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Title of Unit
The Civil War
This unit will focus on the events leading up to, during, and the time period after the Civil War known as reconstruction. It will also discuss South Carolina’s specific role in the war. The students will discuss how the war affected people’s daily lives in the North and South. They will also discuss and research the racial tensions and advancements of African Americans during this time. The essential questions that will be covered in this unit are:
Do we have to fight wars? Why or why not?
Was the Civil War unavoidable?
How can countries avoid the kind of bloodshed and devastation we experienced during our Civil War?
This particular unit topic is a generative topic because it will allow students to be successful in obtaining and applying their understanding of the Civil War itself and how it relates to other interdisciplinary studies within the third grade curriculum.
The students will be introduced to this topic in a way that interests them, while relating to their own schema of their everyday experiences whether they are personal or educational. One example of how their interest will be peaked is through role playing scenarios where the students will create real life examples of conflict and adapt them to imitate events leading up to, as well as, during the Civil War. They will then be asked to perform these scenarios for the other students in the classroom.
This topic is also considered to be generative because I myself as an educator have a real personal interest and enthusiasm for teaching the topic of the Civil War. History is one of my favorite subject areas and the Civil War is a topic that has aroused my own curiosity as a student and as an educator. During my years as a student and later during my own instructional planning time as an educator I found myself wanting to know and learn more about this specific topic. My own need for research and further knowledge prompted me to think outside the box and create new ways of presenting “the same old tired curriculum” I had seen as a student.
I also consider this topic to be generative because there are many resources that I will use during my instruction that will integrate the use of technology, as well as be age appropriate for third grade learners. Some examples of these will include a stream line video series called Detective Bonz which allows the students to be investigators who travel back in time to explore the history of the Civil War in South Carolina. Also I will use flipcharts and power point presentations that I have created about the causes and effects of the Civil War to be used on my smart board. This will allow for the students to interact with the material in a physical, verbal, and auditory manner.
My generative topic will be aligned with South Carolina curriculum standards and will be presented in a variety of ways so that all learners, no matter what their level, will benefit from my instruction. Some of the instructional strategies will include visual aids such as power point presentations, flip charts, and streamline videos. Auditory learners will also benefit from videos as well as musical instruction. Kinesthetic learners will gain knowledge from the role playing scenarios and finally scaffolding and collaboration will be present during group activity instruction.
List Unit Understanding Goals and Goals for Technology Integration.
Unit Understanding Goals
Social Studies Standard 3-4:
The student will demonstrate an understanding of the events that
led to the Civil War, the course of the War and Reconstruction,
and South Carolina’s role in these events.
Social Studies Standard 3-4.1
Compare the conditions of daily life for various classes of people in South
Carolina, including the elite, the middle class, the lower class, the
independent farmers, and the free and the enslaved African Americans.
Social Studies Standard 3-4.2
Summarize the institution of slavery prior to the Civil War, including reference to conditions in South Carolina, the invention of the cotton gin, subsequent expansion of slavery, and economic dependence on slavery.
Social Studies Standard 3-4.3
Explain the reasons for South Carolina’s secession from the Union, including the abolitionist
movement, states’ rights, and the desire to defend South Carolina’s way of life.
Social Studies Standard 3-4.4
Outline the course of the Civil War and South Carolina’s role in significant events, including
Before beginning this unit the students will need to have schema or prior knowledge about specific events that happened in history in order to understand the events that led up to the Civil War. They will also have to know how to use certain types of programs including Microsoft office and how to navigate the internet. The students should understand the impact of the American Revolution and the formation of the democratic government that formed from its happening. They will also need to understand that individuals can be categorized into different classes based on their financial situations (lower, middle, upper class). They will also need to understand how African Americans came to the United States how they became an enslaved people. They will then need to understand what rights a free person compared to an enslaved person has. When it comes to the technological aspects of this unit the students will need to know how to open the Microsoft word program, create a blank document, type, and save the document to a shared drive. Also the students will need to know how to access the internet using internet explorer, type in a specific web address, and use the mouse tool to navigate through the site.
Scope & Sequence of Activities and Student Performances
The students will use a graphic organizer created in the promethean board software program to compare the daily lives of African Americans and independent farmers in
South Carolina before and after the Civil War. The students will describe in their computer based reflection journals what life was like on an Antebellum plantation. They will describe the home, surrounding areas, and what the daily activities in the home were like.
Using teacher-prepared graphs showing the growth of cotton production after the invention of the cotton gin, the students will hypothesize in collaborative groups how this invention affected the institution of slavery and present their findings to class through the use of a student created power point.
Power Point Software
Students will practice the skill of recalling details by answering the following questions: Why did people in the South want to keep slavery? Why did Calhoun support slavery? Which was stronger, Calhoun’s belief in states’ rights or his belief in the Union? Cite evidence to support your answers. Students will then write three to four sentences in their in their computer based reflection journals describing the bombing of Fort Sumter and how they would feel witnessing this event.
Microsoft Office Software
Students will read and discuss the article South Carolina: Two Ways of Life in the South Carolina Weekly Newspaper (week 12). They will then watch and discuss a streamline video that outlines the events leading up to and during the Civil War. Then the students will complete a flipchart activity created by the promethean board software on the causes and effects of the Civil War.
Interactive White Board Activity
Using a flipchart created on the promethean board software, students will work in collaborative groups and use a Venn diagram to compare the economic conditions of the urban areas and the rural areas in South Carolina before and after the Civil War.
Interactive White Board Activity
The students will read in their textbooks to find out how the Emancipation Proclamation affected the African Americans at the conclusion of the Civil War. They will then complete a work book page activity that allows them to reflect on the many challenges that South Carolinians faced after the Civil War.
The students will visit the following website
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/index.html. They will explore how African Americans (slaves and freedmen) were treated before, during, and after the civil war. They will watch and listen to audio/video clips documenting the racial advancements and tensions during this time. They will then participate in a role play scenario on the website that shows them what it was like to try and vote as an African American during the reconstruction period after the war. They will then answer the following question in their computer based reflection journals about their experience: Do you think it was difficult for African Americans to adjust to being freedmen after the war?
Microsoft Word Software
The students will then visit the following website http://valley.vcdh.virginia.edu/.
In this website they will be able to read diaries of first hand accounts depicting the daily lives of people affected by the Civil War. They will then choose a person from the list of diary entries and create a PowerPoint presentation in collaborative groups and present their findings on what daily life was like during the war and what challenges they faced based on the information they have already read.
An interactive whiteboard version created with the use of PowerPoint. The students work in collaborative teams of three to four and try to answer questions about the Civil War unit that was taught. This can be used as a review before taking an assessment. One student in each group keeps score of the points awarded. The rules are similar to regular jeopardy where points are awarded for correct answers and answers must be phrased in the form of a question. There are two rounds one regular and the other double jeopardy. There is a final question at the end where groups can wager points to win.
Lesson Development Resources
Foresman, Scott (2006). South Carolina History (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
While teaching this unit I was very surprised to find that a lot of my students had schema about the Civil War. When I first introduced this unit the students began to tell me about how the North and South did not get a long and they also had some discussions about the rebel flag being a symbol for the south. However, some of the students had a hard time grasping the concept of war and how it could affect the economy and the social classes. Teaching the causes and effects of economical hardships to third graders proved to be a little more difficult that I though it would be. Overall though the students did well on their assignments and assessments throughout the unit. Many of the students were very excited by the topic (especially the boys when it came to the descriptions of the battles). I found that many of them wanted to further research some of the actual war heroes and real life civilians of the Civil War.
Daisy Elementary School / Horry County School District