Lesson Plan

Extra! Extra! Read all about famous leaders from the American Civil War era!

Students will learn how to conduct internet research to write biographies on famous leaders from the American Civil War era.
Cassie B.
Classroom teacher
Culloden Elementary School
Culloden, United States
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My Grades 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts

Students will be able to research historical figures of the Civil War and synthesize information to write mini-biographies.  

WV Next Generation Standards:
ELA.5.W.C11.1  conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic
ELA.5.W.C11.2  recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources
SS.5.H.CL1.4 compare the roles and accomplishments of historic figures of the Civil War. (e.g., Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg Address, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Clara Barton and Frederick Douglass, etc.).

English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Students will watch two videos, Biographies and Research to introduce the concept and also to capture their interest.  The comprehension quizzes that accompany the videos are optional based on time.   

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Presenting

Teacher will provide students with direct instruction on how to write a biography.  Teacher will use the Biography lesson plan from WritingA-Z.com.  This is a six-part lesson.  


3 Guided Practice

Reading A-Z
Free to Try, Paid

Students will read and analyze various biographies of these

Abraham Lincoln: From Log Cabin to the White House (Level Z)
Up From Slavery (Level X)
Frederick Douglass: Forever Free (Level S, V, Y)
Clara Barton: The Angel of the Battlefield (Level V)
Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad (Level S)


4 Independent Practice

5 Wrap-Up

Prezi Classic
Free, Paid

Students will use the biography they have written to create a Prezi and an oral presentation.  Students will present the information to their peers.  Students will be evaluated by the teacher and also by their peers using a rubric.  This can be a paper rubric or using a Google form.