Lesson Plan - Preserving the Memory
Civil War
Lesson Plan

Preserving the Memory

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A Civil War Curriculum Lesson

Grades:  Elementary

Approximate Length of Time:  50 minutes

Goal:  Students will be able to illustrate ways in which we can preserve the memory of the war.


  1. Students will be able to discuss one to two reasons why they think it is important to remember historic events.
  2. Students will be able to discuss ways that people can be involved with battlefield preservation.


  • Preserving the Memory Video
  • Preservation Pamphlet
  • Preserving the Memory Essay


  • Preserve—To keep; to keep safe; to keep in existence; to maintain.

Anticipatory Set/Hook:  

  1. Ask your students what they think battlefields and other Civil War sites such as houses, cemeteries, railroad stations, and churches look like today.
  2. Do students think they still look like they did during the war?
  3. Since the Civil War happened in the United States, do they ever see or have they ever seen a Civil War battlefield or site?


Activity 1

  1. Watch the Preserving the Memory Video as a class.
  2. Discuss the following:
    1. Why might people want to remember events in history?
    2. What are some ways we learn about history or certain historic events?
    3. How does knowing about something that happened so long ago help us today?

Activity 2

  1. Hand out the Preservation Pamphlet
  2. Have students fold into thirds and complete each section, except for the “Some battlefields that could use our help” portion.


  1. Complete the Preserving the Memory Essay, which asks students to discuss why they think it is important to remember the Civil War.


Take Action – have your students participate in the preservation of a local Civil War site or get them involved with one of the Most Endangered Battlefields. 
Participate in Park Day – see if a site in your area is hosting a Park Day event by visiting www.Battlefields.org/parkday.
Tell us about your work through the Teaching Civics through Preservation page at www.Battlefields.org/teaching-civics-through-preservation

Assessment in this Lesson:

  • Informal assessment through the video follow-up discussion questions
  • Completed Preservation Pamphlet
  • Completed essay describing why each student thinks it’s important to remember the Civil War