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Civil War Trust

Saving Civil War Battlefields Lesson Plan

Historical Research and Information Dispersment
Susan Pomasko (Marlborough School)

Grades: 7-12

Length of Time: 4-5 class days 

Goals:

Students will complete research and create battlefield brochures to show their knowledge of Civil War battlefields.

Objectives:

1. Students will research a battle that occurred during the Civil War.
2. Students will create a brochure about the battle.
3. Students will participate in historical inquiry to make informed decisions for actions taken on public issues.

Materials Used:

• Civil War Battlefield Matrix
• Civil War Brochure Rubric
• Computer
• Microsoft Word instructions to create a brochure
• Printer

Anticipatory Set/Hook:

Ask your students what they already know about Civil War battlefields and what they want to know. Discuss what the students believe is the importance of preservation and how they think some battlefields have been developed. 

Procedure:

1. Assign a battle that occurred during the Civil War to each student. (Choose a site that requires preservation if possible.)
2. Review Civil War Matrix, where students will gather information for their brochure.
3. Review the Rubric that will be used for grading.
4. Review procedures for creating a brochure, using Microsoft Word (directions are below).
5. Have students create a brochure on a Civil War battle, which includes the following elements:
a. Name, date of battle, and where it took place
b. Important facts about each battle (ex: who won, # of casualties, north and south generals involved in the battle, etc.)
c. Importance of battle to the advancement of the North or South
d. Include a primary source related to the battle (ex: diary entry, artifact, historical site landmark, etc.)
e. Give opinions on current use of the battle site today and changes or development being proposed for the site
6. Have students print and share their brochures with their classmates and at a public forum on historical events, perhaps the local historical society.

Extension Activities:

1. After creating brochures, have the class create a blog on their opinions in regards to the preservation of historical battle sites.
2. Create a web page that includes links about information on each of the battle sites researched.
3. Create a YouTube video on the preservation of historical battle sites.

Closure:

Of the battles you researched, which ones did the North win and which ones did the South win? Who were some of the generals on both sides? What do you think about the preservation or development plans for the battlefield you researched?

Assessment:

The brochure is used as the assessment to check on student learning and understanding.

Modification Ideas:

1. Have students work in pairs to research and create the brochure.
2. Provide primary sources for the battles.
3. Provide websites or books for student research.


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