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8th-grade Lesson Plans


Lesson Title: Civil War Museum
Created and Submitted by: Mari Salinas and Albert Guajardo
School Name: Lamar Bruni Vergara Middle School
District: United ISD in Laredo, Texas
Roles: School Librarian and Social Studies Classroom Teacher


Grade Level: 8th Grade


Lesson Plan Objectives:
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
1. Understand the social, political, geographical and economical impact of the Civil War.
2. Understand how reforms and reformers changed American society.
3. Use graphic organizers and manipulatives to give examples of how Manifest Destiny changed American way of life and impacted U.S. government.   
§110.20. English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 8
(22) Research/Research Plan. Students ask open-ended research questions and develop a plan for answering them.


Other Content Area Addressed:
History. The student understands traditional historical points of reference in U.S. history through 1877. The students is expected to
(1) (A) identify the major eras and events in U.S. history through 1877, including colonization, revolution, drafting of the Declaration of Independence, creation and ratification of the Constitution, religious revivals such as the Second Great Awakening, early republic, the Age of Jackson, westward expansion, reform movements, sectionalism, Civil War, and Reconstruction, and describe their causes and effects.

(2) History. The student understands individuals, issues, and events of the Civil War. The student is expected to
(A) explain the roles played by significant individuals during the Civil War, including Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and Abraham Lincoln, and heroes such as Congressional Medal of Honor recipients William Carney and Philip Bazaar.
(B) explain the causes of the Civil War, including sectionalism, states’ rights, and slavery, and significant events of the Civil War, including the firing on Fort Sumter; the battles of Antietam, Gettysburg, and Vicksburg; the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation; Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House; and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln; and
(C) analyze Abraham Lincoln’s ideas about liberty, equality, union, and government as contained in his first and second inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg Address and contrast them with the ideas contained in Jefferson Davis’s inaugural address.


(12) Economics. The student understands why various sections of the United States developed different patterns of economic activity. The student is expected to
(D) analyze the causes and effects of economic differences among different regions of the United States at selected times in U.S. history.


(22) Citizenship. The student understands the importance of effective leadership in a constitutional republic. The student is expected to
(B) describe the contributions of significant political, social, and military leaders of the United States such as Frederick Douglass, John Paul Jones, James Monroe, Stonewall Jackson, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.


Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Indicators:
1.1.4 Find, evaluate, and select appropriate sources to answer questions.
1.2.1 Display initiative and engagement by posing questions and investigating the answers beyond the collection of superficial facts.
2.1.1 Continue an inquiry-based research process by applying critical-thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, evaluation, organization) to information and knowledge in order to construct new understandings, draw conclusions, and create new knowledge.


Classroom Teacher – School Librarian Collaboration:
• The teacher will bring historical artifacts:
a. Slave shackles- were custom made by a welder (personal collection)
b. Slave collar with bells- were custom made by a welder (personal collection)
c. soldier uniforms- borrowed from House of Rentals and Cherry’s Costumes in San Antonio
d. swords- (actual item, not a replica) borrowed from a family with decedents that fought in the war
e. doll house- purchased at an antique shop in Gruene, TX
f. Period dress and hat - borrowed from House of Rentals
g. cotton blossoms (Dillard’s)
h. butter churn- purchased at an antique shop in Gruene, TX
i. cannon- Teacher made
j. Period documents/ letters - purchased as a primary documents kit at Lakeshore in San Antonio, TX
k. Uncle Tom’s Cabin - personal copy of the book purchased at a book store
l. stove- purchased at an antique store in Wimberley, TX
m. iron- purchased at an antique store in Wimberley, TX
• The librarian provides library books about all topics related to the Civil War.
• The librarian provides historical pictures from online archives related to the Civil War.
• Both educators will provide iPads, United Streaming, and Brain Pop to incorporate technology.
• Educators share responsibility for guiding and assessing students’ scavenger hunt questions and graphic organizer.


Measurable Outcome or Final Product: Students will learn the social, political, geographic, and economic impact of the Civil War and how reforms and reformers changed American society. They will use graphic organizers and manipulatives to give examples of how Manifest Destiny changed the American way of life. Educators will use the scavenger hunt questions developed by the students and Civil War Cause and Effect Chart as assessment instruments.


