Sunday, November 24, 2013

US History Unit 5: The Civil War

We started this unit with a family trip to Charleston, SC. I know it sound cliché to say history comes alive there, but it’s the best description. All tour guides are required to pass a history exam through the city. No matter where we went, the guides were a wealth of information. Some of our favorite stops included Boone Plantation, Patriots Point, Fort Sumter and the Provost Dungeon. We also took a carriage ride through the neighborhood around Charleston College, an area that was completely new to us. After four days of tours, we were exhausted, but more than ready to jump into history lessons.

Here are the lessons for this unit (listed by type, but completed by date):
  • Crash Course: #18 The Election of 1860, #19 Battles of the Civil War, #20 The Civil War, Part 1, #21 The Civil War, Part 2
  • Critical Reading: Changing views of the Civil War causes through the years
  • President’s Day: Lincoln (included videos from
  • Textbook reading and notes: battles of the Civil War included impact on the two sides
  • Map Skills: North vs. South
  • Historical Fiction: Iron Thunder
  • The Story of Us: Civil War
The assessment questions for this unit where:
  1. Describe some of the events in the 1850’s that contributed to the start of the Civil War. What do you think would have happened if any one of those events did not happen?
  2. What factors contributed to the Northern states having an advantage over the Southern states when the war started?
  3. What role did photography play in the war?
  4. Explain the “federalization” of the government after the war.
I know the conventional wisdom says to have fieldtrips after studying something new. After this unit, I have to completely disagree. My son did a fantastic job taking in new information since he had real life experiences to tie it to. And, it’s a good excuse for more fun trips.

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