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The Effects of the Civil War on the North and South



This unit is intended to provide students with a better understanding of the relationship between Slavery and the Emancipation Proclamation.  The unit will use a variety of content across the curriculum to explain the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as its importance.  The activities designed will make students aware of the lives of slaves before and after the Emancipation Proclamation, and the impact that it had on slavery.


Students will be able to:

*Define vocabulary words that relate to the Civil War.

*Discuss the importance of the Emancipation Proclamation.

*Explain the reason for the Emancipation Proclamation.

* Discuss Abraham Lincoln's role in the creation of the Emancipation Proclamation.

*List some effects of the Emancipation Proclamation.

*Describe how life changed in the North and the South after the war.

*Give examples of the effects of the war on the North and South.

*Describe how free Africans rebuilt their lives.

*Analyze the purpose of the Freedmen's Bureau.



Social Studies

I. Time, Continuity and Change: History

    4.17 Identify notable figures of the Civil War and the roles they played

    4.18 Describe the Civil War and its effects on the nation


I.  B.  Students will read and demonstrate comprehension of a variety of literary

        forms to include fiction and non-fiction, biographies, and historical fiction.

        - Write about what is read

        - Make inferences using information from texts

        - Paraphrase content of selection identifying important details

        - Support fact and opinion with relevant details

III.  D.  Students will use strategies such as webbing, interviewing, Venn Diagrams

            T charts, and outlining.

IV. Writing

    A.  Students will write effectives narratives and explanations

    G. Students will publish in a variety of formats.

V.  Research

    Student will plan and conduct research by accessing and selecting information

    from print, video, and on-line resources, narrowing a topic; and combining

    information from a variety of sources, gathering additional information as



Day 1

Teacher will begin The effects of the Civil War on the North and South with a power-point presentation to introduce the material that will be covered.  The presentation will give an overview.  Afterwards the class will be given the vocabulary words that the they should be familiar with in order to understand the Civil War.

Vocabulary:  Sharecroppers,  Reconstruction,  scalawag,  carpetbagger,                  

                      Emancipation Proclamation,   segregation           


-Introduce words by writing them on the board, and saying them to the class.

-Teacher will provide context clues by giving the students each word in a sentence.  Students will be given the opportunity to write a possible definition for each word based on the context.

-Class will then discuss various answers and possible definitions.  Teacher will clarify and offer actual definitions when needed.

Activity: Students will complete a Hot Potato (vocabulary) activity.


Students will be given a sheet with the actual meanings, and asked to fill in the blank with the correct vocabulary word.  Students will then be required to write their own sentences with the vocabulary words.

Day 2 and 3

Materials:   Social Studies: Early United States, Harcourt Brace


-Teacher will begin by reviewing some of the causes of the Civil War (previous lesson.)  Teacher and students will then brainstorm (on the board) Why it is important for leaders to consider many points of view before making a decision. (If necessary, teacher may review point of view.)

-Teacher will then explain that today we will look at the Emancipation Proclamation, and the reason it was created.  Teacher will show students an original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation from the Library of Congress.

-Class will participate in a guided reading activity titled, The Signature that changed America. (It is about the days when Lincoln made the decision about slavery and took action.)


-Students will do a Hot potato (multiple choice) activity to review information from the guided reading activity.

-Teacher and Students will then analyze the different viewpoints regarding the Proclamation.


-The students will write their own viewpoints about the timing of Lincoln's decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.  They will explain whether they would have done the same thing had they been President Lincoln.  Students will be given the opportunity to share their responses with the class.



Day 4 and 5

materials:   Social Studies Early United States, Harcourt Brace

                ...If you lived at the time of the Civil War by Kay Moore

                The Civil War by Janet Cassidy


-Teacher will read information from the three books listed to give students and understanding of how the Civil War effected the North and the South.  Teacher will make notes on the overhead of important facts to be remembered. The students will then complete a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast life in the North and South.

-Students will role play the following situations based on the life of Southerners after the war.  As students think of other situations, they may add them to the list.  Teacher will put students in groups and each group will demonstrate on situation.

Situations:    -What if you are a slave and don't want to be free?

           are a plantation owner and all your slaves have run away?

                    .....your family plantation was burned to the ground?

           put all your money into Confederate currency which is now


           are now a penniless widow with a family to feed?

-Activity: Critical Thinking (writing)          Information will be used to create a class book

    Some slaves left the plantation to look for relatives, while others just "went North."  Some tried sharecropping, while others stayed on at the place they called home.  Ask students to think about the factors, such as age, skills, and personality, that influenced their decision.  Then have the students assume a slave identity and write a paragraph stating what they intend to do and why.

Assessment: Students will have to use this information as background knowledge to help them complete the Web quest.  The webquest will require them to read about life as a slave on a plantation, and write about it.  It is designed to give the students a better understanding of the life of a slave so that they realize the importance of the Emancipation Proclamation.