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Civil War

Inquiry Civil War Lesson Plans: Middle School

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The following inquiry lesson plans have been created by educators, leading historians, and the American Battlefield Trust Education Department for classroom use in middle school grades six through nine.

The Middle School Inquiry Civil War Curriculum is a set of eight standards-based lesson plans. Below are the inquiry curriculum lessons along with a selection of optional lessons, all of which fit within the Common Core and National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) standards for Middle School students. 

Sections of the Inquiry Curriculum:

Pre-1860: Disunion

Students will be able to identify the causes of the American Civil War.

Life at War

Students will be able to describe the day-to-day life of a Civil War soldier in the North and the South.

Homefront

Students will be able to discuss the importance of the contributions that members of society made on the home front to the respective war efforts. 

Antietam and Emancipation

Students will be able to describe the importance of the Battle of Antietam and the Emancipation Proclamation, and their impacts on American society in the 1860s.

Turning Point 1863

Students will be able to discuss the pivotal events which occurred in 1863.

Election of 1864

Students will be able to discuss the Northern election of 1864 and its impact on the Civil War.

Surrender

Students will be able to discuss the Confederate surrender at Appomattox and the conclusion of the Civil War.

Reconstruction

Students will be able to discuss the effects of the Civil War, and what happens after the Civil War in the Reconstruction Era.

Optional Lesson Plans

Additional Resources