One of the biggest topics in US History that you'll be covering is the Civil War. In my American History curriculum, I spend at least 10 block classes on it which comes out to about a month.
Before we get into the battles of the war, students create an interactive timeline of the events leading up to secession. These include John Brown's raid, the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin, Dred Scott Decision, and other key events.
Students read about each and decide if it pleased Northerners or Southerners and then place it above or below the timeline based on their analysis of it:
Next, we'll spend several classes looking at the major Civil War Battles, especially Ft. Sumter, Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, Sherman's March, and Appomattox. Students create a Civil War timeline of battles and events in their notebooks and also an annotated map of the war with notes about the key battles and events.
The annotated map features a 2-page spread in their notebooks with the divide separating the North and the South. Students color and label the map then use the boxes to includes notes on each of the battles and events as we go over them in a PowerPoint.
As you can see here, there are also spaces for them to add the leaders and generals (Ulysses S. Grant & Robert E. Lee) of each side:
Students will then do further research with their Google Digital Notebooks and by analyzing primary sources related to the major battles and events. We'll watch a few short videos and talk about what they learned and also listen to a great podcast on how the Civil War affected those in Border States.
To conclude, we go through an overview PowerPoint with guided notes on the war. In addition to a traditional (though still highly engaging) PowerPoint, I also have one filled with 3D images. Students receive red/cyan glasses (easily available for cheap) and we look at pictures of 3D:
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