In class December 11/12 – A. Lincoln

So … how do you assess the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln? Do your rankings match those of past polls? Consider each entry in the “President A. Lincoln” activity and submit your ratings in this form.

Also, you can have a little fun with Abe. Create a cool and creative President Lincoln meme using ImgFlip’s meme generator or any other meme generator. Find an image of Lincoln, come up with a short, creative, clever, somewhat sarcastic, historically accurate statement about Lincoln and add it to the image.  Then, post it to this board!
LincolnMemeScreen Shot 2014-12-14 at 9.03.23 PM







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Preparation for December 11/12 – Spend some time with A. Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln – Judging by the number of books written about him, I think we can all agree that he’s a pretty famous guy, right? How do we view him in our society today?  Is he well remembered?  Highly regarded?  Where is rated in comparison to other presidents? Check out the crossroads he faced as President.  Are you looking for Lincoln? What’s the deal with Lincoln suspending Habeas Corpus and this great Habeas Corpus video? How did he do as Commander in Chief? What about his speeches – were they “fitly spoken”?  Did his views on freedom change over the course of the war?  Was there evidence of an unpopular Mr. Lincoln? This is kind of cool – What are America’s perspectives on Lincoln today?

Abraham Lincoln

Some other great videos – Lincoln as Commander in Chief / The Humor of Lincoln / The Other Side of Lincoln – Lincoln’s Depression / Abraham Lincoln’s Family Life

Spend some time (20-30 minutes) with A. Lincoln by watching some videos and checking out the materials above. Then, submit FIVE WORDS that you feel describe Abraham Lincoln in this form.We will chat about our 16th president in our next class.

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In class December 6/10 – The Civil War Home Front – In Two Voices

As you should understand by now, the Civil War home front was not the easiest place to live for people in the Union and Confederacy.  Each side struggled in various aspects of daily life – some common, and some different.  To represent these contrasting experiences, you and your partner(s) will create a POEM IN TWO VOICES. Your poem should use historical details, contain creativity and emotion, and successfully demonstrate your ability to hit the learning target – I can compare and contrast the challenges and contributions on the home front in the North and South.

You will not be able to convey every aspect of the home front, so key on 1-3 major ideas.

You can use this document to plan your poem or hand write our poem.  Your final product should both printed and spoken, recorded, and eventually posted on Google Classroom. Add any awesome flourishes that you want to help tell the story of the home front.


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Learning Experience December 4/5 – The Civil War Home Front

I can compare and contrast the challenges and contributions on the home front in the North and South.

Away from the fields of battle, the home front was an important part of the Civil War … and also felt the greatest impact from the conflict. We will be examining the home front in class Thursday and Monday. To prepare, your task is to spend some time with the materials below and record important concepts and observations on how the war effected the people on the home front, both North and South.  Make a copy and use your document to compare the challenges of life on the home front on both sides of the conflict.  You should be able to get some great notes from the following sources … pick and choose what works best for you for about 25-30 minutes.

The Southern Homefront [] and The Northern Homefront [] – great overviews to get you started

Check out the Essential Civil War Curriculum’s The Home Front: North and South by Roberta Baxter – lots o’ good stuff!

Women in the Civil War from the CWPT!

Laugh and cry your way through two scenes of a play that I wrote – Women on the Home Front and African Americans on the Home Front

Here’s some great information about Wisconsin’s home front from the Wisconsin Historical Society

Where was the first major draft riot?  You will be surprised ….

How did enslaved people support the Confederacy?  Good question – let’s find some answers!

Interested in Christmas During the Civil War? How about Children in the Civil War?

Once the home front materials are done (at home and in class), you should be able to …

  • describe the economic impact of the Civil War on the Northern and Southern home fronts.
  • discuss the various roles of women in the Civil War.
  • discuss how the war affected African Americans in both the North and the South.
  • discuss the economic impact of the war on both the North and the South.
  • describe the views of the Copperheads – you can learn about them here as well!
  • describe the controversy over conscription and the challenges in the New York Draft Riots – more here too!
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Learning Experience December 3/4 – Emancipation

It’s one of the most important documents in American history, and probably the single action Abe Lincoln is known for more than any other – the Emancipation Proclamation. We will discuss this incredible document (incredibly misunderstood as well) in class after Turkey. Your first task to prepare is to read the handout about the EP, read and annotate the Emancipation Proclamation and read and watch The Emancipation Proclamation videos below from the History Channel.

Use the guide questions on the handout – you don’t need to answer them in writing! Then, turn to the great document itself by annotating the actual text of the EP following the instructions on the handout. There isn’t much writing – I promise. For some additional insight, check out 5 Things You May Not Know About Lincoln, Slavery and Emancipation from History in the Headlines.


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IN CLASS November 28/29 – Handicapping the Civil War

Experts make a lot of money (and get a lot of attention) predicting the outcome of events – such as football games, horse races, and presidential elections. It’s a process commonly known as handicapping, and they do it by examining all of the data about two sides, both tangible and intangible, and using that information to develop an educated guess about the result of a contest. Even though we know the result of the Civil War, it doesn’t hurt to look at the two sides before the war begins to see the strengths and weaknesses of each side. To do so, complete “Handicapping the Civil War”  using the resources below.

Looking for some info on the strategy of both sides on the even of the war? Check out Civil War Strategy for more info to add to your notes.

Then … make a claim! What does all of this info mean? We will see how the war evolves, based on your predictions.



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Show What You Know – The Edge of the Precipice

Ready to show what you know, young Civil War historians? You will have a 20 minute quiz on Wednesday/Thursday concerning the targets below:

I can use perspective to explain how events between the Compromise of 1850 and the Election of 1860 led to the secession of southern states.
I can explain varying interpretations of the long term causes of the Civil War and evaluate the importance of slavery as a principal cause of the conflict.

What should you study? Simple – The Edge of the Precipice notes and reading, Why the Civil War activity, and the ideas presented in the “WHY SECEDE?” intro from Doc and Taft. (Basically – why did seven Southern states secede?)

Think there will be a big section on the election of 1860? Yes, there will. Guaranteed because it’s THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN AMERICAN HISTORY (hand slam)!

Here are a bunch of awesome resources if you need more info – great stuff online about the coming of the Civil War!

And … here is a tired tired Taft babbling his way through a review (I do like to talk about this stuff!) IGNORE THE REFERENCES TO TIMES IN CLASS AND THE DIFFERENT ROLES – THAT WAS FROM LAST YEAR!

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After the election of Abraham Lincoln (THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN AMERICAN HISTORY), seven sates seceded from the United States and created their own country – the Confederate States of America.

Why did they secede?  And … what caused the Civil War?

You will examine the primary sources (THROUGH THEIR EYES) in Doc’s class by looking at actual secession statements, and it seems pretty cut and dry, doesn’t it?  However, with all of that information still available, historians have debated over the years about the exact causes of the Civil War. Believe it or not, there is a big question that is prominent in the news today. 

What do the historians say? Your task is to read some brief statements from historians in the Why the Civil War? activity and examine their varying opinions.  It’s a collection of statements about different historical perspectives on the coming of the war.  Read each carefully, underline up to eight (8) important words, and summarize each selection in ONE TO THREE WORDS and  ONE COMPLETE SENTENCE.  Do the historians agree with the documents? The assignment is much easier (and more fun) if you complete it with a partner. Yup – that means talk about it!

And then … watch these …

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