American History 2 - The Civil War

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The Civil War 1861-1865 Resources (5 weeks of study)

Library is for resources that should be available at most well-stocked libraries. The other icons are explained by the text right next to them.


Resources Item Type Weeks Used

Abraham Lincoln's World

 

Abraham Lincoln’s Word
Reading level: 7th grade and up

This is an interesting book for older students. Consider it totally optional.

Abraham Lincoln’s World covers a lot of world history in addition to American history. I think it’s helpful sometimes for older students to grasp what else was going on during a specific time frame. If you want your focus to be purely what was going on in the U.S., you’ll want to skip this book. Also, the fact that the book jumps around from one thing to the next may be overwhelming to some students (especially younger students). Check it out the table of contents at Rainbow Resource to get an idea of what all is covered.

My older children always enjoyed the Genevieve Foster books.

 

Advanced book 1-5

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

 

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas

This short autobiography of Frederick Douglas will give your older student a window into what it was like to be a slave. Although I have this scheduled for older readers, you may consider it as a read-aloud (with possible edits-on-the-fly) for younger students as well, if time permits.

I scheduled in pages from The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas using a free PDF file from antislavery.org.


Another option would be to read the longer book: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Linda Brent. You can get it for free on Google Books. There are 41 chapters so your student would need to read approx. 8 chapters a week for the next five weeks.

 

Advanced book (free)

Library

1-4

Two Miserable presidents

 

Two Miserable Presidents: The Amazing, Terrible, and Totally True Story of the Civil War
Rated for ages 8-14 at the Macmillan website

This book is very readable as well as informative with a peppering of fun / black and white illustrations.

It will probably be over the heads of very young students (and boring for them), but I think you could possibly read it aloud to the 4th-6th grade set and give it to older kids to read by themselves. I think it does a much better job than the History of US book, so I scheduled it instead.

There is a LOT of information in this book, so if you're short on time (or attention span), just stick to the text in Time Travelers or another resource. If you really want to get a handle on the Civil War though, I think this is a great resource.

 

Non-fiction

Library

1-5

Shades of gray

 

Shades of Gray
Reading level: Grade 5.5, Interest level 6-8

Our daughter Emily really loved this book and insisted I schedule it in the Civil War portion of the study. The book actually takes place after the Civil War and is about a 12 year old orphan who overcomes his prejudices about the North and South. It shows how the war affected people on both sides.

 

Fictional novel

Library

1-5

Time Travelers

 

Time Travelers: The Civil War

Time Travelers is an awesome resource. You get a CD that is packed full of great printables as well as activities, creative writing assignments, handwriting pages, notebooking, lapbook components, mapping assignments, a game, factfile cards, recipes and more. Take a look at the website to see pictures of the many things you can do and make.

Time Travelers is such a full resource that I recommend you choose between it and the free Civil War lapbooks or History Pockets. You probably will NOT want to do it all.

Don't be overwhelmed by all of the activities. Think of it as a buffet of fun things to choose from.

If you want to use this resource, you will most likely have to purchase it.

$ CD with printables 1-5

Brer Rabbit

 

The Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit

The Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit is a very easy picture book. Each story can be read in just a matter of minutes. I scheduled it in because it’s a quick introduction to the Uncle Remus Tales with beautiful illustrations that will help you ease into the school year. If you want to check out some of the original stories for free you can visit UncleRemus.com. Your students might have a hard time with the “dialect” of the original stories. There is also a free book you can download in pdf format from Google Books. There is also a listing of an old radio show Sleepy Joe with lots of recorded Uncle Remus stories you can listen to online for free.
Yet another option is the free book online: Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit complete with old fashioned pictures.

Skip this book or head over to the free originals for students who are older.

 

ReaderReader 1-2

Underground Railroad

 

The Underground Railroad: An Interactive History Adventure (You Choose Books)
Grades 3-7

I've scheduled in several of the "You Choose" books this year because I think they are a great (and fun) way to get kids to retain specific events in history.

This particular book is 112 pages long with 3 story paths, 37 choices and 16 endings. Because it's interactive, I think it will encourage kids to try out at least several different versions of the story, thus cementing in facts even more. It also personalizes things a bit since the reader is a participant in the story!

You can check out most of the book for free online at Google Books!

 

ReaderReader 1

moses

 

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
Reading level 3.5, Interest level 3-5

Dramatic paintings and minimal text introduce you to Harriet Tubman.

Picture book

Library

1

From Slave to Soldier

 

From Slave to Soldier Based on a True Civil War Story (Level 3)

Picture book / Easy Reader

Library

1

DK Biography

 

DK Biography Abraham Lincoln
Reading level: Ages 10 and up

The DK biographies are heavily illustrated books with lots of photographs and artwork. They are easy reads full of lots of information and very visual.

Take a look at the preview on Amazon.

This books is part of the optional year-long president's study.

FlagPresident book 1-5

Printable President Cards

I've scheduled in these cards to help your students memorize the presidents over the course of the year. The beginning of the printable mentions some simple games and activities you can play with the cards.

printer Printable (free) 1-38

Printable Book of the Presidents

If you like to make history notebooks, you may want to print out, read and store these colorful pages as you go along through the year. It's also a free alternative (vs. books) for the optional president's study.

printer Printable (free) 1-38

Homeschool Share Lapbook: Civil War
This free lapbook has a variety of things to make and learn about. You don't need this lapbook if you will be using Time Travelers or History Pockets.

 

printerLapbook (free) 1-5

Dynamic 2 Moms Civil War Lapbook
There is an entire Civil War unit at the above site with plenty of printables and links to explore. You can use the whole unit or just the lapbook elements. You don't need this lapbook if you will be using Time Travelers or History Pockets.

