Civil War Era
Civil War Era - Wrapup
The students would also read letters from the loved ones back to the soldiers. The students would also analyze them. What were their concerns? What were their experiences?
After the students have analyzed and created an outline of what has happened between the two different groups: the soldiers and the loved ones back home, the students would then write their own version of a letter. The letter would have to contain, but not repeat, certain criteria. Using a rubric with set standards and questions to help define what is required of the assignments.
The students could then share and display their letters.
I would try to show, though no longer "slaves", the freed slaves were enslaved to the land and owners.
What is a war?
Why do people go to war?
Do you think you could be in a war? What if your brother was on a different side of the war than you?
Can a war really be won?
After our study of the Civil War and Virginia's role in it, students will look a the concept of war as a way to get what is wanted. Are there any alternatives to war? Do they work? What if there is something you truly believe in but your brother does not? Now what do you do? How would we solve this kind of situation in the classroom?
After a thorough study of the Civil War as it relates to Virginia, students will take a field trip to Manassas Battlefield.
Students will be divided into two groups - the North and the South. Using a poster, Group 1 will illustrate what the North wants that is worth fighting over. Group 2 will illustrate what the South wants that is worth fighting over.
Students will write letters home to "mom" about why they think their fighting is about something worth fighting over.
Students will discuss the consequences and positives of the war using a venn diagram.
Students would create a person that they would be and write an script concerning them. They will choose to be a woman or a freedman and tell in their perspective in pairs What their life would be like.
Students will then come back and we will have a whole class discussion and give students an opportunity to share in the class.
Chandra Manning's points that Barney breaks social convention by telling his brother what he should think is interesting and demonstrates his belief on how important the topic is. Although not part of Manning's discussion, the end of the letter shows that while Barney is supportive of abolition of slavery, he and others in society still have work to do to reach equal rights. One would suppose the Confederate soldier would not be in favor of the Emancipation Proclamation, but it is interesting for students to see his viewpoint and reasons. The African American soldier, Macy, makes a case for freedom but also unity in the country and reconciliation, still another viewpoint not mentioned in the first two letters.
As we are often encouraging students to look at the issues in the time period, reading personal letters seem to be a way for students to gain the person's perspective, even if they disagree with the content.
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.
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.
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.