Civil War Period: 15 Engaging Activities AMERICAN HISTORY PART 7 (Lessons 76-90)

Civil War Period: 15 Engaging Activities AMERICAN HISTORY
Civil War Period: 15 Engaging Activities AMERICAN HISTORY
Civil War Period: 15 Engaging Activities AMERICAN HISTORY
Civil War Period: 15 Engaging Activities AMERICAN HISTORY
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Supplement the textbook and eliminate prep time with these 15 ready-to-use reproducible American history lessons focusing on the Civil War period. Engage your students using a wide variety of high-interest activities for individuals, small groups, or the entire class. Most lessons can be finished in 1-2 class periods and include 3-5 activity sheets. Every lesson includes easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions with TIME, OBJECTIVE, and DIRECTIONS, along with an answer key and 20-question follow-up quiz, where applicable. The quizzes can be used to measure student progress or as homework assignments.

NOTE: Individual lessons in this book are also available in my TpT store with most priced at $3.99 each.

• primary sources
• critical thinking / thought questions
• reading comprehension
• map exercises
• charts
• graphs
• puzzles
• games
• contests
• illustrations
and more...

LESSON 76. Sectionalism

OBJECTIVE:
To understand how the North, South, and West looked at issues from a sectional point of view.

TIME:
1 class period

My students have really enjoyed the variety of things to do in this lesson, and I think yours will, too.

Class members begin by completing 20 sentences about the North and South by filling in missing words that contain letter clues.

Using information learned in those sentences, students then answer a Thought Question pertaining to the economies of the North and South to develop critical thinking skills.

The activity continues with students interpreting charts showing sectional differences in order to answer a series of questions, as well as complete several circle graphs. There is another Thought Question as well to further develop critical thinking skills.

A fun Map Exercise concludes this lesson to show which states were free states and slaves states as the Civil War drew near. I provide my kids with colored pencils, which they always love to use when doing mapwork.

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.



LESSON 77. Slavery and the Abolitionists

OBJECTIVE:
To understand the role played by antislavery groups during a period of increasing tensions between the North and South.

TIME:
1 class period

This lesson has a nice variety of things to do.

Begin by reading with the class the introductory paragraphs about slavery in America. Students then construct a bar graph showing the growth of slaves between 1790 and 1860.

Assign the section entitled The Abolitionist Movement where students will read a story and fill in missing words, names, and terms.

Next, class members will do a section entitled An Abolitionist Describes Slavery, which includes a primary source reading selection. Students are asked to write a paragraph giving their reaction to Theodore Weld’s description of the treatment of slaves in the United States. This helps develop critical thinking skills, and you can ask several students to read their paragraphs to the class.

To conclude this lesson, students will pretend to be an abolitionist and write an article about slavery for The Liberator using information from a chart describing living conditions for slaves. I have my kids do this assignment for the next class period, and have a few of them read their articles to the class.

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.



LESSON 78. The Slavery Compromises

OBJECTIVE:
To analyze the various attempts by the North and South to ease tensions over the question of slavery in the territories.

TIME:
1 class period

Give each student a copy of pages 78A - 78C only. Page 78D will be given out later in the period.

Begin this lesson by reading with the class the introductory paragraphs and the section on the Missouri Compromise. Students will then read about The Problem, Opinions of Northern Congressmen, and Opinions of Southern Congressmen, that pertain to the Missouri Compromise. Give class members about five minutes to write their own compromise without knowing the real one, then have two or three volunteers read their proposals to the class. Continue in the same way with the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

This activity ends with students doing a Map Exercise on page 78D, which includes maps illustrating the actual compromises reached by the North and South. Students can use their textbook, and the information on the preceding pages, to find words, names, and terms missing from descriptions of each compromise surrounding the maps.

NOTE: The Map Exercise on page 78D can be given as a homework assignment. However, I always help the kids by going through it with them. I ask for volunteers to give the missing words, names, and terms in the compromise descriptions. If class members have trouble figuring out an answer, give them one letter at a time -- starting with the first letter -- until someone gets it.



LESSON 79. Causes of the Civil War

OBJECTIVE:
To review events of the 1850s which brought the nation to the brink of war.

