This lesson addresses the effects of the Civil War on multiple populations. Students learn about the unprecedented scale of death and destruction, and what that meant for the country that needed to rebuild and heal at the end of the war. They also study the experiences of Americans who did not serve as soldiers. The varied roles of women, African Americans, and the people who cared for the wounded all provide students with an up-close and complex understanding of the meaning of war. Students also learn about longer term consequences of the war, including Lincoln’s assassination, as well as the physical destruction of much of the south. Moreover, they will come away with a picture of how warfare, and the country in general would never look the same after 1865 as the federal government took a vast new size and shape. This lesson also encourages students to understand the importance of perspective and complexity. It asks them to consider different people’s experiences and synthesize this information to make interpretations about the significance of the war. Specific literacy strategies help students make sense of multiple primary sources.
Middle School Lesson Plans: History Frameworks
This collection of lesson plans is for California Middle School students grades 6-8th.
How was gender challenged during urbanization in the late-19th Century and what was the response?
In this lesson, teachers will contextualize the LGBT rights movement by answering the question introduced in the History-Social Science Framework for California Public Schools: “How did various movements for equality build upon one another?” While activists fighting for LGBT rights utilized similar tactics and had some shared goals of those fighting for Civil Rights broadly, LGBT people in racial minority communities faced additional discrimination. Moreover, many fighting for broader Civil Rights did not consider sexual preference or gender identity as apart of their fight. In this lesson, students will explore historical perspectives to determine to what extent the movement for LGBT rights was or was not part of the broader movement for Civil Rights of the 1970s and 1980s. Students will read, annotate and categorize several primary sources to write a short essay describing and supporting their prospective with evidence from the texts.
Intersectional Approaches to Women’s Suffrage: Incorporating Marginalized Perspectives
This lesson explores the Women’s Suffrage movement through a speech given by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a Black suffragist and abolitionist, who critiques the largely white and middle class movement for its narrow perspective that ignores the country’s pressing race and class problems. This lesson introduces perspectives and realities often ignored in the general curriculum on Women’s Suffrage.