Civil War Bundle. If you teach about the American Civil War in a middle school our high school Social Studies class then hopefully you’ll find these five products as helpful for you as they are for me and my students. From research about famous figures of the Civil War, to a partner review, to a hands-on backpack experience along with a food recipe for hardtack, to a BINGO review activity, to a CLOZE reading assessment. These are tried and true activities so I hope you find the same to be true.
Civil War Soldier Backpack Gear Activity and Hardtack Recipe
If you teach about the American Civil War in an elementary or middle school Social Studies class your students will love doing this activity and making this recipe. Even your most reluctant learners will take part!!
I teach 8th grade U.S. History and every year during our Civil War unit I give this packet to students as a homework assignment so they can have a hands-on experience the next day that they'll remember forever!
The homework assignment can be read through during class, which consists of a short story about a fictitious soldier from upstate New York who enlists in the Union Army. Upon enlistment the soldier is issued his backpack and gear. Students look through the list of gear such as a half shelter, gum blanket, and housewife and read a description what each item was used for.
Students then read that a soldier used to carry their rifle-musket, ammunition, and backpack with them everywhere they went. That totaled about 50 POUNDS!
The average soldier weighed less than 150 pounds so that was over 1/3 their body weight!
Students are then assigned to fill a backpack of their own with 50 pounds of weight (or whatever 1/3 their body weight is if they are under 50 pounds) and bring that backpack with them to school the next day. A teacher pass, which is included in this product, explaining why students are wearing their backpacks in school will be pinned to their backpack.
Finally, students are given a recipe for hardtack, which was a bread-like food many Union soldiers ate when there wasn't much else to eat. It tastes kind of like a saltine cracker and is simply made with flour, salt, and water. The recipe used is the one I received from a friend of mine who does Civil War reenactments.
The first year I did this another teacher called the local news station when she saw what our students were doing and they actually ended up on the news that night! Kids were wearing their backpacks to lunch and snacking on hardtack in the cafeteria.
Kids actively being involved in the history they are learning about. That's my favorite!
32 Civil War Trading Cards to be Made of Historical Figures
Looking for a way for your students to discover facts about some of the major names of the Civil War? Here is a way your students can discover these historic figures that allows them to find out some basic facts, but also allows them to identify what they think is important about each person. Each trading card has the same format and allows students to gather a very brief snapshot of who these people were and what they did that contributed to the history of the Civil War.
For each person students will identify the following:
Date of Birth
Date of Death
Cause of Death
Role in the Civil War
There isn't a lot of room for students to write so they'll have to be brief and to the point, thus contributing to the brief snapshot of each person's life.
This file is in .pdf format and can be printed on standard 8.5x11 inch paper (cardstock works best). Each trading card is set up to be folded into a front and a back and could be stapled together or left unfolded to see both sides at once. Included on each front side is a picture of the person, their name, and their signature.
The historic figures for this activity are:
John Wilkes Booth
John C. Calhoun
John C. Fremont
William Lloyd Garrison
Ulysses S. Grant
Robert E. Lee
Robert Gould Shaw
William T. Sherman
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Roger B. Taney
Civil War Review Activity Based on the Headbands Game
If it is time to review at the end of the Civil War unit then try this fun activity with your students. Based on the popular game Headbands these cards help students review their knowledge of the American Civil War.
There are 96 cards that each have something on the front that has to do with the events, people, or places of the Civil War. One student holds a card up to their forehead and the other person gives them clues to try and guess what is on the front of their card. You can play for a minute a round, two minutes, or whatever you think will work well for your students.
Cardstock works best for printing because it is more durable and easier for students to keep in a stack. You could also print out a classroom set and laminate them to use over and over again. You could also use these cards as a way for students to create flashcards to help them study as well. I've included two pages that have blank cards to add more to the list if you'd like.
30 Civil War Bingo Boards with 95 Detailed Calling Cards
Teaching about the Civil War involves your students learning and understanding a massive list of names, vocabulary, and places of historic importance. To help students refresh their memories of the who/what/when/where of it all this Civil War Bingo activity might be just what you and your students need.
Included in this activity are 30 individualized Bingo boards and 95 detailed calling cards that give the letter, the name, date, or place of something in regard to the Civil War as well as a brief description about what the phrase is or a clue to lead their memories to the correct answer.
How you play Bingo is up to you. If you want to do traditional Bingo, four-corner Bingo, small diamond, large diamond, etc. you do what you think would be fun for your students.
Cloze Reading Strategy Bundle - The American Civil War - 61 Blanks
This is a story about the Civil War I created that uses the "Cloze" reading strategy where students fill in the 61 blanks within the story using a word bank provided. There are more words and dates in the word bank than students will use. The story is rather lengthy and takes about 30 minutes for a student to complete (some more some less of course). This would be a great pre-assessment quiz to give if you knew you were going to have a substitute teacher that day.
I teach 8th grade U.S. History using the Creating America: Beginnings through World War I text book and this goes along with Chapters 15, 16, and 17. My classes are comprised of general education, special education, and gifted and talented all together. This quiz lets me see how well students are connecting to the main ideas of the Civil War after we learn about it or some years I use it as a pre-assessment to see what connections they can make using deductive reasoning. You could also use this as a warm-up before they take the test that you normally give.
This story needs to be printed on 11" x 17" paper and is one page (front-back if you just print pages 3 and 4). The answer key and the word bank are also on 11"x17" paper with the word bank having four word banks per page that get cut out to save on paper. I grade this as a class allowing students to grade their own making sure there is nothing on their desks except the red marker I provide for them. That way they can see for themselves which ones they got right or wrong and hear the story read to see how it is put together.
Here are the terms/dates in the word bank:
Battle of Antietam
Battle of Gettysburg
Battle of Shiloh
Compromise of 1850
Confederate States of America
Election of 1860
First Battle of Bull Run
Fugitive Slave Act
John C. Fremont
Robert E. Lee
Roger B. Taney
Seven Days’ Battles
Siege of Vicksburg
Stephen A. Douglas
Ulysses S. Grant
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
William Tecumseh Sherman
FOR A GREAT DEAL CHECK MY 5-PACK BUNDLE OF CLOZE READING STRATEGIES!
Cloze Reading Strategy Bundle - French & Indian War Through the U.S. Civil War
Check out my other Civil War products:
41 Civil War Historical Fiction Book Choice with Lexile Scores
Civil War Debates - 25 Topics - Research, Writing, & Speaking in Social Studies
American Civil War Era - 15 Famous Mystery Phrases - Research, Writing/Analysis
Civil War Bundle of Activities - 8 Different Products Included