class period.
Begin the activity by reading with the class the background information that describes the situation at the time the Civil War began. Then go over the directions for doing the section entitled Comparing Strengths and Weaknesses. This involves students reading through 10 different areas of comparison and using a scale of 0-3 to award points to the Union or Confederacy based on each specific strength or weakness.
After students have completed this section and totaled their points, ask several of them to read their point totals, and tell which three areas of comparison they felt were of greatest importance.
You can determine how many students gave more points to the Union, and how many gave more to the Confederacy. Since the Union should have outscored the Confederacy, you might ask those students, if any, who gave more points to the Confederacy to explain their results.
Next, in a section entitled Northern Strategy to Win the War, students will be asked to prepare a list of at least 20 ideas for defeating the Confederacy for homework. The idea here is to have students "rate their ability as a general." At the beginning of the second class period, give each student a copy of page 82D, which includes a list of actions the Union actually took to defeat the Confederacy. Each one of these actions has a point value, and students can check off each idea they came up with that matches an actual action taken by the Union. After the form has been completed and points totaled, discuss the results.
The lesson concludes with class members using their textbook to write a paragraph describing the main parts of Union strategy actually used to defeat the Confederacy. You can have students read their paragraphs to the class afterwards.
Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.