More than ever, it’s important to explore all sides of our history. Whether you’re standing at the front of a classroom or teaching online, some topics are tougher to tackle than others. We can’t ignore our story, though, so we’ve put together this list of activities and websites to teach kids about the Civil War.
Before diving into this lesson with students, look for resources to help make the conversation more meaningful. Here are a few to help you get started:
- Teaching Hard History: American Slavery
- Appropriate Ways to Teach Kids About Slavery
- Slavery and the Civil War Part 1
- Slavery and the Civil War Part 2
Reviewing resources such as these can help you feel more prepared for the complex themes and potentially difficult questions you’ll cover in your classroom discussion of the Civil War.
1. A Kid Explains History — The Civil War
12 year-old Mr. Q loves diving into different parts of history and sharing what he learns in this short, engaging video.
2. Teaching the Civil War
This collection from PBS brings together a diverse set of resources to consider the causes, context, and course of the Civil War.
3. Civil War Curriculum Lesson Plans
The Elementary School Civil War Curriculum is a set of eight standards-based lesson plans, that utilizes a mixture of traditional and modern teaching methods. Teach students about Life at War, the effects of the Civil War, and more.
4. How to Teach the Civil War in the Deep South
One veteran Mississippi teacher is forgoing textbooks for the local archives.
5. The American Civil War Overview
This American Civil War overview video was designed for elementary-aged students for classrooms or distance learning.
6. Civil War: A Dear America Activity
Scholastic’s online learning activities offer students a detailed look at how the Civil War of the 1860s impacted, and divided, America.
7. The American Civil War for Kids
A collection of activities designed to introduce kids to the major events, battles, people, and life during the Civil War.
8. The Battle of Gettysburg
National Geographic Kids takes students behind the scenes of the Civil War’s bloodiest fight.
9. 19 American Civil War Facts for Kids
This bulleted list is clear and concise, making it easier for students to understand these big concepts.
10. Civil War Battles
This colorful website contains activities and resources related to the battles of the Civil War.
11. Google Classroom Worlds of North & South Unit Pre-Civil War
This Pre-Civil War, Worlds of North and South packet is loaded with Common Core activities that are guided by key concepts for Social Science.
12. Kids in the Civil War
Johnny Clem, a 10-year-old drummer boy turned soldier, was one of many children who acted as a hero during the Civil War. Learn several of their stories.
13. American Civil War
Britannica Kids created this extensive resource to enhance American Civil War lesson plans.
14. Battles of the American Civil War
An extensive list of the battles that made up the Civil War.
If these ideas inspired you, join our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group and come talk with the very teachers who suggested them!
Plus check out 15 Activities & Websites to Teach Kids About Historical Timelines.