Lesson Plan

Effects of the Civil War

Exploring how the Civil War affected different groups of people
Stacie T.
Technology Integrator
Hanover County Public Schools
Ashland, VA
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, World Languages, English Language Learning, Health & Wellness
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Students will be able to describe the effects of war from the perspectives of Union and Confederate soldiers (including African American soldiers), women, and enslaved African Americans. 


Social Studies
Grades 5 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook


After studying major events and people of the Civil War, present students with a teacher-created VoiceThread that includes images that represent the different faces of the Civil War (from both sides...African Americans in the North and South; woman of the North and South, Soldiers of the North and South, Children of the North and South, etc.)  Ask the question: How did the Civil War affect these individuals?  Allow students time to brainstorm and make comments on VoiceThread.  Share and discuss as a whole class.

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Other — Watching Video

Show the following video.  Discuss the following ideas and the effects of each.

  • Most battles took place in the South.
  • Disease was a big problem.
  • Families and friends disagreed on which side they supported.
  • African Americans fought in both the Union and Confederate armies
  • The Union blockaded southern ports.
  • The Confederacy had a lot less people than the Union
  • Woman did not sit at home and wait for their husbands to return.

3 Guided Practice

Activity: Exploring
  1. Students create a cause/effect chart using the T-Charts app on the iPad or something similar.  Instruct students to change the column/headers to "cause and effect" as opposed to "pro and con".  On the causes side, students jot down the causes listed above in the Direct Instruction section.  Students work through the resources below to investigate the impacts that war had on different groups of people and fill out the "effects" section of the chart.

  2. Resources to use:

4 Independent Practice

Activity: Creating
  1. Instruct students to choose one group of people to complete the "Day in the Life" activity on ExploraTree
  2. Students email the teacher the completed document.  

5 Wrap-Up

  1. Teacher uploads the Exploratree documents to the same VoiceThread presentation from the "Hook" section of this lesson.
  2. Using the same VoiceThread have students re-do comments to represent the "Voices of the Civil War". Students makes comments that represent what these people might have answered to the following questions: What's something you're proud of?  2.  What's something you regret?  3. What would you have done differently? etc.