The Civil War
8th Grade Lesson Plan

Lesson Overview:
The first part of this lesson is controlled inquiry. The research is guided inquiry. The overarching goals of this mini unit are to develop an understanding of the concept of cause and effect and its relationship to events and eras in history. As well as to develop reasoning skills, interpersonal and group process skills. And lastly the eighth grade students will be able to refine their skills in historical analysis and primary source interpretation.

Lesson Objectives:
Analyze and interpret primary documents from the Civil War.
Describe an author’s intent in producing a given document, based on understanding of the text and context.
Work collaboratively with classmates to share opposing views regarding the Emancipation Proclamation.

Standards Addressed:
Indiana Academic Standards:
· Social Studies 8.1.21: Analyze the causes and effects of events leading to the Civil War, including development of sectional conflict over slavery.
· Social Studies 8.1.22: Describe the importance of key events in the Civil War, including the battles of Antietam, Vicksburg, and Gettysburg, and the Emancipation Proclamation and Gettysburg Address (1861 to 1865).
· Social Studies 8.1.27: Recognize historical perspective by identifying the historical context in which events unfolded and by avoiding evaluation of the past solely in terms of present-day norms.
· English Language Arts 8.1.2 Structural Features of Informational and Technical Materials:
Compare and contrast the features and elements of consumer materials to gain meaning from documents.

· English Language Arts 8.2.7 Analyze the structure, format, and purpose of informational materials (such as textbooks, newspapers, instructional or technical manuals, and public documents).

Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning:
· Standard 1- The students who is information literate accesses information efficiently and effectively.
Indicator 1- Recognizes the need for information.
Indicator 3- Formulates questions based on information needs.

· House Divided Handouts (primary sources)
· Worksheet organizer with questions and response.
· Analyzing Primary Sources Handout
· Computers with internet access
· Websites to begin research


Activity 1:
1. Discuss President Lincoln’s confidence in the people listening to him after the victory at Antietam. Explain that the Emancipation Proclamation was announced on January 1, 1863.
2. Display the Analyzing Primary Sources handout 12 C on the document camera so all can see.
3. Model the use of this organizer with the Emancipation Proclamation document, Handout 12 A.
4. Fill out the organizer starting with the first section. Model and think aloud as you process the information. For example, asking questions such as, what are the author’s views about the issue?, Is the author sympathetic or critical, what problems does the document address?, etc.
5. Explain that the author had a purpose for writing the document and must expect something as a result. Discuss this point.
6. Explain to students the importance of understanding the world in which a document was produced. Also, think about other events, developments, or opinions concerning this issue were going on at the time this document was created.
7. Once students have established a context for the document, then focus further on the document itself. Here they will examine the intent of purpose of the document. Use questions like, why did the author take time to write this? Did a specific event of the time trigger this document? What should we watch out for while reading the document?
8. Ask students what role they think the audience might play in someone creating a document?
9. Turn to the second page of handout 12C. The authenticity/reliability of a source helps the student decide whether or not this document is what it claims or appears to be. Historical documents have passed through many hands before they get to present-day readers. What could happen to a document during that process? How can we be sure the document we are researching is in fact the document the author created?
10. Continue modeling and completing the handout in the same manner.

Activity 2:
1. Divide the students in pairs.
2. Distribute the think, pair, share handout.
3. Half of the class will receive the Douglass document (handout 12D) and half will receive the Vallandigham/Davis document (handout 12E).
4. Note: These are difficult reading assignments; circulate to assist with interpretation and comprehension.
5. When they finish reading, refer them to the think, pair, chare handout. Follow the directins on the handout.
6. Share out
7. Have them complete part 3: The essay for homework.

Activity 3:
1. Assign a free inquiry project centering on historical documents.
2. Students can visit the National Archives website, or the Library of Congress, or the web to select an historical document of their choice to analyze.
3. Distribute handout 12C, Analyzing Primary Sources.
4. Students will complete this handout using the document they choose.
5. Students will use a checklist to self-evaluate.

Note: Lesson adapted from A House Divided? The Civil War: It's Causes and Effects, The College of William and Mary.

VanTassel-Baska, Joyce. A House Divided?: the Civil War, Its Causes and Effects. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Pub., 2003.