Oct 24

Story Mapping the American Civil War

For my Civil War Unit this year, my hope is to have students engage with the material to a deeper level.  They will be researching the big events and leaders, and judging their significance.  Leaving me more time to cover points of the Civil War that are not always in the textbook.  My plans start in motion tomorrow, and I’ll see where it goes…

For full instructions, see my class website.

Unit Project: Story Mapping the American Civil War

Goal: Through inductive study of the Civil War, students will gain a greater understanding of significance of its role in American History.  Students will use this knowledge to create a story map depicting events of the Civil War.

What is a Story Map?

A story map is visual interpretation of people, events and items studied during a unit.  The purpose of a story map is to convey the meaning of events using as few words as possible.  You may use words, but make your words count.  A story map is not a research paper, but a mapping out of the things you have learned in a visual form.  Pictures, drawings, maps, charts, and other graphics are used along with text to convey meaning.

Project Details:
Over a course of our 2 week study of the American Civil War and Reconstruction, students will create a story map using Pages.  The details are explained below, and students will have class time to work on their project.  REMEMBER THOUGH… class time will be given, but most students will need to schedule outside work time as well.

Below is the project outline.  You DO need to include all of the red and blue sections. You DO NOT necessarily have to cover every bullet underneath.  Include the information that is most needed to convey your thoughts and present the best of your information.

Outline of the Project:

  • Page 1: Cover Page
    • Creatively presented, with a Title, your name, your block and the date listed on it
  • Page 2: Table of Contents
    • Creatively organized with the directions to where each of the sections begin
  • Section 1: Readying for War
    • Resources
      • Inventory your side’s (Union or Confederacy) resources
      • Resources include: military goods, agricultural goods, transportation and communication systems, man power, and manufactured goods
    • Preparation
      • Prior to the first major conflicts, how did your side prepare their armies?
      • Questions to consider:
        • How did they get men to join up?
        • How were the men trained?
        • How were they equipped?
  • Section 2: Commanders and Conflict
    • Leaders
      • For your assigned leaders, research the following and then creatively display it on your story map
        • What did they look like?
        • How were they qualified?
        • What major engagements did they take part in?
        • What are some interesting facts about them?
    • Engagements
      • For your assigned battles, research the following and then creatively display it on your story map.  Remember, when you are researching the battle that you need to interpret it through the worldview of your side (Union/Confederacy)
        • Where did the battle take place?
        • Why did the battle begin?
        • Who was leading the battle?
        • Was there anything special about the leader?
        • What occurred at the battle?
        • Why is the battle memorable?
        • What was the outcome of the battle?
        • How did this battle influence the continuance of the war?
    • Minority Groups
      • How did the following groups influence your fighting force?
        • African Americans
        • Women
        • Immigrants
        • Spies
  • Section 3: Americans During the Civil War
    • Camp Life
      • What was life like for soldiers serving in your army?
      • Consider the following topics:
        • What did they do for fun?
        • Did they have all their needs met?
        • What was the survival rate?
        • What types of things did they write home about?
        • How long did they serve?
        • What happened if they abandoned the army?
    • Life on the Home front
      • What was life like for the people left behind?
      • Consider the following topics
        • How did women have to step up during men’s absence?
        • How did this war turn families against each other?
        • How did scarcity and inflation influence the people of your nation?
        • What was life like for people who lived near the battle field?
  • Section 4: The Aftermath of the Civil War
    • Effects of the War
      • What impact did the Civil War leave on your section of the nation?
      • Consider the following topics:
        • How did the battles influence the landscape?
        • How did the treatment of the opposing army influence your people?
        • What did you gain/lose from fighting in the Civil War?
        • What were the lasting sentiments impressed on your population?
    • Reconstruction
      • Explain the purpose of Reconstruction from the viewpoint of your section
      • What were some benefits or mistakes of Reconstruction?
      • Synthesize a Reconstruction solution that could have benefited both North and South
  • Section 5: Bibliography
    • MLA Bibliography
      • Properly Formatted
      • Include 10+Sources
      • Pictures should be licensed for use


1 comment

  1. Avatar of Linc Jackson
    Linc Jackson

    Looks like a good rubric for assessment and clear expectations. Might be fun to mix this up with some role play. Have you ever tried the living museum? You pretend to be a wax museum for some guests(younger kids, parents, another class) and when your button is pushed you slip into a presentation of some sort.

    Just a thought.

    Hope it goes well.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>