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Civil War Trust

Civil War Lesson Plans

Elementary School | Middle SchoolHigh School 
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Lesson Plans

Teach the Civil War using our lesson plans. Created by educators for educators, our plans include all the needed materials and resources free for you to use in your classroom.  

Elementary    

Civil War Animal Mascots »
Students will study the American Civil War through the stories of the animals.

Civil War Literature Circle Lesson Plan »
By combining Civil War fictional literature with history lessons on the Civil War the students will discuss their book in relation to what they are learning about the Civil War in history class.

Civil War Personalities Lesson Plan »
Students will discuss the topic of character, identify what good character traits are, and identify character traits of historic figures by reading their biographies. 

Civil War 3-D Photography Lesson Plan: Photography as a Primary Source »
Students will answer document based questions using 3-D photographs from the Civil War.

Civil War Play Lesson Plan - Best Lesson Plan 2010 »
Perform the play "Uncommon Bonds" with your students in order to learn about the Civil War, humanity, and preservation.

Civil War Reader's Theater Lesson Plan »
Students will take part in reading a play about the Civil War aloud, practicing fluency and gaining content knowledge about the Civil War.

Civil War Slang Lesson Plan»
Students will study the common vocabulary used amongst Civil War soldiers and then use it to write their own letters.

Creating a Historic Site Lesson Plan »
After choosing a location students will conduct original research and establish arguments for the preservation and recognition of the historic site.

Gettysburg Address Lesson Plan »
Teach the Gettysburg Address using multimedia and Lincoln's simple, but powerful words. 

Map the Civil War Lesson Plan »
Students will use the tools common to 1860's map makers to map a familiar location and then decide where camping, battles, and troop movement should take place.

The Common Civil War Soldier Lesson Plan »
Involve reenactors and reenactment in your classroom to teach the Civil War.

Transcribing Civil War History Lesson Plan »
Given a document from the Civil War students will transcribe the document and orally present it to their classmates.

How to Make A 3-D Photo »
Turn a stereograph into a great looking 3-D photo to engage your students.

Middle School      

The Gathering Storm: The Coming of the Civil War Lesson Plan »
Students will learn about the coming of the Civil War by examining and working with visual representations of the events that preceded it.

Battlefield Preservation Lesson Plan: A Guided Understanding of Civil War Battlefield Preservation »
Delve into the study of memorialization with your students.  Look at modern memorialization practices in comparison to those of the 1860's.

Civil War Literature Circle Lesson Plan »
By combining Civil War fictional literature with history lessons on the Civil War the students will discuss their book in relation to what they are learning about the Civil War in history class.

Civil War Newspaper Lesson Plan »
After researching and studying newspapers from the Civil War students will use their creative writing, design, and computer skills to develop their own "Civil War" newspaper. 

Civil War Personalities Lesson Plan »
Students will discuss the topic of character, identify what good character traits are, and identify character traits of historic figures by reading their biographies. 

Civil War Photography Lesson Plan: Photography as a Primary Source »
Students will answer document based questions using photographs from the Civil War.

Civil War Reader's Theater Lesson Plan »
Students will take part in reading a play about the Civil War aloud, practicing fluency and gaining content knowledge about the Civil War.

Civil War Slang Lesson Plan»
Students will study the common vocabulary used amongst Civil War soldiers and then use it to write their own letters.

Genealogy Lesson Plan »
Create a personal tie for students with the Civil War by having them research a relative or soldier who participated in the Civil War.

Gettysburg Address Lesson Plan »
Teach the Gettysburg Address using multimedia and Lincoln's simple, but powerful words. 

Map the Civil War Lesson Plan »
Students will use the tools common to 1860's map makers to map a familiar location and then decide where camping, battles, and troop movement should take place.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin Lesson Plan »
Complete a literature study of one of the most famous and influential works of all time.

United States Colored Troops Lesson Plan »
Using primary documents to draw conclusions students will discover the diversity of Civil War soldiers.

Battle of Fredericksburg Lesson Plan »
Use our animated map of Fredericksburg to teach mapping skills and critical thinking skills.

Civil War Soldier Lesson Plan: Experiencing the Battle of Franklin»
Discover and discuss what it was like for soldiers during the war by looking closely at the Battle of Franklin, TN.

Contrasting the North and South before the War Lesson Plan: Identifying Similarities and Differences » 
Students will compare and contrast the Northern and Southern regions of the United States during the late 19th century.

Creating Civil War Multimedia Journals Lesson Plan »
Students produce multimedia Civil War Journals using primary documents, creative writing skills, design tools, and computer software.

Life as a Soldier after the Civil War: What's in a Name » 
Explore the challenges faced by Irish and African American war veterans using case studies created from pension records.

