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Civil War
Lesson Plan

Creating Civil War Multimedia Journals

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Grades: Middle and High School

Length of Time: Approximately 2 weeks

Goals: The students will gain a better understanding of the Civil War through the use of several forms of multimedia.


  1. Students will produce, publish, and present technology projects in regards to the Civil War
  2. Students will utilize primary sources and biographical information in a research-based, multimedia presentation.

Materials Used:

Download the lesson plan, along with the following materials, at the bottom of this page.

  1. PowerPoint or Keynote software
  2. Primary sources such as photographs, music, military records, journals, etc.
  3. Internet Resources
  4. Reference Books 

Anticipatory Set/Hook:

What are some of the ways that we can present information?  Can computers be useful in doing this?  Could using computers help us learn about the Civil War?


Time Involved

  • One week for research of topics and storyboard planning (see handout below)
  • One week for production of multi-media journals (if students are not familiar with software, please add two days in order to teach them)


  1. Students will complete an in-depth study of the Civil War era and apply this knowledge to a “multi-media journal of the Civil War” in which they will take on the persona of a character and journal from the time period.
  2. Students will select topics which provide analysis of issues, events, and individuals of the Civil War period (See handout 1).
  3. Students will review project guidelines and performance expectations (See handouts 2 and 3).
  4. Students will utilize research time in the library, in class, and outside of class to investigate their topics.
  5. Students will compose and edit at least five journal entries during library sessions.
  6. Students will create a multimedia dairy using PowerPoint or Keynote during computer work sessions.
  7. Students will construct journal entries, utilize pictures and an audio component, and create a works cited page.
  8. Students will share their multimedia projects with students as individual presentations.
  9. Student’s projects will be evaluated with a formal assessment. (See handout 3).


Did you enjoy using a multi-media format to present what you learned about the Civil War to the class?  What did you like most?  Dislike most?


Students will successfully complete their multimedia presentation and be assessed according to the formal scoring guide (See handout 3).

Modification Ideas:

  • Have groups of students working on one presentation instead of each student working individually.
  • When forming groups, make sure that at least one student has some computer experience.