Civil War Activities for Kids

Instructor: Nicky Davis
The history of slavery and the American Civil War can be tough subjects for young students. Check out this article to find activities that will help kids interact and engage with Civil War history.

Letters to Lincoln

Following a discussion of the causes of the Civil War, invite students to write letters to President Lincoln expressing their feelings about the state of the country, and the institution of slavery.

President Lincoln Timeline

Create a timeline as a class of the major events in Lincoln's presidency. Assign each student a different event on the timeline to research. Then have students write a short blurb on their assigned event and draw a picture to represent the event on the timeline. This short multimedia lesson on Abraham Lincoln can be a helpful supplement to class-based lessons.

Learn Songs of the Underground Railroad

While studying Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, teach students the lyrics to songs used to pass along information about the trail such as 'Follow the Drinking Gourd' and 'Wade in the Water'. Study a map of the routes of the Railroad and discuss the challenges faced by runaway slaves.

Separate The States Game

Study the breakdown of Free States, Slave States and Border States at the dawning of the civil war. Then write all the states down on index cards, and have students divide them into categories based on what they know about American geography and what they remember from the lesson.

Read and Reiterate: Key Civil War Documents

Read and work through the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation. Have students work in groups to translate these historical documents into simpler and contemporary language. Then ask each group to share their new translations with the class.

More Resources

Want more help teaching your class about Civil War history? Check out these resources with video lessons full of historical information and quizzes to help students solidify their understanding of the era.

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