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Civil War Soldiers Letters Lesson Plan

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

Teach students about the significance of letter writing from Civil War soldiers. Students will read an informational passage, engage in discussion and write some letters of their own.

Lesson Objectives

  • Understand the significance of Civil War soldiers' letters
  • Participate in a discussion about Civil War soldiers' letters
  • Write a letter from the perspective of a Civil War soldier or a loved one

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.5

Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.6

Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).

Length

  • 45-60 minutes

Materials

Lesson Instructions

  • Begin the lesson by asking, 'If you were far away from your family, with no access to a computer or phone, what would you do?'
  • Explain that today's lesson is going to about the letters that Civil War soldiers would write to their families when they were away at war.
  • Distribute Letters from Civil War Soldiers to students.
  • Read aloud the 'Letters' and 'Historical Importance' sections to students as they follow along. Ask:
    • How would your communication style change if you had to write a letter when you wanted to talk to someone?
    • Why is it important for us to read the letters of Civil War soldiers?
    • What do we already know about the typical Civil War soldier and his experiences?
  • Read the remainder of the text aloud to students as they follow along. Ask:
    • How would you describe life as a Civil War solider based on these letters?
    • What do you think it was like to receive a letter from a Civil War soldier?
  • Distribute the quiz.
  • Students will take quiz independently. Review answers as a class.

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