Lesson Plan

Investigating Causes of The Civil War

Students will create a poster showing differences between pre-Civil War North and South
Tonya T.
Classroom teacher
Cox Landing Elementary School
Lesage, WV
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My Grades 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...name and explain three causes of The Civil War, presenting this information to the class using a poster that they have created in small groups.

Social Studies
Grades 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

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  • Ask students what types of things cause wars. Start discussion by asking what students know about the Civil War, and then if they know what caused it.  Guide students to use the regional geographic terms "North" and "South".  
  • Let students know they will be watching a video about causes of the Civil War.  They need to write           answers to these questions:

1.  How did each side feel about slavery?

2. How did each side view states' rights?

3.  Which side did the import tariff enacted at the time benefit?



2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Conversing
  • Students will share what they wrote during video.
  • Teacher will have venn diagram on smartboard with North on one side and South on other.
  • Teacher will fill in differences as students share, such as: North-manufacturing  South-agricultural
  • Discuss differences.
  • Teacher will fill in similarities, and discuss.

3 Guided Practice

  • Students will go to Library of Congress, Chronicling America.
  • Students will look for evidence in various newspapers from that time period to show that the differences between North and South led to war.
  • Teacher will move around the room and guide.
  • In journal, students will note at least two sources and what evidenciary article they found, including bibliographical information on the article.

4 Independent Practice

Activity: Creating
  • In groups of three or four, students will sketch a rough draft of a poster or visual aid to show the causes of the Civil War.
  • Students must work together to agree on what to include and how to present it.

5 Wrap-Up

  • Teacher will demonstrate how to use Glogster.
  • Students will work in their groups to create digital poster showing causes of Civil War.
  • Studens will share posters with class.