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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1877) (x)
  • Item Type > Teaching Activity (x)

We found 12 items that match your search

Who Fought for the Confederacy?

In this activity students compare and contrast a political cartoon and a letter to the editor from 1862 that describe ordinary soldiers who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Who Fought for the Union?

In this activity students examine sheet music and letters from draft rioters to examine Union attitudes about the military draft during the Civil War.

Reading Historical Fiction: The Journal of Sean Sullivan: A Transcontinental Railroad Worker

In this activity, students are guided through a close reading of The Journal of Sean Sullivan: A Transcontinental Railroad Worker, a fictional book for young readers based on historical sources. Students will read a short excerpt from the beginning [...]

Active Viewing: Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided

PBS American Experience’s Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided is a 6 episode mini-series available as a 3 DVD set. The following activity focuses on the causes and consequences of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation through an active [...]

Lessons in Looking: Contraband in Paintings

In this activity students analyze Theodor Kaufmann's 1867 painting On to Liberty. Students practice finding information and making inferences based on the painting by completing a graphic organizer. Then students read a descriptive paragraph of the [...]

"In Defense of My Race and Country": African-American Soldiers on Why They Are Fighting

In this activity students read three letters written by African-American soldiers during the Civil War to determine why black soldiers felt compelled to join the Union Army.

Who Freed the Slaves During the Civil War?

In this activity students analyze visual and textual evidence about "contraband" African-American slaves during the Civil War era. They compare the roles of African Americans, the Union military, and the policies of the Republican party in [...]

Create a Magic Lantern Show: Freedpeople in the Reconstruction South

In this activity students create a "magic lantern show," or presentation that illustrates how African American defined freedom for themselves after emancipation and the challenges and threats they faced. Students use primary sources from the [...]

What This Cruel War Was Over: Slavery and the Civil War

In this activity students will examine how attitudes towards slavery and the Civil War changed between 1860 and 1865. What began in the minds of President Lincoln and most northerners as a war to preserve the union changed, over the course of the [...]

New Liberties and New Threats During Reconstruction

This activity features differentiation and scaffolding to help students understand the new social freedoms and new threats to the families of freedmen during Reconstruction. Students work in heterogeneous skill-level groups to analyze several [...]