Civil War
Age 12-14: Concept 1 - Semester 1: Unit 5

The American Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865 and was a divisive and tumultuous time in American history. In this unit, you will be given context about the legislative acts on slavery that preceded the Civil War and created compromises between the free and slave states. You will learn about the debates regarding the division of power between the states and the federal government and the secession of the Confederate States of America, led by Jefferson Davis. The unit covers the entire period of the war, from beginning to end, and describes the battles and strategies employed by both sides. At the end of the unit, you will read about the significance of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the constitutional amendments that abolished slavery and gave African Americans the right to vote.

For the final project of this unit, you will create Civil War battle cards for a game that will permit you to see the ways that strategic decisions affect the outcomes of battles.

Other Items You May Need

The Age 12-14 social studies units utilize a Timeline of American History along with a stack of timeline cards to enhance your child's understanding of the chronology of historical events.
$15.00 #1809 Age 12-14 - American History Timeline Cards
$7.00 #1810 Age 12-14 - American History Timeline


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at an 8th or 9th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Can write a five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the eighth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Sectional Differences (2 Days)
  • Lesson 2: Moving Toward War (2 Days)
  • Lesson 3: The Start of the War (2 Days)
  • Lesson 4: Early Days of the War (2 Days)
  • Lesson 5: Wartime Strategies
  • Lesson 6: The Emancipation Proclamation
  • Lesson 7: Gettysburg and Beyond (2 Days)
  • Lesson 8: The War's End (2 Days)
  • Final Project: Civil War Card Game

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze Abraham Lincoln's ideas about liberty, equality, union, and government as contained in his first and second inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg Address and contrast them with the ideas contained in Jefferson Davis's inaugural address. (Social Studies)
  • Analyze the early and steady attempts to abolish slavery and to realize the ideals of the Declaration of Independence. (Social Studies)
  • Analyze the impact of slavery on different sections of the United States. (Social Studies)
  • Analyze the political, economic, and social character and lasting consequences of Reconstruction. Identify the reasons why Reconstruction came to an end. (Social Studies)
  • Analyze the significance of the Missouri Compromise (1820), the Compromise of 1850, Henry Clay's role in the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854), the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision (1857), and the Lincoln-Douglas debates (1858). (Social Studies)
  • Analyze the social and economic impact of the war on specific locations and explain how the war affected combatants, civilians, the physical environment, and future warfare. (Social Studies)
  • Compare the effects of political, economic, and social factors on slaves and free blacks. (Social Studies)
  • Describe critical developments and events in the war, including the major battles, geographical advantages and obstacles, technological advances, and General Lee's surrender at Appomattox. (Social Studies)
  • Describe the lives of free blacks and the laws that limited their freedom and economic opportunities. (Social Studies)
  • Discuss Abraham Lincoln's presidency and his significant writings and speeches and their relationship to the Declaration of Independence, such as his "House Divided" speech (1858), Gettysburg Address (1863), Emancipation Proclamation (1863), and inaugural addresses (1861 and 1865). (Social Studies)
  • Discuss the abolition of slavery in early state constitutions. (Social Studies)
  • Discuss the importance of the slavery issue as raised by the annexation of Texas and California's admission to the union as a free state under the Compromise of 1850. (Social Studies)
  • Explain the causes of the Civil War, including sectionalism, states' rights, and slavery. (Social Studies)
  • Explain the economic, political, and social problems during Reconstruction and evaluate their impact on different groups. (Social Studies)
  • Explain the significant events of the Civil War, including the firing on Fort Sumter; the battles of Antietam, Gettysburg, and Vicksburg; the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation; Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House; and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. (Social Studies)
  • Identify and analyze the significance of the causes of secession from the Union, and compare reactions in specific states to reactions in other regions of the nation. Compare the conflicting interpretations of state and federal authority as emphasized in the speeches and writings of statesmen such as Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun. (Social Studies)
  • Identify the constitutional issues posed by the doctrine of nullification and secession and the earliest origins of that doctrine. (Social Studies)
  • Identify the provisions and compare the effects of congressional conflicts and compromises prior to the Civil War, including the roles of John Quincy Adams, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster. (Social Studies)
  • Identify the push-pull factors in the movement of former slaves to the cities in the North and to the West and their differing experiences in those regions (e.g., the experiences of Buffalo Soldiers). (Social Studies)
  • Know the leaders of the movement (e.g., John Quincy Adams and his proposed constitutional amendment, John Brown and the armed resistance, Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, Benjamin Franklin, Theodore Weld, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass). (Social Studies)
  • List the original aims of Reconstruction and describe its effects on the political and social structures of different regions. Evaluate legislative reform programs of the Radical Reconstruction Congress and reconstructed state governments. (Social Studies)
  • Study the views and lives of leaders (e.g., Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee) and soldiers on both sides of the war, including those of black soldiers and regiments. Explain the roles played by significant individuals during the Civil War, including Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and Abraham Lincoln, and heroes such as congressional Medal of Honor recipients William Carney and Philip Bazaar. (Social Studies)
  • Trace the boundaries constituting the North and the South, the geographical differences between the two regions, and the differences between agrarians and industrialists. (Social Studies)
  • Trace the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and describe the Klan's effects. (Social Studies)
  • Understand how political, economic, and social factors led to the growth of sectionalism and the Civil War. (Social Studies)
  • Understand individuals, issues, and events of the Civil War. (Social Studies)
  • Understand the effects of the Freedmen's Bureau and the restrictions placed on the rights and opportunities of freedmen, including racial segregation and "Jim Crow" laws. (Social Studies)
  • Understand the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution and analyze their connection to Reconstruction. (Social Studies)
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