Thomson’s First Lessons - 1864 activity provides an opportunity for today’s students to sample the kinds of arithmetic problems that would have been presented to students at the time of the Civil War. This would be an appropriate activity for a class visiting a one room schoolhouse, or for a class studying American History. The activity consists of a set of word problems drawn from one of the more popular arithmetic books used in the mid-19th century. The Teacher’s Guide offers answers, background information and suggested discussion points. This is a short activity – a single class period – that is appropriate for students in grades three and above.