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In this activity students compare and contrast a political cartoon and a letter to the editor from 1862 that describe ordinary soldiers who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War.
In this activity students examine sheet music and letters from draft rioters to examine Union attitudes about the military draft during the Civil War.
In this activity, students are guided through a close reading of The Journal of Sean Sullivan: A Transcontinental Railroad Worker, a fictional book for young readers based on historical sources. Students will read a short excerpt from the beginning [...]
In this activity students read three letters written by African-American soldiers during the Civil War to determine why black soldiers felt compelled to join the Union Army.
In this activity students create a "magic lantern show," or presentation that illustrates how African American defined freedom for themselves after emancipation and the challenges and threats they faced. Students use primary sources from the [...]
In this activity students will examine how attitudes towards slavery and the Civil War changed between 1860 and 1865. What began in the minds of President Lincoln and most northerners as a war to preserve the union changed, over the course of the [...]
This activity features differentiation and scaffolding to help students understand the new social freedoms and new threats to the families of freedmen during Reconstruction. Students work in heterogeneous skill-level groups to analyze several [...]
In this activity students consider different viewpoints on whether former slaves should be given land at the end of the Civil War. Students read one of five primary sources and summarize the author's viewpoint. This activity makes a good [...]
In this activity students research roles as either Irish immigrants or African-American residents in the midst of the New York City Draft Riots that took place in July 1863. Students gather evidence from primary sources to develop their characters, [...]
In this activity students analyze visual and textual evidence about "contraband" enslaved African Americans during the Civil War era. They compare the roles of African Americans, the Union military, and the policies of the Republican party in [...]