Saturday, February 07, 2009

Civil War Projects

Since my kids worked so hard on their Civil War projects, I thought I would brag over them a bit here. My original intention was to have all of them do a lapbook and a timeline, but that evolved into having the older two do a lapbook and a timeline, and the next two only doing a timeline. I got the idea for the timeline when I was reading the Homeschool in the Woods website and her free ideas on civil war studies (scroll down and click on the free unit study of civil war on the left hand column or click here).

For Nathan and Abby I took  6 poster boards (about 22x14 inches) and taped them together end to end using clear mailing tape. Then I used colored plastic tape (I alternated colors to add variety) to tape a line down the middle. It was on that colored tape that I wrote the dates or events with a sparkly pen .

Using the timeline suggested on the above website (or by clicking here), I had them copy the various events after we had read about them. They didn't copy everything from this timeline, only the main things, and some things I wrote for them to copy that wasn't included on the above timeline website.

Sometimes I drew the lines on the timeline for them to write on and other times I drew them on colored paper and we added a picture. This was simply to make it more interesting.
Most of the pictures I found by searching on google pictures and then printing them. Some I copied from books, like these two maps below which are from Joy Hakim's History of US book.

One time I had Nathan and Abby draw a picture of what we had read and written about.  Here is Abby's drawing of Gettysburg Cemetery.

And here is Nathan's drawing of the  battle between the iron clad Merrimac and iron clad Monitor.  Boys and battles go hand in hand.

This was hard work for them, but they love looking at their timeline. It hangs on our basement wall. One thing I did to help them not complain (too much!) about all the writing was that while one was writing, the other was coloring in one of the two Dover coloring books I bought for this time period. One book was on President Lincoln's life and one was on the battles from Antietam to Gettysburg.

Hannah and Ellie also did a timeline, but for them I taped seven 8.5x11 pieces of white cardstock together with the mailing tape, added the colored tape down the middle, gave them a copy of the timeline, and had them write the important things where they belong.

They also did a lapbook. I gave them a list of what I wanted them to cover, checked out oodles of books from the library and let them go. They worked together and decided on doing the same flaps for the various events and, I think, did a fantastic job. Here are their books.

Open the front cover to see the flaps on slaves (including information on some of the more famous ones), the 13th Ammendment, and the Underground Railroad. Opposite it is the page which has a map of the US colored to indicate which states fought in the Confederacy and which in the Union, and a red pocket which contains cards on which they wrote about the various battles throughout the war.
Turning the page the flaps on President Lincoln, President Davis, and Generals Lee and Grant are opposite the page containing the fold-out timeline.

On the next two pages they added the flaps on Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and the H.L. Hunley submarine. (The backside of the Hunley page is the fold-out timeline.)

Turning the left yellow flap (which has the Gettysburg Address on it) to the right, the next two pages are these:
The purple flap includes famous writers during the Civil War.  I had intended for them to only do Walt Whitman, but they decided to find others who lived during this time and wrote on them as well.

The green flap is information on Matthew Brady and his photography of the Civil War.
And this flap is on (can you guess?)............

Ford's Theatre and Lincoln's assassination.

The last two pages (after turning the left red flap to the right) compares different things in the Union and Confederacy.

One flap compares the different foods,
one compares schools,

one tells about life as a boy or girl

and the last compares the soldiers.
As you can tell, I think they did a fantastic job.  We started this project at the beginning of December and my lofty goal was to finish before Christmas.  Hahahahahaha!   That didn't happen so we spent the first two school weeks of January finishing.  Once finishing this, though, the seemingly mundane daily History reading and narrating is rather refreshing for all of us.  Plus after spending so much time on this, we look forward to our trip east to Washington D.C. and visiting some of the battlefields of this terrible war to see first hand some of these places we read and wrote about.


AmusedMomma said...

This is amazing! I love how you shared all the sources, too!

Michelle said...

That is really cool! Thanks for sharing!

Karen said...

What a great project! I always forget to take pictures of my kids exceptional projects and regret it later. Thanks for sharing!

The Parson's Wife said...

Nice job!

Anonymous said...

OMGsh...cronic over achiever you are...this is ten times more in depth than anything anyone of my children have ever done in public schools. I am amazed at the details and amount of work that went into this! I am once again reminded why i never did homeschool - i'm just not that smart!
LUv Ya! Diane