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Back to School

Welcome back to school! If you haven't seen our lesson plans and education resources yet now is a great time to take a glance at what we have to offer.

Teacher Resources »

From the Educators

September 2010
Dear Civil War Educator and Preservationist,

During this hectic time of year we would love to offer you some much-needed help. Therefore, in this month's newsletter we have decided to highlight some of our best resources for K12 teachers.

But before we do that, here are a few of my personal favorites:

  • Our lesson plans - created by teachers, include all corresponding materials (worksheets, power points, videos, etc.), offer a simple-to-read outline, and focus on big themes that cover social studies standards in any state.
  • Our collection of primary source documents - put into an easy to read format, come with related materials such as: quick summaries, related bios, information on related battles, and videos.
  • The Glossary of Civil War Terms - not only contains definitions, but images to help define those items that need to be seen to be understood.
  • The Civil War Traveling Trunk - allows students the opportunity to encounter objects from the Civil War. This program is also completely free for the 2010-2011 school year.

As many of you know, CWPT works closely with teachers from around the country and even has a former teacher on staff (me!) to create all of the Trust's K12 resources. I feel we have created some of the most useful materials for teachers on the American Civil War and I am hopeful that you will take advantage of this wonderful resource.

-Nicole Osier, Senior Manager of Education Programs


Gettysburg Address Lesson Plan

Gettysburg Address lesson plan

National Park Service Ranger, Chuck Teague provides an amazing lesson on the Gettysburg Address, which also comes with CWPT's latest video, The Great Task, featuring Ken Burns, David McCullough, and actors Sam Waterston, Matthew Broderick.

View the Lesson »


Creating Civil War Multimedia Journals Lesson Plan

Creating Journals lesson plan

Originally written as part of a Teaching American History Grant, Veteran Teacher, Melody Barger's lesson Creating Civil War Multimedia Journals proves to be a great way to get involved with the Civil War through technology.

Check-out the Lesson »


The United States Colored Troops Lesson Plan

USCT lesson plan

The goal of the USCT lesson plan written by history teacher Paul Larue states that students will understand the diverse background of the approximately 200,000 African American soldiers and sailors who served in the Union Army and Navy.

Teach about the USCT »


Photography Lesson Plan

Photography lesson plan

Coauthored by CWPT and The Center for Civil War Photography, this lesson includes not only images, but a video and Power Point. A great way to engage both your tech-savvy and artistic students.

Explore Photography »


Book of the Month


By Walter Dean Myers

Using a screenplay format that lends itself to reader's theater, Myers focuses on the experiences of a young girl during the New York City Draft Riots in July 1863. Claire is a fair-skinned 15-year-old daughter of a black man and an Irish mother who "looked beyond skin and saw people." However, after days of rioting and looting by Irish immigrants protesting the Union draft turns to violence against the city's black population she wonders, if at the end of the war there will be a new bondage where blacks will be trapped by the color of their skin. Claire and her friend Priscilla witness the ugliness of the mob bent on destruction, the police who are powerless to stop them, and the refuge offered by a black Baptist Church. The riots are the crucible that destroys Claire's innocence and forges her newly-found identity. Myers accurately describes the events of the Draft Riots from various points of view, giving readers a thorough understanding of the causes leading to the violence and perhaps an examination of attitudes about race in America today, a point he raises in the Author's Notes. Primary source photographs and documents from Myers's personal collection provide additional historic information to this tragic period in American history. Recommended for grades 8 and up.

Buy the Book »


Trivia from the Archives

Trivia from the Archives

A) In September 1862, Robert E. Lee made a request to invade Maryland, which was granted, leading to this deadly battle.

B) In September 1862, this Confederate order was recovered by Union soldiers of the 27th Indiana on the Best Farm in Maryland.

Answers from the Archives »


Civil War on the Web

  • Civil War Women
    An archival collection on the topic of women during the Civil War from Duke University
  • History Detectives - Civil War Innovations
    From PBS, History Detectives provides background and general information on major innovations of the CW era
  • Archival Collection
    Created and presented by the Western Maryland Historical Library, this digitized collection offers a wealth of material on the memorialization of the Battle of Antietam

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