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America: The Story of Us ~ Episode 5 "Civil War" Lesson Plans

You might have thought I had given up on my lesson plan post for "America: The Story of Us". But, I haven't! We were traveling and recovering from traveling for the past three weeks. But, today I am back and ready for the next installment.

You now find us on Episode 5: Civil War.   We spent five weeks on this unit. Again, it was just too good and rich to wrap up in three weeks. And we spent several days watching one of my absolutely favorite miniseries from when I was a teenager.

We read two books about this period: The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick (a 2012 Newberry Award winner).

We really enjoyed this book. It had a lot of historical facts that brought the time period alive, but it had the vibe of Huck Finn. I recommend this book for some fun, informational reading.

The second book we read was Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson. I saw this book by chance on the list of 2012 Sequoyah winners, so picked it up. And I was sooooo glad that I did. What an enthralling read about the 12-day manhunt for John Wilkes Booth and his conspirators. I learned things I absolutely did not know. GREAT read!

We watched the entire Episode 5, did the discussion questions/video quiz for the episode and vocabulary words. These can be printed by going here. The Episode Guides are down the left hand column on the site.

All "notebooking pages" are printed from Advanced World History Vol. 2 from Hold that Thought!

All "America's Heritage" references are materials printed from America's Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty by The American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc.

Dawson also does Internet research to help him obtain information for his note booking pages. He is required to write 8-9 sentences since he is in the 9th grade.

We did the following activities:

* Memorized "The Gettysburg Address"
* Did Gettysburg Address puzzle from "America's Heritage"
* Did Gettysburg Context and Address and answered questions from "America's Heritage"
* Did Emancipation Proclamation notebooking page
* Robert E. Lee notebooking page
* Minie Ball notebooking page
* Telegraph notebooking page

Books Read (maybe not the whole book, but reading through it for notebooking pages and general information):

When Were the First Slaves Set Free during the Civil War?: and other questions about The Emancipation Proclamation by Shannon Knudsen
A Picture Book of Robert E. Lee by David A. Adler
Mines and Minie Balls: weapons of the Civil War by Jean F. Blashfield
Samuel Morse and the Telegraph by David Seidman

Videos Watched:

* "North and South"
* "Love and War" (North and South Part 2)

** These lesson plans were based on planning for an American History course for a 9th grade boy. I allow some activities to be under his grade level and some to be above in order to give him a fun, exciting, and well-rounded understanding of the materials.

Previous Lesson Plans Posted:
Lesson 1 ~ (Episode 1) Rebels
Lesson 2 ~ (Episode 2) Revolution
Lesson 3 ~ (Episode 3) Westward 1
Lesson 4 ~ (Episode 3) Westward 2
Lesson 5 ~ (Episode 4) Division


  1. We also did the dvd series you are using. Loved it!

  2. I love the North and the South- Patrick Swayze- may he rest in peace - be still my heart!!

    I am adding the book about Lincoln's killer to my list! Thanks!!!

  3. How did you show clips of North and South? I've tried to show it to my students but my principal said it was too smutty.

    1. Well, we are homeschoolers so we can do what we want! {Wink}.


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