A Social Studies Thematic Unit
For Fifth Grade
Taught in the classroom of Mrs. Judy Greene
April 3-18, 2000
Day to Day Outline:
I did this version of the 'Journals of the Civil War' because of lack of time to do a full journal. It could work both ways. The lesson plan for the Journals is found after this outline.
Day 1: Introduction
KWL Discussion- Students tell me what they know about life during the Civil War on the Battlefield, in the North and in the South. Write answers on the board.
Journals- How do we know about the people of the Civil War?
Read about some of the people at the beginning of the war, and discuss where they might be at the end of the war. (Angela Gimke in A Separate War , Johnny Clem in A Boys' War)
Venn Diagram- Give each student a copy of the three-circle diagram and have him or her compare life on the Battlefield, in the North and in the South.
Day 2: At home in the North
Group activities- Divide class into three groups and have one station of each.
Bandages for the War- sewing
What will we eat?- A math and problem solving activity
Video on Frederick Douglas and Clara Barton
Day 3: At home in the South
Group activities- Divide the class into three groups and have one station of each.
Spinning wool- Students start with raw wool and end up with a bracelet.
Making butter- Each child uses heavy whipping cream in a baby food jar to make butter.
What will they take? A Q-sort at their desks
Journal Entry- Have each student write about a day at home in the south as if they were there (woman, child, old man, slave, etc.).
Day 4: The Battlefield
Group activities- Divide the class into six groups (or three depending on size) and have two of each activity going on at the same time. 5-min instructions, 30-min. activities, 15-min. wrap-up and writing time.
A Wartime hospital- simple first aide using bandages made on Day 2
Bean Stew- math worksheet at their desks
You be the Judge- decision making
Journal Entry- Have each student write about a day on the battlefield as if they were there (woman, nurse, boy, leader, etc.)
Day 5: Flags of the Civil war
Follow lesson plan attached
Day 6: Finish Flags
Letter- Write a letter to Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis or another Civil War leader instructing them on how to best make their flag.
Day 7: Reconstruction
Confederate notes- At beginning of unit introduce Confederate notes (money) to be given as rewards for doing quality work and staying on task, etc. Now talk about how when the war ended the notes weren't worth a penny, and tell them their money is not worth anything either.
Journals- read a few of the entries that were done for previous days
Tell or read the ending of the stories read on day 1
Day 8-9: Culminating activity
Newspapers of the war- Students create a newspaper as a group or a class. If in groups, each group can write from a different perspective (abolitionists, North, South, West, etc.)
Journals of the Civil War
Students start a war time journal as if they were the character they have chosen using realistic situations. These journals can be continued throughout the unit to give the students the opportunity to follow one person's life through the Civil War.
Topic: Introduction to the Civil War
Students understand the purpose of a journal.
Students make the connection between a journal and the person from real life that would have written it.
1. Journal entries taken from factual sources
2. Student journals (notebook paper or spiral notebooks or journal books)
Read from a war time journal, Tell a story from a war time journal.
1. KWL Discussion- Students tell me what they know about life during the Civil War on the Battlefield, in the North and in the South. Write answers on the board.
2. Discuss the purpose of journals- Read a few of them stopping before the War actually begins, or shortly thereafter. Why would people have written in their journals during the war? Why is it helpful? (primary resources)
3. Present the first entry to various journals that could have been written for real people (see attached examples).
4. Give each student the option of having a character on the battlefield, at home in the North, or at home in the South. Assign a specific character within that group.
5. Each student reads his or her journal entry and makes a prediction about where his or her character is at the end of the war.
(3-5 Opt. &endash; depending on if you plan to use this journal throughout the unit or not.)
Assessment: Orally share predictions
**Note: If using the full unit plan use the whole journal as an assessment tool to evaluate lessons during the unit.
For more information contact Lynell Larson: firstname.lastname@example.org