Civil War Era
Civil War Era - Wrapup
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The ultimate politician
Middle
Several aspects of this module are appropriate to add to my 6th grade curriculum. First, the secession of the western counties of Virginia from Virginia after Virginia voted to leave the union is interesting as the state divided and west Virginia chose to remain with the union. Second, the idea that a state could remain with the union but still maintain slavery is interesting as the war was mostly fought about the institution of slavery. Third, the way that Abraham Lincoln masterfully approached the issue of slavery and his position on it, downplaying his intentions to formally emancipate slaves at the beginning of his career and then fully supporting abolition by the time of the fighting shows an astute politician who understood that leading by force of opinion on this divisive topic would not be productive. Fourth, John Brown's evolution from lunatic to prophetic hero in the eyes of northern Americans reflects the gradual acceptance of the necessity of abolishing slavery, even though the economy of much of America relied on it.
Civil War
Elementary
I love the idea of using the song and some of the other examples of primary sources to give a deeper meaning to the feeling of what it would be like to be a part of a major event that would change American history forever. The song not only offers great context for the story of John Brown but it also proves how stories were passed before the time of radio, tv, etc... This is such an experience for our 21st-century students who are so plugged into devices that I think it's sometimes impossible to get them to understand life prior to the technologies.

The primary resource that was most poignant to me was the example and explanation for the sales receipt for a slave. This could really evoke a true empathy for the handling of slaves. A receipt is something that my students would understand and would never attach to another living being. I think that this would be quite shocking to my fourth graders but also provide gravity to the institution that waged destruction and division on such a young country.
Civil War Era
Elementary
I think that letters and journals are great ways to help the students connect to the events of the war, so while giving notes on the different important events and battles, I would include these items. I think that they would be a great way to show the opinions of real people from the war. I would continue this during my teaching of Reconstruction. I think that the political cartoons are a good way to show public opinion of the events during this time, and photographs - such as of the new schools developed for freed slaves - could help students make connections. Primary sources, such as the sharecropping contract, could also help students understand the events. Overall, finding real texts from the time and other primary sources would be beneficial.
8th Grade World Connections Instructor
Middle
I very much enjoyed the journey that the John Brown song took me on! As I indicated in my reflection piece, it connected me to the song that I was familiar with (Battle Hymn of the Republic), prompting me to do additional research on my own to get answers to questions about which came first and why. And as I "dug down" further in the module and my "outside" research (much thanks to Google), I even made a connection to why the image of John Brown is on the cover of the first album made by the rock 'n' roll band, Kansas! This just made the process of analysis and "making connections" more fun and meaningful to me! As a teacher for a course called "World Connections," this is important not only for my own benefit(s), but for my students. When we can make connections to students' interests and relevant to their lives today, I believe students are more excited to learn about history! Another example of something that "caught my eye" was a letter that had my birthdate on it, but 102 years before I was born! So, I was interested in the sense that "Hey, that happened on my birthday during the Civil War!" This point leads me to the diary entries from Cofederate Navy midshipman Robert Hanson. Perhaps some students can relate to either dates or places mentioned in the entries. I wanted to pull out a map when Mr. Hanson was writing about traveling from Charlotte to Greensboro, NC; going from Danville, VA to the James River and Richmond, VA, etc. I just thought that these helped students connect to the geography and dates in history of an everyday person, especially since I teach and live near Danville and Lynchburg. These help bring the history to life!
Civil War Era
Middle
As reading is an emphasis in our classroom, presenting The New John Brown song would be taught for content but also for it poetic devices. Reading to recognize stanzas, end and internal rhyme, alliteration, similes or metaphors would be an emphasis. After listening to and analyzing the song, students could choose a well known song and change the lyrics to reflect a subject matter from the war studied.
John Brown
Elementary
I would like to have the class use information accessible to them to make a case for John Brown. Was he a hero or a terrorist? As evidenced through the information presented in this module, we see that the perception of John Brown evolved during the time of the Civil War. We look back now and think what he did was heroic and a catalyst for change, but what if something like that happened tomorrow? What if someone were to invoke violence on an ideal we didn't necessarily think was wrong? How would we feel?
Civil War era
Middle
I would like to have a letters from a Northern soldier, a Southern soldier and an African American soldier during this time period to compare and contrast. Also, analyze what the soldier was discussing in their letters.
Civil War
Middle
I need to incorporate more music in my history classroom! It would be fun to allow students to use music of the Civil War to create a music video with images illustrating the events referenced in the songs.
Soldiers' letters
Middle
I would like to have an activity based around soldiers' letters from the Civil War. Selecting one Union and one Confederate letter from early in the war would show students what early motivations for fighting the war were. Comparing these to representative letters from midway through the war could highlight changing perceptions of abolitionism and prospects for victory. Letters from black Union soldiers could round out the comparisons. Students could then see how the Civil War had differing perceptions and meanings from the very beginning, not just today.
Applying information about the Civil War
Elementary
It is interesting that important events from the Civil War were put into a song and that the tune lives on today. I wonder what current events are sung about today in our music? Is Rap Music telling the stories of the African Americans' culture in the United States today? This would be an interesting assignment to ask students to listen to music with and ear for what is happening in our culture and society.
Test
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Elementary
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Instructions

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Using the John Brown Song
Video of a 4th grade classroom analyzing the John Brown song in a lesson aimed at learning different reactions to the raid on Harper's Ferry.

Emancipation
This site from historian of the Civil War, Ed Ayers, investigates the end of slavery in the South through an interactive map that links to individual narratives.

Civil War Photos
From the National Archives, a trove of photos related to the Civil War grouped by activities, places, and portraits.