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Ch 11: American Civil War (1861-1865) Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The American Civil War (1861-1865) chapter of this High School US History Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course is designed to help you plan and teach the history of the war between the Union and the Confederacy in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the American Civil War chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday Start of the Civil War The advantages and disadvantages of both the Union and the Confederacy
Tuesday Major battles The Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Antietam, naval confrontations, and the Battle of Gettysburg
Wednesday The Emancipation Proclamation Terms of the proclamation, how the proclamation was created, and how the proclamation changed the lives of African Americans on both sides of the war
Thursday The end of the Civil War Two-pronged warfare on both the Eastern and Western fronts, and General Grant's strategies
Friday Union victory and the aftermath of war General Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, the fall of Richmond, and Lincoln's assassination

11 Lessons in Chapter 11: American Civil War (1861-1865) Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Civil War Begins: Northern and Southern Advantages Compared

1. Civil War Begins: Northern and Southern Advantages Compared

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, both the North and South believed the conflict would be over quickly. But advantages for both the Confederacy and the Union meant a prolonged war between the states. In this lesson, discover some of the advantages that the North and South had.

The First Battle of Bull Run: Civil War Blood is Shed

2. The First Battle of Bull Run: Civil War Blood is Shed

Three months after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, Northern troops attacked Southern forces near the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. The first Battle of Bull Run (or Manassas) was the first major engagement of the Civil War and a terrifying defeat for the Union spectators who came to watch.

Key Civil War Battles in 1862: Monitor and Merrimac, Antietam, New Orleans & Shiloh

3. Key Civil War Battles in 1862: Monitor and Merrimac, Antietam, New Orleans & Shiloh

In 1862, the Union put its Anaconda Plan into action, resulting in several critical events: the Peninsular Campaign, the Battle of Hampton Roads between the ironclads Monitor and Virginia (Merrimack), the Battle of Shiloh, the capture of New Orleans, and the Battle of Antietam.

The Emancipation Proclamation: Creation, Context and Legacy

4. The Emancipation Proclamation: Creation, Context and Legacy

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. More than three million slaves in the South were freed, but the move was not without its critics, both then and now.

How the Civil War Affected the Economy and Everyday Life in the North and South

5. How the Civil War Affected the Economy and Everyday Life in the North and South

With the strongest and most productive demographic of society away fighting in the Civil War, the task of running homes, communities, and the nation fell to those who stayed behind. The war on the home front changed their lives forever.

Civil War Turning Points: Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Vicksburg

6. Civil War Turning Points: Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Vicksburg

In 1863, three events proved to be turning points for the American Civil War: the Battle of Chancellorsville, the Battle of Gettysburg and the Siege of Vicksburg. Learn about these Civil War turning points in this lesson.

End of the Civil War: General Grant Begins the March Toward Richmond

7. End of the Civil War: General Grant Begins the March Toward Richmond

President Lincoln took a gamble and named Ulysses S. Grant as General-in-Chief of the Union army. They devised a plan to finally take Richmond and win the war in 1864. In this lesson, learn about General Grant's controversial tactics.

Sherman's March to the Sea

8. Sherman's March to the Sea

In 1864, General William T. Sherman began his Atlanta campaign. His success assured Lincoln's re-election in 1864. Sherman then began his destructive March to the Sea in order to capture Savannah.

Lincoln's Assassination and Lee's Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse

9. Lincoln's Assassination and Lee's Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse

Two of the most eventful weeks in American history took place between April 1 and April 15, 1865, during which Richmond (the capital of the Confederacy) fell, General Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse and President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

Gettysburg Address: Summary & Analysis

10. Gettysburg Address: Summary & Analysis

This lesson discusses the Gettysburg Address, one of the most famous speeches in American history. Learn more about what Abraham Lincoln's speech means and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Emancipation Proclamation: Summary & Analysis

11. Emancipation Proclamation: Summary & Analysis

In this lesson, we will discuss the background of the Civil War and the role of slavery. We will then define the Emancipation Proclamation, summarize its key points, and then analyze the effects that it had on the Civil War and the United States.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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