TIME:
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.



LESSON 80. Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan

OBJECTIVE:
To review major events which occurred during the administrations of Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan.

TIME:
1 class period

This is a simple but unique game that kids really enjoy.

Begin the lesson by passing out pages 80A-80D and giving class members time to read the summaries of the four presidential administrations, underlining or highlighting key words, names, terms, and ideas.

The class will then be divided into five teams that will compete against each other in a game reviewing the presidential administrations of Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan.

When a question is asked by the teacher (from pages 80E and 80F that students do not yet have), the first person to raise their hand will be called on. If their answer is correct, all class members will print the person, word, or term along the top row of spaces in the game form for the team giving the right answer.

The team which fills its 100 spaces first with letters of correct answers wins the game. If no team can do this by the end of the period, then the team with the most spaces filled wins the game.

Complete game rules are provided on the lesson pages.

When the game is over, or when time runs out at the end of the period, give each student a copy of pages 80E and 80F to do as a homework assignment. Go over the answers at the beginning of the next class period.

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.



LESSON 81. Election of 1860

OBJECTIVE:
To analyze the presidential election which caused several Southern states to secede from the Union and form the Confederate States of America.

TIME:
1 class period

You can begin this activity by reading with the class sections 1-4, which provide information about the background events, candidates, campaign, and election results of the Election of 1860. Three primary sources are also included.

Students will then do a fun Map Exercise by taking electoral results from a chart and recording them on a map showing the 33 states that belonged to the Union during the Election of 1860. I provide my students with colored pencils for the mapwork as this makes it more enjoyable for them.

Following the Map Exercise, there are 25 questions on the Election of 1860 that can be answered based on information students learned on the preceding pages.

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.



LESSON 82. The Civil War Begins

OBJECTIVE:
To review events which led to the outbreak of the Civil War; to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Union and Confederacy.

TIME:
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.



LESSON 83. Major Battles of the Civil War

OBJECTIVE:
To review key battles and other significant events of the Civil War.

TIME:
2 class periods

My students really like this information-filled map exercise, and I provide them with colored pencils to make it even more enjoyable.

Begin the lesson by giving each class member a copy of pages 83A - 83F. Have them tape pages 83E and 83F together to form a 2-page map showing the sites of major Civil War battles.

Have students read the section entitled Confederate Attack on Fort Sumter, then have them do steps 1-3 on the map.

Continue in the same way with all other sections on the Battle of Bull Run, The War in the East (1862-1863), The War in the West (1862-1863), and Last Years of the War (1864-1865).

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.



LESSON 84. Gettysburg and Vicksburg

OBJECTIVE:
To take a closer look at the decisive military campaigns of the Civil War.

TIME:
30 minutes

In this lesson, students will put themselves in the position of being Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee, all of whom had to make important decisions which affected the outcome of the Civil War. After reading background information, class members will choose between two actions (a or b) they would have taken given the circumstances described

Read through the lesson with the class. After each question, have students circle the letter of the action they would have taken at the time of the Civil War. Ask a few students to give a reason for their choice. Then announce the decision that was actually made by Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee. Point out that the decisions they made were not always the ones that should have been made, given historical hindsight.

Some of the eight questions require students to look at maps of the Gettysburg and Vicksburg battlefields to help illustrate the situations leaders were faced with.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.



LESSON 85. Reading: Andersonville Prison

OBJECTIVE:
To examine conditions at the most notorious of Civil War prisons.

TIME:
1 class period

Students will read a story about the Andersonville Prison. Afterwards, the stories will be collected by the teacher from each class member.

The students will then be given a different version of the story about Andersonville Prison. This version is different in that many key words, names, and terms are missing. Each class member will try to fill in the spaces with the missing words, names, and terms that correctly complete the sentences. The first and last letters of each answer are given in the blank spaces as clues.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS:
This lesson can be turned into a fun contest between individual class members, or pairs, to see who can come up with the most correct answers by the end of the period. You can also turn this into a game by dividing the class into two teams that will take turns trying to identify the correct answers as you read through the story with them.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.



LESSON 86. Civil War Contests

OBJECTIVE:
To review the causes and major events of the Civil War.