Preservation of Civil War Battlefields Lesson Plan - Best Lesson Plan 2009 »
Can’t go on a field trip to Gettysburg; try out this lesson using the National Park Service virtual tour software.

Researching Local Civil War Soldiers Lesson Plan »
Using local resources students will research a local soldier who served in the Civil War and present their findings.

Saving Civil War Battlefields Lesson Plan »
Create brochures to battlefields discussing their historic significance and reason for preservation.

Transcribing Civil War History Lesson Plan »
Given a document from the Civil War students will transcribe the document and orally present it to their classmates.

United States Colored Troops Lesson Plan: The Black Soldier's Role in the Civil War »
Students will research the USCT and discuss the progression of civil rights from the Civil War to today. 

How to Make A 3-D Photo »
Turn a stereograph into a great looking 3-D photo to engage your students.

Southern Secession and the 1860 Election »
Students will explore personal and national attitudes about slavery and disunion during the prelude to the Civil War.

Civil War Medicine: Fact and Fiction »
Utilizing a multi-media approach, students will bust myths about the practice and intellectual underpinnings of Civil War medicine.

Jesse James and the Effects of the Missouri Border War »
Students will engage in a mock trial of Jesse James, examining the conflicting loyalties, duties, and personalities that shaped the Civil War.

Civil War Letters »
Students will use letters written by Civil War soldiers to find points of similarity and contrast in Northern and Southern experiences.

High School     

The Gathering Storm: The Coming of the Civil War Lesson Plan »
Students will learn about the coming of the Civil War by examining and working with visual representations of the events that preceded it.

Election of 1864 Lesson Plan »
Teach your students about the election of 1864 without revealing a winner and then conduct a vote.  Find out who the winner would have been for your class!

Gettysburg Address Lesson Plan »
Teach the Gettysburg Address using multimedia and Lincoln's simple, but powerful words. 

African Americans After the Civil War Lesson Plan »
Use primary sources to discover what happened to the African American population following the Civil War.

African-American Civil War Soldiers Lesson Plan: Fighting for Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship »
Students will have the opportunity study the roll of African-Americans during the Civil War using primary sources and then apply that knowledge to develop a memorial.

Battle of Fredericksburg Lesson Plan »
Use our animated map of Fredericksburg to teach mapping skills and critical thinking skills.

Civil War Battle Strategy Lesson Plan: The Roads to Antietam » 
Using maps skills and analysis of primary documents from 1862, students will analyze and create a battle plan in preparation for the battle of Antietam. 

Civil War Civilian Experience Lesson Plan: Experiencing the Battle of Franklin »
The Battle of Franklin, TN was one of the most horrific battles not only for soldiers but for those who lived there.  Students will discover what it was like to be a civilian in that historic moment. 

Civil War Photography Lesson Plan: Technological Development and Social Impact »
Using Civil War photographs, students will learn the technological progression of photography and investigate the impact of war-time imagery on society.

Civil War Soldier Lesson Plan: Experiencing the Battle of Franklin»
Discover and discuss what it was like for soldiers during the war by looking closely at the Battle of Franklin, TN.

Contrasting the North and South before the War Lesson Plan: Identifying Similarities and Differences »
Students will compare and contrast the Northern and Southern regions of the United States during the late 19th century.

Creating Civil War Multimedia Journals Lesson Plan »
Students produce multimedia Civil War Journals using primary documents, creative writing skills, design tools, and computer software.

Gettysburg Address Lesson Plan »
Teach the Gettysburg Address using multimedia and Lincoln's simple, but powerful words. 

John Brown Lesson Plan: Creating a Timeline »
Students will create a timeline of the raid and then develop their own lyrics to "John Brown's Body." 

John Brown Lesson Plan: John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry »
Using primary sources students will learn about the raid and discuss whether or not John Brown was hero.

Life as a Soldier after the Civil War: What's in a Name » 
Explore the challenges faced by Irish and African American war veterans using case studies created from pension records.

Preserving Battlefields Lesson Plan: Battle of the Battlefields »
After researching a particular battlefield students will write and present arguments to government official for the preservation of their battlefield. 

Preservation of Civil War Battlefields Lesson Plan - Best Lesson Plan 2009 »
Can’t go on a field trip to Gettysburg; try out this lesson using the National Park Service virtual tour software.

Saving Civil War Battlefields Lesson Plan »
Create brochures to battlefields discussing their historic significance and reason for preservation. 

Transcribing Civil War History Lesson Plan »
Given a document from the Civil War students will transcribe the document and orally present it to their classmates.

How to Make A 3-D Photo »
Turn a stereograph into a great looking 3-D photo to engage your students.

Civil War Medicine: Fact and Fiction »
Utilizing a multi-media approach, students will bust myths about the practice and intellectual underpinnings of Civil War medicine.

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