Inside The Classroom
These lesson plans, linked to national standards, are designed to be as flexible as possible to serve a variety of classrooms across the country. Middle school social studies teachers may find these most applicable, but teachers of other grades and subjects can apply the content in their classrooms as well. These lesson plans connect with historic sites in the Heritage Area and use three existing resources—the Emmy-award winning documentary Maryland’s Heart of the Civil War, its companion flipbook, and the Crossroads of War website—as a foundation for teaching about the Civil War.
This lesson asks students to engage in critical thinking and examine primary source materials to see what they can discover just by looking closely, asking questions and working together. This lesson may take one class session.
Research, develop a story, engage in peer review and publish a biography. This lesson may take two to three class sessions.
Explore how women expressed their political voices before they had right to vote and asks students to express themselves creatively. This lesson may take one to two class sessions.
This lesson asks students to think about what it means to commemorate and remember the past with memorials. Inspired by the Antietam National Battlefield’s “Interview a Monument” lesson plan, this activity can be applied to many different settings. This lesson will likely take one to two class sessions.
Prepare students for a field trip to the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area by assessing what they know, what they are curious about and what they can find out in advance. Information gathered will make the field trip experience more meaningful and personal. This lesson may take one class session.
This lesson asks students to define historic preservation and then identify one place, site or structure that they will feature in an infographic, persuasively making a case for its continued preservation. This lesson may take three to four class sessions.
Primary source materials—such as letters, diaries, memoirs, and scrapbooks—can be both personal and historical. The documentation we leave behind can express our feelings and experiences, along with the larger narrative of history. This lesson asks students to explore primary source documentation as an inspiration for their own reflective writing.
In this lesson, students look at a moment in history, break it down into a sequence of scenes and create a graphic visualization (like a portion of a graphic novel) as a way of retelling the events. Students take into consideration text, emotion, setting and point of view in order to convey the many perspectives involved. The lesson will likely take at least two to three class sessions.
Historians base their arguments on careful research of both primary and secondary sources and then share their thoughts in persuasive ways—through books, articles, presentations, website, exhibitions, films or even live interpretation. This lesson asks students to engage in a debate where they discuss a central question and make a point using data and supported by evidence. This lesson may take two to three class sessions, or more, because it involves research and preparation.
This lesson asks students to watch the Emmy-award winning film, Maryland’s Heart of the Civil War, and then reflect on the film’s main points as a springboard for deeper exploration. This lesson may take two to three sessions.
This lesson asks students to reflect on their experiences at a historic site, museum or battlefield and highlight the key information, questions and inspiration they find there. After discussing what they experienced at the site, students review photographs, media, and create a travel brochure that summarizes key information, questions and experiences related to the site. This lesson will likely take two to three class sessions.