Civil War

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by liteacher211, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. liteacher211

    liteacher211 Rookie

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    Feb 15, 2008

    I just found out that one of the topics that we need to cover this year is the Civil War. I've never taught the Civil War. I was wondering if anyone had any good ideas about how to get my students to be engaged in this topic or if anyone knows of any good read-alouds that go with the Civil War. I would appreciate any help!
     
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  3. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Feb 15, 2008

    The Civil War is sooooo vast........How many hours will you devote to it?????

    Major..........:):)
     
  4. TXTCHR29

    TXTCHR29 Cohort

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    Feb 15, 2008

  5. liteacher211

    liteacher211 Rookie

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    Feb 15, 2008

    I have about a month to teach the civil war. My school is in the process of finding a new textbook...the one we have now is too wordy and difficult so I tend to use a lot of other resources. Any ideas/resources would be helpful.
     
  6. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    A month means what........ maybe 20 1 hour classes???:)
     
  7. TXTCHR29

    TXTCHR29 Cohort

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    Feb 16, 2008


    If she's lucky maybe! I had 2 weeks to cover the Civil War!!! I am able to teach Social Studies for maybe 20 minutes a day....I think the 5th grade Social Studies curriculum for Texas is crazy! We are supposed to cover from Colonial Times to Present Day, all without a designated Social Studies time!
     
  8. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Feb 16, 2008

    20 minutes is not enough time.... I don't know how you would even get started on a lesson in the amount of time........:confused:

    Why so little time for social studies??
     
  9. bluelightstar

    bluelightstar Companion

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    Feb 16, 2008

    I suspect NCLB and the focus on math and English is to blame!
     
  10. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    How does NCLB affect subject matter? Admittedly, I don't know much about NCLB......:):)
     
  11. bluelightstar

    bluelightstar Companion

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    Most of the state tests are in mathematics, English, and reading. So in order to meet AYP, most elementary schools neglect science, social studies, and electives to maximize English and math instruction.
     
  12. TXTCHR29

    TXTCHR29 Cohort

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    Exactly! In 5th grade we departmentalize. We have a team of 4 classes. Me and one other teacher teach Writing, Reading, Spelling, Social Studies in our block of time, We have one teacher who teaches math, and one who teaches Science.

    So, I have a little less than 3 hours a day to teach writing, reading, spelling, and social studies. Students are required to pass the reading test in 5th grade to be promoted, so my main focus needs to be on reading. I'm doing the best I can to teach social studies, but I just don't have the time needed to truly develop the student's skills...I'm afraid to see whats going to happen if they bring the S.S. TAKS test to 5th grade like Texas is planning on doing. :eek:
     
  13. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Except in Texas 5th grade tests in science and 8th grade tests in social studies....and students have to pass to promote.
     
  14. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Feb 16, 2008

    As a Social Studies teacher, this is so sad to hear but understandable. Students and teachers must focus on what is being tested. Anyway, have you thought about doing your SS Units in terms of a contract. This would allow students to work on their SS assignments when they are ahead or caught up with their other work.

    One assignment I have done with my high schoolers for US is have them write a newspaper about a certain battle - one student writes the newspaper as a southern newspaper and one writes as a northern newspaper. They must include an article about the specific battle they are assigned, bio about an important person involved in that battle, interview with average person about conditions, news about latest politic events and editorial. After they completed the assignment, I pass around all the newspaper and we have a discussion about history having a point of view and understanding how bias affects the way history has been related. I have my students use MicroSoft publisher newsletter templates to create their newspaper.
     
  15. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Feb 16, 2008

    Write to TCI (History Alive) and get a sample kit for fifth grade. It's pretty simple and gives an overview of the Civil War as opposed to the books that include all the details.

    I think the sampler kit is $49 but if you call they will send you a sample book for free.
     
  16. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Apr 26, 2008

    I know this is a couple months after the initial post, but I thought I'd share anyway in case someone wanted to use my Civil War WebQuest next year.


    Civil War WebQuest

    Introduction
    Your teacher is taking you on a field trip to learn more about the Civil War. Before you can visit the Civil War museum, you and your classmates are hard at work learning everything you can about the Civil War, including important events and people. The morning of the field trip, your teacher has some bad news. She takes a deep breath and tells you, “I received a phone call this morning from the museum. The sprinkler system went off throughout the Civil War exhibit last night and ruined everything so we will not be going on our field trip.”


