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Exercises & Activities
Civil War Timeline
Excerpt From this Document
Goals/Objectives: 11.1, 11.3, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, Skill I
- Using the internet and various reference books, students will create a timeline of significant events of the Civil War. They will be able to discuss social, political, and economic causes and effects of the war based on the information used for the final product.
- Markers, bulletin board paper (white or light-colored), computer with internet access, encyclopedias and various resource materials from media center and/or public library.
Focus and Review
- This is an on-going activity to be completed at the end of each day’s lesson. Students should have begun their KWL chart at the beginning of the Civil War unit, so any information they already knew (in addition to what they learn/find during the unit) is material for the timeline.
- Begin by posting a long sheet of bulletin board paper across a long wall (just under the chalkboard is a good central location). The paper should be long enough to write on in letters big enough for the class to see from their seats – about 6 to 8 feet. This will be the timeline that chronicles the important events of the Civil War. The teacher’s lessons each day will introduce new information that can be added to the timeline.
**NOTE: A mini-lesson on how to take notes will be required at the beginning of this activity. The teacher will need to teach students how to determine what information should be noted. Instruction should include suggested formats for notes and encourage students to create their own shorthand in order to write more quickly. This mini-lesson may need to be repeated and reinforced several times over the course of the unit, depending on how much note-taking instruction they have had in the past.
- At the end of each day’s lesson, students (divided into groups of 4-5) will discuss and sort through the day’s information. Each group will then put the information in chronological order and decide what is significant enough to add to the timeline. The teacher will be available for assistance and clarification. After the groups are finished, the class will discuss the results (teacher-moderated discussion), make the final decision, and add the information to the timeline. A designated student or the teacher will write the date and a brief explanation of the event on the timeline.
- For added interest, have students ask their parents and grandparents for family stories that may relate to the events being documented. These can be written on the timeline itself or typed on a separate sheet of paper and attached to the timeline separately under the appropriate section.
- This activity blends quite well with the research components of the Powerpoint presentations, the study of Civil War battles and leaders, and the Civil War Gazette. An important part of this activity is integrating student research for the other projects into the creation of the timeline. Students will be able to use information found in their independent research to help complete the timeline, and vice-versa.
- Students can add pizzazz by printing pictures found on the internet or in books and gluing them to the timeline for added effect. Students may also illustrate using their own drawings and/or copies of family photos from the era.
About this Document
Using the internet and various reference books, students will create a timeline of significant events of the Civil War. They will be able to discuss social, political, and economic causes and effects of the war based on the information used for the final product.