1861: The Country Goes to War

What was it like to know the Civil War was coming? Using a graphic timeline activity and excerpts of speeches from Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, learners consider the early days of the conflict. The resource includes prompts for discussion and writing activities. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use the primary source excerpt and questions to analyze the tenor of the nation prior to the opening of the Civil War
  • Create a visual timeline of events with the included activity to examine the early days of the conflict
Classroom Considerations
  • Lesson is part of a chronological series 
  • Slavery is not mentioned as a cause of the war 
Pros
  • Resource involves writing, primary source analysis, and discussion to help build critical skills
  • Lesson encourages pupils to hypothesize and support ideas
Cons
  • PowerPoint does not include background information, and further research may be necessary to use it