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A lesson on the advantages and disadvantages of the Civil War

Subject:

Social Studies  

Grades:

2, 3, 4, 5  

   Lesson Plan Subject: Social Studies
Lesson Plan Title: Advantages/Disadvantages of the Civil War
by Jeffrey Moore
  

A simple lesson I like to do to motivate students to learn about the advantages and disadvantages the North and the South had during the Civil War is to play a simple card game “WAR!”

During the start of my Civil War Unit, I separate the class into “north” and “south.”

Sometime during the Unit, I will have the North compete against the South to play war.

Basically one student from the south represents one soldier. However, because of the population differences between the two regions (22 million for the north, 9 million for the south), one student from the north equals three soldiers.

A student from the north and the south come up to a neutral table and draw the top card from the deck. Whoever draws the larger card stays in and the other soldier is defeated. Again, if the student from the south loses, s/he must sit down and be silent. If the north student loses, he sits down, but still has two turns left.

Going through the game, students should realize (unless by some improbable luck) that the South has virtually no way of winning the game. Now students can conceptualize how the population of the north was a tremendous advantage during the Civil War.

Now the game leads into further discussion of advantages/disadvantages of the North/South.

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