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Civil War Battle Strategy Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is a tool for helping students learn about Civil War battle strategies. Students will watch a video and answer questions that will enable them to compare the Union and Confederate strategies.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, students will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the battle strategies of the North and South.
  • Define the difference between strategies and tactics.

Length

90 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).

Vocabulary

  • abolition
  • Anaconda plan
  • Confederacy
  • cordon defense
  • counterattacks
  • deployed
  • Emancipation Proclamation
  • offensive
  • offensive-defensive
  • retreat
  • reunification
  • secede
  • strategy
  • tactics
  • unified
  • Union

Materials

  • Copies of the quiz
  • Copies of the lesson
  • 1' Graph paper
  • Pens
  • Chart paper
  • Markers

Video & Discussion Questions

  • Preview vocabulary words.
  • Hand out a paper copy of the transcript for students to follow along.
  • Watch Comparing Union & Confederate Civil War Strategies as a class, and discuss the following questions:
    • What were the goals of the Union army?
    • What were the goals of the Confederate army?
    • What is the difference between strategy and tactics?
    • What strategies did the Union army use to accomplish their goals?
    • Describe the First Battle of Bull Run.
    • What challenge did President Abraham Lincoln face?
    • Describe the Anaconda Plan.
    • What advantages did the Union have that the Confederacy did not?
    • Why wasn't the cordon defense successful?
    • Who was the Confederate president?
    • What strategy did the Confederacy adopt?
    • Describe the Battle of Glorieta Pass.
    • Describe the Second Battle of Bull Run.
    • What advantages did the Confederacy have over the Union?
    • Why was the Emancipation Proclamation a successful tactic?
    • How did the Union Army cut off Confederate supplies?
    • Who was Ulysses S. Grant?
    • Who was Robert E. Lee?
    • What happened on April 26, 1885?
  • Pass out the printable worksheet. Have students complete the questions independently, then check the answers together.

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