Civil War Bundle. The Civil War is a huge topic to cover and for students to grasp. That being said, here is a bundle of Civil War activities to help your students make connections to the content, historical figures, and importance of the American Civil War. I have used all of these activities in my own classroom and find it to help students become active learners instead of passive learners. It is much easier to just tell them about the Civil War, but this allows them to be engaged and truly becoming students of the Civil War.
Be sure to check out my American Revolution Bundle too!
American Revolution Bundle - 8 Different Activities including Quiz & Test Prep
For the BEST deal on both check out my American Revolution & Civil War Bundle!
American Revolution & Civil War Bundle of 16 Activities!
Included in this package are the following items
-96 Civil War Headbands Review Activity
-Civil War Bingo
-Civil War Historical Fiction Book List with Lexile Scores
-Civil War Debates
-Civil War Review Game
-Civil War Trading Cards to be Made
-Civil War Word Search
-Civil War Cloze Reading Strategy Quiz (can be used as a pre-test)
Here are the descriptions of each:
1. 96 CIVIL WAR HEADBANDS REVIEW ACTIVITY
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.
2. CIVIL WAR BINGO
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.
3. CIVIL WAR HISTORICAL FICTION BOOK LIST WITH LEXILE SCORES
Want your students read historical fiction relating to the Civil War but don't know what books are out there? Would you like to help your students choose books based on their reading ability and Lexile scores but don't have the time to look that up yourself? This chart has helped my students choose a book that is just right for them so I hope this will help your students as well.
This product is a chart of 41 different books that pertain to the Civil War. Included in the chart is the book title, a picture of the book cover, the author's name, a brief summary of the book, and the Lexile rating of the book.
When I teach the Civil War, this is how we start our unit. I give each student this packet of books to choose from and have them pick their top 5 choices (in case we don't have any copies left of the one they want). Our librarian pulls all of the copies of each book off the shelves for me and onto a cart that I can bring into my classroom. I like teaching with a book this way because every student gets the freedom to choose what book they would like to read and can do so based on their strength as a reader. The reason I do it this way is because when we learn about the different people, places, and events throughout our Civil War unit the students will all be able to make some connection back to their story which helps with overall understanding.
The book titles are:
Across Five Aprils
Across The Lines
Anthony Burns: The Defeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
Be Ever Hopeful, Hannalee
Behind the Lines
The Brother’s War: Civil War Letters to Their Loved Ones from the Blue and the Gray
Dear Austin: Letters from the Underground Railroad
Get on Board, The Story of the Underground Railroad
The Glory Field
A House Divided: The Lives of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee
In My Father’s House
The Journal of Rufus Rowe: A Witness to the Battle of Fredericksburg
The Killer Angels
The Last Silk Dress
Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs
Mine Eyes Have Seen
A Nation Torn: The Story of How the Civil War Began
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (not historical fiction, but can't be left off a reading choice about the Civil War)
Numbering All the Bones
Rebels Against Slavery
The Red Badge of Courage
Rifles for Waite
Shades of Gray
Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman?
Stealing South: A Story of the Underground Railroad
To Be a Slave
Turn Homeward Hannalee
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Which Way Freedom?
With Every Drop of Blood
4. CIVIL WAR DEBATES
Your students will have a formal debate on issues that were either part of the Civil War, led up to the Civil War, or exist today but stem from the Civil War. This week-long activity is bound to ramp up your classroom discussions. I have done this type of activity for 15 years and look forward to it every time it comes around.
What I love about this lesson the most is that students get to voice their own opinions without being criticized by anyone. It provides them with a safe platform to talk about an important issue in history/today's society as well as an issue they feel passionately about.
Included in this activity are:
-25 Civil War Debatable topics on Cardstock to be displayed
-The same 25 Cardstock topics but on PowerPoint
-Debate Survey for students to figure out what they believe
-Grading Evaluation that is simple and to the point
-Tips for Your Debate sheet to help students with writing
-Lesson Plan that explains what I have done for this activity
-Take Your Own Stance sheet for students to fill out during debates
The one thing I appreciate the most about the activity is the discussion that is held after the debates are concluded. For one full week the students will hopefully be more aware of how the of issues from the past connect to the issues that are currently part the world in which they live today.
5. CIVIL WAR REVIEW GAME
Are you looking for a fun way to review with students regarding the American Civil War? In this review game two students play at a time in front of the class with one student seated facing away from the screen and one student seated so they are facing the screen (if you're old enough to remember the $100,000 Pyramid game show it is similar to that). Each round consists of 6 random topics that have something to do with the American Civil War and will be uncovered with your click of the mouse. The team has 60 seconds (you, the teacher, are the time keeper) to complete as many as they can in that round. Sometimes the topics are connected and sometimes it is a hodgepodge of vocabulary.
There are 16 rounds with 6 topics in each round for a total of 96 vocabulary terms regarding people, places, events, and quotations from the time period of the American Civil War.
My students loved playing this and it gave each student a chance to take part in the review. You can divide this into a winners and losers bracket for more repetition over two days to help them develop ways to explain the topics. I always believe that when students are actively involved they are thinking, engaged, and developing a better understanding.
6. CIVIL WAR TRADING CARDS TO BE MADE
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.
This file is in .pdf format and can be printed on standard 8.5x11 inch paper. Each trading card is on a half sheet of paper and will need to be cut out by students to write on and fold to make into front/back trading cards.
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.
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
This has worked well for my students so I hope yours find the same success!
7. CIVIL WAR WORD SEARCH
Here is an activity you could use after a Civil War test or as a way for students to become familiar with the terms they will use in a Civil War unit. I have used this activity in the past after a Civil War test to keep students occupied during the last 10 minutes of the class period while students who take a little longer on their test can finish without any distractions. Works like a charm every time and I believe any time students are exposed to vocabulary it is a good refresher for them.
8. CIVIL WAR CLOZE READING STRATEGY QUIZ
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.
Check out my other U.S. History products:
Cloze Reading Strategy - The Road to Revolution
Cloze Reading Strategy - Feudalism to the French and Indian War
Current Events Article Assignment
End of the Year Activity - The Year in Review Reading and Writing Booklet
Famous Inventors and Their Inventions Presentation
Feudalism to French and Indian War Crossword Puzzle
Jeopardy Review Game
Newspaper in Education - 7 Different Activities
Political Science/Government Word Search
Postcard Writing Activity Between Famous Historical Figures of the 20th Century
Revolutionary War Bundle: Two Revolutionary War Review Activities
The Articles of Confederation - Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist Survey Included
The Cause and Effect of the Greatest Events or Inventions from 1950-1999 Project
The Electoral College PowerPoint and Partner Activity - Fun Competition!
The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution - Making Sense of the Phrases Within
The Road to the American Revolution Word Find
The Stock Market Investing Contest - Fun Class Competition!
The Three Branches of Government Treasure Hunt Activity
Trying to Pass a Bill Into Law - Writing and Class Activity
Voting for a President with Mystery Candidates - Fun!
Voting Rights Simulation - 1776-1971
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