This lesson plan adheres to New York State Learning Standard 1- History of the United States and New York, Elementary Level, Key Idea #3. Additionally, this lesson plan corresponds with the National Social Studies Curriculum Standards thematic strand of individual development and identity.
Display Civil War images 2, 3, and 4 to students. Ask students when they think the photographs were taken. What are the subjects wearing? Where were these photographs taken? Explain to students that the photographs are of Civil War soldiers. Inform students that during this time Americans fought each other, depending on what they believed in and where they lived.
Students will be able to analyze primary sources (Civil War images) for examples of how soldiers are portrayed historically. Students will discuss what a hero is and why some individuals are heroes to certain groups while others are not.
The Civil War was caused by a number of issues that included slavery, states' rights, economic prowess, territorial expansion, and cultural differences. On an Elementary level, the purpose of this lesson is to focus students on the fight of Americans to preserve what they viewed as being truly American. Specifically, both sides, North and South, proclaimed to be heroic in their causes.
Essential Information - After viewing the portraits at the beginning of class, define the terms 'soldier' and 'Civil War' for students, (see What Is A Hero).
Activities - After defining the terms 'soldier' and 'Civil War' as a class, utilize word association to define 'hero' by listing adjectives and nouns associated with 'hero' on the front board. If not volunteered by students, the word 'American' should be the last word listed. Draw a line down the middle of the board under the term 'American' to reflect the student handout layout. Identify Northern 'heroes' on the left and Southern 'heroes' on the right, (eg. Abraham Lincoln, Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses Grant). Discuss with students how these historical figures were all considered heroes by their peers.
Share with students your personal heroes, whether they are historical figures or contemporaries.
CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING
For homework students must choose a historical figure from the Civil War that they consider a hero and identify who the person is and describe why they consider them to be a hero.
Monitor student work answering questions throughout.
Students share out their homework assignment with class.