I teach 8th grade Social Studies in a school that includes many students that are below grade level readers, as well as many (35-40% receiving services) English Language Learners. I have to teach the Civil War coming up very soon, and my past experience tells me that students who come through this school really dislike the Civil War. The issue is that they seem to care very little about things that happened before they were born. The longer ago it was, the less appeal it has. If we talk about current events, they are all over it, but they detest actual history. Does anyone have ideas on how to make this more engaging for students? I have really struggled with primary sources from this era. The lower reading levels of these students combined with the bizarre (by today's standards) language and word choice of the primary sources has made it a huge challenge.