    Task
    You and your classmates are going to help the museum by recreating their Civil War exhibit. You will be locating and describing battle sites, comparing and contrasting Union and Confederate soldiers, analyzing which side had the best resources, constructing a timeline of key events, discussing the positive/negative effects of the war, and taking part in interviews with key individuals of the Civil War. For your assigned section, you will decide how you want to display your information in the museum. You may choose to create a model, poster, book, brochure, newspaper or another type of presentation. You must check with your teacher before you start working on your presentation.


    Process
    Battle Sites (7 students):
    Identify seven key battle sites of the Civil War
    Record the following information about each of the battle sites:
    What was it called?
    When did it occur?
    How long did it last?
    Where was it located?
    What were important events surrounding the battle?
    Construct a map that labels each of your chosen battle sites with a description of each

    Soldiers (4 students, split into pairs to research a type of soldier):
    Union Soldiers: Compile a list of information about your soldiers. Make sure to include:
    Which side they were fighting for
    What their uniforms looked like
    What their beliefs in the Civil War were
    Which states they came from
    What life was like for them
    What their flag looked like
    Any other important information

    Confederate Soldiers: Compile a list of information about these soldiers. Make sure to include:
    Which side they were fighting for
    What their uniforms looked like
    What their beliefs in the Civil War were
    Which states they came from
    What life was like for them
    What their flag looked like
    Any other important information
    Compare/contrast both types of soldiers

    Resources (4 students, split into pairs to research a type of soldier’s resources):
    Identify what resources each type of soldier (Union and Confederate) had available to them during the Civil War:
    Food
    Clothing
    Weapons
    Transportation
    Number of soldiers
    Other

    Respond to the following questions:
    Which side benefited most from their resources? Why?
    What resources could the other side gain to become more successful? Why?

    Timeline (7 students):
    Divide the following events up amongst your group:
    Surrender at Appomattox
    Firing on Fort Sumter
    The Gettysburg Address
    Emancipation Proclamation
    Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin
    Underground Railroad
    The Battle of Gettysburg

    Each group member will research their event and identify the following information:
    Date it started
    Date it ended
    Where it took place
    Who was involved
    Why it happened
    What role it played in the Civil War
    Other

    Write a paragraph describing your event

    Effects of the War (2 students):
    You will visit each student to find out in what way their topic impacted (positive/negative) the Civil War.
    Before you begin gathering your information, think about the information you will learning from your classmates. Design a way to record the information.

    Note: You will need to ask questions to get the most information you can out of your classmates. Do not accept answers that do not provide enough information.

    After you have gathered your information, compile your information with your partner and write a paragraph describing the positive and negative effects of the Civil War.

    Interviews (8 students):
    Divide the following people up amongst your group:
    Robert E. Lee
    Abraham Lincoln
    Jefferson Davis
    Ulysses S. Grant
    Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson
    Joseph E. Johnston
    Frederick Douglass
    Harriet Tubman

    Each person will research information about their person, identifying and recording information related to their role in the Civil War

    Example: Abraham Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery in the South and shared it with the public on September 22, 1863.

    Using this information, you will develop 7-10 questions that could be answered by your person
    Question: What was the name of the document you created to end slavery?

    After your questions have been written, write the answer your person would have given
    Answer: The document that I created to end slavery was called the Emancipation Proclamation and went into effect on September 22, 1863.


    Resources
    Battle Sites:
    http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/byway/civil_war2.htm
    http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/byway/civil_war3.htm
    http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/byway/civil_war4.htm
    http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/byway/civil_war5.htm
    http://virtualology.com/uscivilwarhall/CIVILWARBATTLE.NET/

    Soldiers:
    Union –
    http://www.mce.k12tn.net/civil_war/north_south.htm
    http://www.mce.k12tn.net/civil_war/war.htm
    http://americancivilwar.com/pictures/north_south_states.gif
    http://library.thinkquest.org/6074/pages/slunconf.html
    http://library.thinkquest.org/6074/pages/stories.html
    http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/our_america/civil_war/index.htm
    http://go.hrw.com/ndNSAPI.nd/gohrw_rls1/pKeywordResults?ST9 Soldiers#result_page_top
    http://www.kidport.com/RefLib/UsaHistory/CivilWar/Uniforms.htm
    http://civilwar.si.edu/life_intro.html

    Confederate –
    http://www.mce.k12tn.net/civil_war/north_south.htm
    http://americancivilwar.com/pictures/north_south_states.gif
    http://library.thinkquest.org/6074/pages/slunconf.html
    http://library.thinkquest.org/6074/pages/stories.html
    http://www.kidport.com/RefLib/UsaHistory/CivilWar/Uniforms.htm
    http://civilwar.si.edu/life_intro.html
    http://www.mce.k12tn.net/civil_war/confederacy.htm
    http://spec.lib.vt.edu/civwar/memoirs.htm (scroll down to p. 1))
    http://abcteach.com/flags/confederate.htm