Assessment Tools: Civil War Scavenger Hunt Handout, Student-created Open-ended Questions and Civil War Cause and Effect Chart


YouTube: (rap song) "Causes of the American Civil War" -  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25IzGDvL5oM
a. Disney’s "The American Presidents: Abraham Lincoln" - http://tinyurl.com/m59hhk8
b. Disney’s The American Presidents: Ulysses S. Grant" - http://tinyurl.com/mc9oklm

Audio Recording of Gettysburg Address: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/gettysburgaddress.htm

United Streaming: "Fort Sumter: The Start of the Civil War"


For educators who do not have a subscription and password to United Streaming, may view the following Fort Sumter and Civil War Videos. 
1st http://youtu.be/cv-pTU99RcY
2nd http://youtu.be/O9p7V7GrHjE
3rd http://youtu.be/63_sXFn6pYY


For educators who do not have resources to collect real artifacts, I have included the following Museum Virtual Tours:


Civil War PowerPoint

Civil War Museum Scavenger Hunt Handout

Civil War Cause and Effect Chart

Civil War Museum Costumes Photographs

IPad Civil War Free Apps
• Civil War Gettysburg Battle app
• Minnesota and the Civil War app


Estimated Lesson Time: 2 hours (or 2 days)


Instructional Plan Outline:


• Educators create Civil War museum using artifacts, books, iPads, historical picture, and more in the library.


1. Educators introduce distinguishing characteristics between northern and southern parts of the U.S. and how these characteristics led to the Civil War. Each educator will represent the North side and the South side.
2. They share the Civil War PowerPoint.

3. Before the Tour Museum/Scavenger Hunt begins, the educators model composing three levels of questions:
Level 1 Example: What impact did Sectionalism have on the United States politically, economically and socially?
Level 2 Example:  How could the United States have been different if President Lincoln had not enacted the Emancipation Proclamation?
Level 3 Example: Explain why the South claimed they had the right to secede from the Union and what opposition was met because of their actions.
4. Find a book on slavery, read a paragraph and create a level 3 question.
5. Find a book on the Civil War, read a paragraph and create a level 1 question.
6. Find a book about the Emancipation Proclamation, read a paragraph about the American South and create a level 2 question.
7. Find a book on the Civil War, read a paragraph about Jefferson Davis or Robert E. Lee and create a level 3 question about his character / personality.
8. Students then develop questions with a partner; educators check students’ questions and put them in three different bags based on the question level.
9. Each group of students picks three random questions one from each of the grab bags.
10. Students tour museum displays in the library and find the display that corresponds to their questions. Students record their answers on their own lined paper or provide oral responses (teacher discretion).


Day 2

11. Educators share “Causes of the American Civil War” (rap song): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25IzGDvL5oM
12. If appropriate, they share a selection of the videos or excerpts from the multimedia resources listed above.


13. Educators review the objectives and procedures for students’ interactions with the museum and recording the answers to open-ended questions.
14. Students will respond to the questions on the Civil War Museum Scavenger Hunt Handout as well as record the responses to their open-ended questions on lined paper.


Guided Practice:
15. Educators ensure students are on task and learning by offering explanations on the different items on display and probe students’ comprehension of exhibits, while students work alone or with partners to complete the scavenger hunt, record responses to student-created questions, and engage with the artifacts in the museum.


16. Students discuss with their partner what they saw in the museum and apply information to the lesson, PowerPoint notes, and videos.
17. Students complete the Civil War Cause and Effect Chart.


18. Educators assess students’ Civil War Scavenger Hunt handout responses (teacher created), Level 1-2-3 questions (student-created) from the grab bag and Civil War Cause and Effect Chart.


19. Journal Writing: Students choose a role or an important historical figure that they are more drawn to from the exhibit. Each student writes a journal entry from the perspective of that individual. The student must explain a day in the life of the person they chose.
20. Students view Gone with the Wind as reference to the Civil War, the burning of Atlanta, and Reconstruction and write a review on the movie.


Lesson Plan Resources


Civil War PowerPoint (.ppt)


Civil War Museum Scavenger Hunt Handout (.doc)


Civil War Cause and Effect Chart (.doc)


ELAR_8_22_Salinas_Guajardo_TEKS_Alignment_Lesson Plan (.pdf)



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