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Civil War Overview

September 11, 2013

Civil War Overview

By Janet Parker

3rd Grade


Resources: Moore, K. (1994). Lived at the time of the Civil War. New York City, Scholastic.

Rubric www.studyzone.org/testprep/ela4/h/rubricpersuaslet.htm



Lesson Summary: This lesson will look at both sides of the Confederate and the Union on various issues like which states left and which stayed, who fought in the armies, what was it like, what was the home life for either side, what would one see, and various other questions. Also the student has to look at both points of view  to be able to argue why their side is the best one to choose, and be able to convey it to others so they will write home about it.



Common Core Standards: RI 3.3, RI 3.6, RI3.10, W 3. 2A, D, E, F, & G


Key Terms:

point of view- a position or perspective from which something is considered or evaluated : 


compromise - settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions


govern-  to exercise continuous sovereign authority over; especially : to control and direct the making and administration of policy in


secede- to withdraw from an organization (as a religious communion or political party or federation)


plantations- a usually large group of plants and especially trees under cultivation


Underground Railroad: a system of cooperation among active antislavery people in the United States before 1863 by which fugitive slaves were secretly helped to reach the North or Canada



Historical Background: Students at third grade know very little about the Civil War but this will ask the basic questions. The Civil War was fought in 1861- 1865 under Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. The South felt like they needed to secede once he was elected because they felt the North has not and would not understand their way of life. The South  felt their states’ rights were being ignored and wanted the opportunity to govern themselves. One of the issues that is easy to explain to young people is slavery. Slaves were needed to help with the plantations but were not treated fairly in some cases and it was a moral issue for many. The North had a hard time understanding  the need for it because it was  highly industrialized unlike the South. After eleven states seceded and there was an attack on Fort Sumter the war began in April of 1865. Life in the United States was going to be changed forever.



Anticipatory Set: Teacher will see what students know about the Civil War and then write some questions that they have about the war. If they are one of the following write it on an index card for students to write their information.



  1. Students will get a compare/contrast graphic organizer with a partner
  2. Then will read the contrasting point of view. Teacher will model how to read the passage and how to take notes and report it back to a partner. Then come up with a "reasonable" argument for either the Union or Confederacy.
  3. Next, the student will teach their partner what they learned.
  4. Then they will come up which side they would be on and why.
  5. Finally, report back to the class 3 things they learned and why they chose the side they did.
  6. After each presentation the students will chart which side they would pick and then tally which side they picked the most.
  7. From that survey they will write a letter home explaining which side they picked to fight on and 3 reasons why.


Assessment: Teacher will evaluate the letter and then place the letter on a T-chart to see where the majority of the students have chosen. The rubric for the letter evaluation will be www.studyzone.org/testprep/ela4/h/rubricpersuaslet.htm



Extension: Students will take their partner’s letter and then write a response back to their questions and what is going on at home.



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