    Soldier Resources:
    http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/exhibits/gettex/index.htm
    http://library.thinkquest.org/6074/pages/slactivs.html
    http://library.thinkquest.org/6074/pages/slweapon.html
    http://library.thinkquest.org/6074/pages/slmedicl.html
    http://library.thinkquest.org/6074/pages/stories.html
    http://www.civilwarhome.com/confederatesoldierlife.htm

    Timeline:
    Surrender at Appomattox:
    http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/appomatx.htm
    http://civilwar.si.edu/appomattox_intro.html
    http://www.nps.gov/archive/apco/surrend.htm
    http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/archive/2005-06/2005-06-01-voa3.cfm
    http://www.usa-civil-war.com/Appomattox/appomattox.html

    Emancipation Proclamation:
    http://www.factmonster.com/ce6/history/A0857370.html
    http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/alhtml/almintr.html
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2967.html
    http://www.pocanticohills.org/civilwar/emancip.htm
    http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=34


    The Gettysburg Address:
    http://www2.lhric.org/pocantico/civilwar/gettysadd.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gettysburg_Address
    http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/gettysburg.htm


    Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin:
    http://www.juliantrubin.com/bigten/whitneycottongin.html
    http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/war/biographies/whitney.html
    http://www.lycos.com/info/eli-whitney.html
    http://www.eliwhitney.org/cotton.htm


    Underground Railroad:
    http://americancivilwar.com/underground_railroad.html
    http://www.cwurmuseum.org/pages/Underground.htm
    http://www2.lhric.org/pocantico/tubman/tubman.html
    http://www.nps.gov/history/NR/travel/underground/states.htm
    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/features/99/railroad/j2.html

    Battle of Gettysburg:
    http://americancivilwar.com/getty.html
    http://www.multied.com/CivilWar/Getty.html
    http://americanhistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa101601a.htm
    http://www.nps.gov/archive/gett/gettkidz/kidzindex.htm

    Firing on Fort Sumter:
    http://www.us-civilwar.com/sumter.htm
    http://americancivilwar.com/statepic/sc/sc001.html
    http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/sumter.htm

    People of the Civil War:
    Jefferson Davis:
    http://civilwar.si.edu/leaders_davis.html
    http://www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi/jb/civil/jeffdav_1
    http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/war/biographies/davis.html
    http://www.civilwarhome.com/jdavisbio.htm

    Ulysses S. Grant:
    http://civilwar.si.edu/leaders_grant.html
    http://millercenter.org/academic/americanpresident/grant
    http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/archive/2005-06/2005-06-01-voa3.cfm
    http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/war/biographies/grant.html
    http://www.civilwarhome.com/grantbio.htm

    Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson:
    http://civilwar.si.edu/leaders_jackson.html
    http://www.us-civilwar.com/jackson.htm
    http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/war/biographies/jackson.html
    http://www.civilwarhome.com/jackbio.htm

    Joseph E. Johnston:
    http://civilwar.si.edu/leaders_johnston.html
    http://www.civilwarhome.com/joejohnston.htm
    http://www.nndb.com/people/255/000050105/

    Robert E. Lee:
    http://civilwar.si.edu/leaders_lee.html
    http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/archive/2005-06/2005-06-01-voa3.cfm
    http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/war/biographies/lee.html
    http://www.civilwarhome.com/leebio.htm

    Abraham Lincoln
    http://civilwar.si.edu/lincoln_intro.html
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2967.html
    http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/war/biographies/lincoln.html
    http://www.civilwarhome.com/lincolnbio.htm

    Frederick Douglass:
    http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/war/biographies/douglass.html
    http://www.nps.gov/archive/frdo/fdlife.htm
    http://www.nndb.com/people/447/000048303/

    Harriet Tubman:
    http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/war/biographies/tubman.html
    http://www2.lhric.org/pocantico/tubman/tubman.html
    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/features/99/railroad/j2.html
    http://www.civilwarhome.com/tubmanbio.htm


    Evaluation (If you want a copy of these, let me know and I can send them to you)
    6-Traits Rubric
    Presentation Rubric
    Project Rubric (Note: This rubric will be student generated after each group has chosen what method of presentation they will use.)


    Conclusion
    Throughout this project, I hope you gained a better understanding of the events surrounding the Civil War, including how many people sacrificed their lives so that we could live in the world we live in today. Ask yourself: If those sacrifices had never been made, what kind of world would we be living in today? What actions could you take to make sure that an event like this never happened again? Who knows, centuries from now, your actions may have just as big of an impact as those involved in the Civil War.
     