TIME:
1 class period

Students will compete in two contests where they must complete as many sentences as possible by filling in the missing words, names, and terms. Each correct answer is worth either 5, 7, or 8 points depending on the difficulty of the question. A perfect score is 100.

NOTE: You may want to let the students use their textbook. Set a time limit.

A lesson like this is very popular among students who enjoy competition.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.



LESSON 87. To Tell The Truth: Abraham Lincoln

OBJECTIVE:
To become familiar with the life of George Washington and the role which he played in shaping the early history of the United States.

TIME:
1 class period

Give each student a copy of pages 87A - 87E.

Choose three students to be Abraham Lincoln. Tell the three which one is the real Lincoln, but do not inform the other class members.

Pick twelve students to be panelists. They will each ask an assigned question. At the end of the game, these panelists and the other class members will vote for the person they think is the real Abraham Lincoln. After the voting has taken place, ask the students to give reasons for their choices. The real Lincoln will then be asked to step forward. It is NUMBER 2.

When the voting is taking place, ask the students to give reasons for their choice.

Once the TO TELL THE TRUTH game is finished, students will answer 10 true/false questions based on information they learned during game.

MY EXPERIENCE USING THIS LESSON
At the beginning of the period, when I ask for the three class members to volunteer to be Abraham Lincoln, almost every hand goes up. That happens because TO TELL THE TRUTH games are very popular. Several other TO TELL THE TRUTH games are available on Hernando Cortes, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

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.



LESSON 88. Crossword: The Civil War Period

OBJECTIVE:
To review the people, places, and events of the Civil War period of American history.

TIME:
1 class period

Give each student a copy of the crossword puzzle on page 88A.

Have the students use their textbook, or copies of previous lessons, to help them complete the puzzle. You may want to give each person the option of working with one other class member.

GAME OPTION:
This lesson can also be presented in the form of a game involving the entire class. Divide the class into two teams. Start by asking Team 1 to give the answer to any one of the questions on the crossword. If a member of Team 1 gives a correct answer, that team earns 10 points. If Team 1 gives a wrong answer, Team 2 has a chance to answer any one of the questions on the puzzle. Teams 1 and 2 will take turns giving answers, and the same person cannot answer twice in a row for their team. Class members should fill in correct answers on the puzzle as they are given. The team that scores the most points wins the game.

Teacher Instructions and answer key included.



LESSON 89. Reconstruction

OBJECTIVE:
To become familiar with major events and long term effect of the Reconstruction Period of American history.

TIME:
1 class period

Students will begin this lesson by reading an outline that summarizes major events of the Reconstruction Period. As they read through the information, students should underline or highlight key words, names, terms, and ideas. The outline includes the following sections:

• Lincoln's Plan for Reconstruction
• Johnson's Plan for Reconstruction
• Congress takes control of Reconstruction
• Reconstruction governments were opposed by Southern whites
• The period of Reconstruction had both positive and negative effects on the South

The class will then be divided into two teams to compete against each other in a fun JEOPARDY game about Reconstruction. Questions asked during the game are based on facts given on the outline.

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.



LESSON 90. Note Cards: The Civil War Period

OBJECTIVE:
To provide students with concise reviews of previous lessons on the Civil War and Reconstruction.

TIME:
1 and 1/2 class periods

The class will be divided into five teams. Five headings –– Card 1, Card 2, Card 3, Card 4, and Card 5 –– are put on the board. Numbers 1-10 are listed under each heading.

Play begins with the teams trying to identify the missing words, names, and terms on Card 1. Each team is assigned specific spaces to find answers for.

Each correct answer is worth 10 points. When a team fails to give the right answer, the teacher will announce the missing word, name, or term.

Team members may not talk over possible answers.

The same person can give only one answer on a card.

Play continues in the same way with Cards 2-7.

Students will write the correct answers on the back of each card as they are given during the game. The cards can be used later to review the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.

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Civil War Period: 15 Engaging Activities AMERICAN HISTORY
Civil War Period: 15 Engaging Activities AMERICAN HISTORY
Civil War Period: 15 Engaging Activities AMERICAN HISTORY
Civil War Period: 15 Engaging Activities AMERICAN HISTORY