The Civil War Curriculum | Goal 5 | Middle School

KepisThe Home Front

By the Civil War Trust, Endorsed by History™History (tm) Logo

Grades:  Middle School

Approximate Length of Time: 50 minutes

Goal:  Students will be able to discuss what life was like for those on the home front and the effects of news from the field on those at home.


1. Students will be able to list examples of how and discuss why the war affected every citizen’s day-to-day life.
2. Students will be able to discuss the impact of the Civil War on families and describe the challenges faced by those on the home front during the Civil War.
3. Students will be able to describe how news traveled to the home front during the Civil War, listing communication methods of the period.
4. Students will be able to address questions concerning what actions an individual might take in a typical war time scenario.


1. The Home Front Student Sheet
2. The Home Front PowerPoint
3. Jigsaw State Activity (Teachers will need to print out one set of the sheets for the group activity)
4. 1860 Blank U.S. Map

Anticipatory Set/Hook:

1. Hand out The Home Front Student Sheet to each student.
2. Remind students that this nation is currently at war.  Remind them they are currently living on the home front.
3. Have students partner up and discuss with their partner how the current war affects their lives. 
4. On The Home Front Student Sheet, have students write down one or two things from the current war that affects their lives.
5. Have students share their answers.
6. Tell them to turn their papers over and begin The Home Front PowerPoint. These papers will be used again at the end of the lesson.


Print out the PowerPoint with notes prior to class. There are notes included with the slides that can be on the printed slides, but won’t be seen by your students during the presentation.

Activity 1

1. As a group, view The Home Front PowerPoint presentation, asking discussion questions as you go.

Activity 2

2. Students will complete the Jigsaw State Activity, in small groups; each group will receive a state and a scenario to which it will respond.  Further teacher directions are on the Jigsaw State Activity.

Activity 3

3. Have students return to their The Home Front Student Sheet.
As a group, briefly review some of the earlier responses to how the current war affects their day-to-day lives.
4. On the left side of the paper, have students write three ways the Civil War affected the lives of civilians. 


At the bottom of The Home Front Student Sheet, have students answer the following question:
Why do you think the Civil War touched the lives of every American?  Give three examples of how it affected citizens’ day-to-day lives.

Assessment in this Lesson:

1. Completed Home Front Student Sheet
2. Completed Jigsaw State Activity Sheet, informal assessment through group discussions, collected written responses, and small group presentation.



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