 

printerLapbook (free) 1-5

Mini-Book about Lincoln
This is just an easy to read printable about Lincoln. You could use the sentences for copywork/handwriting. You could also print it out and put it in a lapbook. Yet another idea would be to cut the pictures out and create your own story underneath each one on notebook paper.

 

printer Printable (free) 1

PBS Civil War

 

PBS Civil War

This is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen about the Civil War.

You may want to preview the PBS Civil War series or be on hand to skip portions. It may contain graphic and/or disturbing images, ideas, etc. and may not be appropriate for younger students. Younger students may also think it's boring.

 

movie DVD or Discovery Streaming

Library

1-5

BrainPop

 

BrainPop.com

We love BrainPop and use it for just about everything. I didn't schedule in a lot of BrainPop for this history study, so I don't recommend you pay for the service if you are only planning on using it for American History 2.

 

Online Subscription Service 1-38 (not used frequently)
Dear America: When Will This Cruel War be Over?

movieLibrary DVD or Discovery Streaming

Library

1

History Pockets Civil War

 

History Pockets: The American Civil War

If you don't want to use Time Travelers, History Pockets is another great alternative for Civil War printables. Because it has a lot less activities, it may be a less overwhelming choice.

The illustrations are very clean and even if you only construct the materials and don't color things in (we don't) - your student will probably learn a lot and end up with a nice portfolio of his/her work.

If you want to use this resource, you will most likely have to purchase it. It's set up so that you make copies of the printables.

You can preview some of the book at Evan-Moor.

 

$ Book with printables 1-5

Battle of Bull Run

 

The Battle of Bull Run: An Interactive History Adventure (You Choose Books)

I've scheduled in several of the "You Choose" books this year because I think they are a great (and fun) way to get kids to retain specific events in history.

Because it's interactive, I think it will encourage kids to try out at least several different versions of the story, thus cementing in facts even more. It also personalizes things a bit since the reader is a participant in the story!

You can check out most of the book for free online at Google Books!

 

ReaderReader 2

The Monitor

 

The Monitor: The Iron Warship that Changed the World

Picture Book / Easy Reader

Library

2

Abe Lincoln

 

Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books
Reading level 3.9, Interest level K-2

This is a true picture book - minimal text in free verse printed on top of full color pages.

Picture Book

Library

2
Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books Lapbook printerLapbook (free) Not Scheduled
Rabbit Ears: Brer Rabbit and the Wonderful Tar Baby movie Discovery Streaming 2
Farmer Boy

Farmer Boy (boy)
Reading level 4.3

I’ve scheduled in Farmer Boy and Caddie Woodlawn as readers for weeks 3-5. Choose whichever book you think your child would be most interested in (not both!). I put (boy) and (girl) in the schedule, but this is just a rough recommendation. Your girl may like the Farmer Boy book better and vice versa. Personally, my favorite is Farmer Boy. I’ve read both books out loud to Otter in the past. He liked Farmer Boy the best too.

 

ReaderReader

Library

3-5

Farmer Boy Lapbook

The Civil War weeks are pretty packed, so you probably won’t have time for this lapbook but I thought I’d mention it for those of you who’d like to work it in or take out some of the Civil War components to “make room”.

 

printer
Lapbook (free)

Not scheduled
Caddie Woodlawn

Caddie Woodlawn (girl)
Reading level 5.3

Caddie Woodlawn is based on a true story handed down through a family. It's full of adventure and features the feisty tom-boy Caddie, her family and the near-by Native Americans in the woods of Wisconsin during the Civil War.

 

ReaderReader

Library

3-5
 

Caddie Woodlawn Teacher’s Guide with Worksheets

This well made guide has vocabulary, comprehension questions, a character match-up activity and teacher’s pages (answers).

printer Printable (free) Not Scheduled

Billy and the rebel

 

Billy and the Rebel: Based on a True Civil War Story
Grades 1-4

You can see a preview at Amazon or view a little more text via Google Books.

Picture Book / Easy Reader

Library

3
The last brother
The Last Brother

Picture Book

Library

3
The Last Brother Teacher’s Guide printer Printable (free) Not Scheduled
Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln: The Story of the Gettysburg Address movie Library DVD or Discovery Streaming 3
Free Gettysburg poster printer Printable (free) 3

Civil War Sub

 

Civil War Sub: The Mystery of the Hunley

Picture Book / Easy Reader

Library

4

Winter on the farm

 

Winter on the Farm

This gentle book is for the younger set and features a heavily illustrated snippet from one of the Little House books.

Picture Book / Easy Reader

Library

4
Pink and Say

Pink and Say
Reading level 4.9

Although this is a picture book, it does deal with some difficult material. It might be a nice book to get for your book basket for your 4th-7th graders.

This is a powerful and heart-touching book.

Picture Book

Library

5
The Faces of Lincoln printer Printable (free) 5

Super Pop Up Reports: Civil War

These are cut out Civil War characters.

printer Printable (free) 5
John Wilkes Booth wanted poster printer Printable (free) 5
John Wilkes Booth escape route poster printer Printable (free) 5


Next (Reconstruction)

Other NON-scheduled resources you can use during this portion of the study:

Another resource that is FREE for the Civil War is a downloadable book called Adventure Tales of the Civil War and Reconstruction. You can either view it online or you can go to the site and jump through the hoops to get the free PDF. Some of the graphics from the PDF might be nice to print out for a history notebook or to further aid in visualizing some of main events surrounding the Civil War. I highly recommend you take a peek.

 

 

 

 

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