For Immediate Release: 03/23/11
As Sesquicentennial Begins, Civil War Trust Unveils New Curriculum for Educators
Interdisciplinary guide receives endorsement of History™, the nation’s leading resource for all things history
(Washington, D.C.) – With the 150th anniversary of the Civil War prompting discussions in classrooms across the country, the nation’s largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization is offering educators an exciting suite of lesson plans, supplementary materials and other resources designed to help students of all ages connect to this exciting period in history. Covering the pre-war period, as well as the complex conflict’s lasting legacy and modern efforts to preserve its memory, the Civil War Trust’s Civil War Curriculum is an ideal resource for educators seeking a thorough and engaging classroom experience.
Available at three skill levels — elementary, middle and high school — the curriculum is designed to be presented over a two-week period. Its nine individual learning goals allow students to explore the causes and effects of the Civil War on political, economic, military and cultural levels. Developed with the input of veteran classroom teachers with more than a century of combined classroom experience, the curriculum aligns with the National Council for Social Studies Standards and fits easily into most state Social Studies and Language Arts standards. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking and analysis of primary sources, including period documents, photographs and maps. Beyond just lesson plans and hand outs, the curriculum also provides interdisciplinary materials and multimedia presentations designed to bring 19th-century history alive in a 21st-century classroom.
The curriculum made its debut last weekend at a professional development workshop for history educators held in conjunction with the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College. Initial feedback from program participants was effusive: “The curriculum provided by the Civil War Trust is comprehensive and takes the student beyond names, dates, and battlefields,” said one Allentown, Pennsylvania-based High School AP American Studies Teacher, “allowing the students to view the events as one who lived it and see value in preserving the memory of those that truly did.”
A 5th grade teacher from Summit, New Jersey, said, “I was very impressed by the thoroughness of the curriculum. The primary sources included were fantastic! The graphic organizers presented the material in a clear visual perfect for students to see the big picture.”
As part of its ongoing commitment to providing outstanding educational resources to teachers at minimum cost, the entire curriculum is available for download free-of-charge from the Trust website at www.civilwar.org/curriculum. The online edition readily connects teachers to additional, related lesson plans and resources that may be used to augment the basic curriculum materials. Bound copies of the curriculum, including a CD-ROM with all digital materials are available for purchase at a cost of $36.95.
In addition to the new Civil War Curriculum, the Trust provides a variety of educational resources for teachers and students alike — from exciting contests to research aides. For more details on these initiatives, visit www.civilwar.org/education.
The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 30,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states. Learn more at www.civilwar.org.