Contrasting the North and South before the War

Learners create a standing cube with four panels that display information on the North and South's economy, geography and climate, society, and means of transportation before the Civil War. Through discussion and reading informational text, learners gather the information needed to create their standing cubes. Then, they write an essay comparing the North and South using the information they gathered. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Encourage individuals to add visuals to their standing cubes
  • If time permits, have class members research more information on the topics
Classroom Considerations

  • The standing cube directions do not come with a picture demonstration; therefore, prepare an example of the standing cube activity for modeling purposes
  • Tailor the lesson to meet the time constraints of the classroom. For example, fold and glue the standing cubes on the first day of the lesson to allow enough time for drying
  • Lesson assumes individuals have experience conducting historical research and writing comparative essays
  • Each class member needs two sheets of white paper, glue, a highlighter, and writing materials

  • The lesson includes background information for teacher and students, a hands-on activity, discussion topics, and a comparative essay writing assessment
  • Allows for a deeper look into multiple aspects of the North and South before the Civil War

  • None