  17. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Apr 26, 2008

    Very nice! Thank you for posting it.
     
  18. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Apr 26, 2008

    I suggest that you also use reading time to teach the civil war or any other social studies topic. Do it for science too. Use reading time to teach expository texts, many of the students in middle and high school never developed the skills to read subject matter texts, and in the process you can expand your time to teach other subjects.
     
  19. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Apr 26, 2008

    I am about to delve into the Civil War unit too. Acutally, we have been learning about slavery, UGRR, and just started talking about all the compromises up to the Comp. of 1850. If you can do a quick overview of the political situation from roughly early 1800's through 1860 that will help set the stage for the Civil War. It doesn't need to be too detailed, just enough for the students to understand why slavery continued to grow in the South but died out in the North and why the S wanted to keep it so badly while the N wanted to abolished (sweeping generalizations, i know).

    When we actually study the war itself I try to use our text as a resource only as it only has two lessons. I pull in videos with primary sources (think PBS) and other activities. I have a book called The Underground Railroad For Kids that is full of activities, art projects, stories about individuals involved, etc. I think there is another in the series called The Civil War For Kids. That should be helpful. Here's the link.

    http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Kid...bs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209266973&sr=1-1

    I have more at school. I'll try to post again early next week.
     
  20. kelbel7583

    kelbel7583 Rookie

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    Apr 27, 2008

    Buy the book The Silent Witness . It focuses on the perspective of a doll that was left behind during the surrender at Appomatex. You can even access the National Park website to see the real doll.
     
  21. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Apr 27, 2008

    Yup, I'm finding myself waaaay behind in social studies, too. We're at Manifest Destiny/Settling the West. Not my favorite part of American History, either. If anyone's got a quick way to get through 200 years of history in less than 6 weeks, please let me know :)
     
  22. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Apr 29, 2008

    Some other books with activites that I have used or hound helpful:

    Hands On History: The Civil War (Scholastic)
    The American Civil War (Carson Dellosa, Mark Twain)
    Primary Sources Teaching Kit; The Civil War (Scholastic)

    Right now I have them making Road to the Civil War timelines with 10 events/causes leading up to the Civil War as a review. You might also make up some Internet scavenger hunts for them to complete during center time or computer class.
     
  23. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Apr 29, 2008

    Skip over the materials they have covered in other classes. I skip basically from the Louisiana Purchase to the Underground Railroad and never even touch on the Westward Movement, Industrial Revolution, Texas's fight for Independence, or the Mexican-American War since I know they have either covered it the year before or will get it again in 8th grade.
     
  24. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    May 4, 2008

    My kids loved "Soldier's Heart", by Gary Paulsen. We bought a class set for reading class. It's one of the few books that we read as a class, and don't level because of the huge discussion that goes with it. It is pretty gruesome in parts.

    Pink and Say
    The Boy's War

    This topic can definitely be taught during reading class.
     
  25. liteacher211

    liteacher211 Rookie

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    Jun 1, 2008

    Calalilys - Great project idea. I'll definately be helpful for next year - Thanks!
     
  26. jelawson

    jelawson Rookie

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    Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco is my favorite read aloud. The kids love it also.
     
  27. jelawson

    jelawson Rookie

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    Jun 1, 2008

    I also use the USA STUDIES WEEKLY NEWSPAPER with my students and it will be starting with the Civil War this year. I use this instead of the textbook as ours also is too difficult for the students. This newspaper covers everything we need to know and we are able to cover it much faster. I still spend about 3 weeks teaching it. This same newspaper also covers everything from the Civil War to present day. It also includes extra papers covering current events. I am sure there will be a good coverage of the election this year. I find this paper much better than any of the other weekly subscriptions that are available to teachers.
     
  28. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jun 1, 2008

    How much does this newspaper cost? How is it different from, say, Scholastic News or another magazine that has lots of current events?
     
  29. jelawson

    jelawson Rookie

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    Jun 2, 2008

    it costs about the same. i am thinking $4.50 per student. i like it much better than scholastics or weekly reader because it covers 99% of the social studies curriculum. i was able to use these instead of my book, and the students had better recall with this. the back side of it has a vocabulary review, think and review questions and a map skill. the students loved them. they always include some current event, and it also comes with an assessment book for the teacher which includes assessments for each paper. it is definitely the best resource i have found for teaching social studies.
     
  30. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Are the topics covered sequentially? In random order? I have received the sample paper every year, and I thought it looked good, but I was never sure just how the material was presented throughout the year and how much detail was given.
     

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