Students will participate in some introductory activities centered around conflict resolution and negotiation. Students will also have a collaborative time when they can brainstorm issues that need to be resolved at the end of a war. They will then split into teams, and try to negotiate the end of the Civil War. Lastly, the class will act out the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse to learn about how the process works in real life.
This lesson is one of those lessons that answers questions that not only students have, but the average person wonders about as well. Throughout my time as a student and as a teacher, such questions arise. I, like everyone else, know that a war ends when one side surrenders. It was not until a few years ago, however, that I actually explored this question to find out the specific steps that were involved in a surrender. This lesson can also lead to learning about how other wars formally ended as well. Too often we teach about a war and the lessons it brings, but we rarely cover how it actually ended.