Notable Lives - A Civil War Hall of Fame | American Battlefield Trust
Civil War
Lesson Plan

Notable Lives - A Civil War Hall of Fame

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  1. Provide students with the list of names of more than 30 individuals who played a role in the Civil War
  2. Have students pull from a hat (kepi or slouch) one of the names.
  3. After students have selected a person they may swap their names with a classmate if they desire.
  4. Using lap tops or their personal digital devices have students research the life of their selected person.

Activity 1: Designing an HOF Plaque

  1. Provide students with a Hall of Fame plaque template and a link to it so they can insert a photo of their individual onto the plaque.
  2. In designing the plaque students need to include the following:
  • Birth and Death Dates
  • Nicknames if they have one
  • A list of at least two contributions that the person made to Civil War America. Students should model their format after the plaques that Honor Members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Check out the Eddie “Gettysburg Eddie” Plank plaque here for format. Planks is the only player in the Baseball Hall of Fame to come from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Here is the link to his plaque:
  1. Students should include a quote from this person that places them in the correct historical context.
  2. Have students shade in their plaque with a bronze crayon or colored pencil.
  3. Post the plaques in alphabetical order around the room.
  4. Provide students with a note taking sheet and ask students to visit “the Civil War Hall of Fame” and take notes. Teachers can opt to collect the note taking sheet for assessment or design a multiple choice quiz for students to take based on the information on the plaques.

Activity 2: Civil War Hall of Shame Debate

  1. After students study all the plaques posted around the room have them spend some additional time researching the 30 people on the list – this could be done for homework, too.
  2. Then hold a class debate about whether or not some of these people belong in a Civil War Hall of Shame and not a Hall of Fame and if so, which ones and why?
  3. Provide each student a 4 x 6 note card and ask them to rank the Top 5 most important personalities from the Civil War with a statement justifying their name and ranking. This discuss as a class.

Teachers can also opt to use the issue of The Skirmisher on “Leadership” and have students complete the activity prepared there as well.