Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Curriculum and Roleplay: The American Civil War: A History Curriculum for Middle and High School

I would like to introduce to you my latest Role-Play Curriculum for Middle and High School students, The American Civil War. It is a six week curriculum, one lesson for each year of the Civil War, plus one for the coming of the war. This series includes writing, research, hands-on projects and even a bit of math and a field trip suggestion or two. I will be linking each week's lessons to this post for your convenience. More specifically, there are suggestions on:

  • Readings
  • Timeline
  • Role-Playing
  • Researching and Writing Telegrams
  • Maps
  • Researching and Writing a Newspaper Article
  • Hands-On Projects
  • Writing Outlines

Here are a few examples of the writing activities and expectations for the unit.:

Journal Writing

  • Each entry should be between 3/4 to a full page.
  • Each entry should be dated parallel to the events of the week. For example, if you are studying the year 1860, then your entry should be dated sometime in 1860 and the events in the entry should be seasonally appropriate to the month you have picked.
  • You should write two entries a week, one from the field identity, and one from the home identity.
  • Fill your entries with the things learned about -the events, people and life from the Civil War era. Your writing should always be historically accurate. Each entry should include at least 4 historical facts learned during the week. Highlight the facts with a highlighter pen.
  • Try to write as you might write to a relative today but do not use modern slang or references to inventions and conveniences not yet in use or people not yet born. The tone should be conversational.
  • Stay in character when you write, referencing the reactions to the events taking place through the character's eyes.


Each week you will be researching information about the events of the war and condensing them into a brief and interesting telegram to include in your notebook.

This program is designed for students from Middle School level to High School grades. You will, therefore need to establish for yourself the level which meets the standard for your student(s) grade level(s). The highest level work is complete and has details. The writing should reflect analysis and decision making. Research assignments should be graded on both content and writing skills. They all need to have two resources. Everything should reflect the students' mastery of the material covered.

Students will need a blank notebook to record information. I ask my students to keep wide margins on the left side of their notebook pages and double space their writing so that they can go back and add questions,  comments and reflections in the margins.

Week 1: The Coming of the War
Week 5: 1864
Week 6: 1865
  • Renaissance, Peter Cakebread and Ken Walton 
  • Civil War Interact Simulations, A Simulation of Civilian and Soldier Life During the American Civil War,  Terry Handy and Bill Lacey, grades 5-11
  • Abraham Lincoln's World, Genevieve Foster
  • Kingfisher History Encyclopedia


  1. Oh this is going to be awesome too, I can't wait to read them!

  2. http://www.etsytelemart.com/


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