Ernie Easter from the New Sweden School presented his integrated unit on the American Civil War at the MAMLE Annual Conference at Point Lookout. Here’s the description of his presentation from the Conference program:
The Civil War, an integrative unit, is taught through History, English Language Arts, Music, and Art. Making extensive use of photographs by Civil War Era photographers as well as resources from the Library of Congress, Maine Memory, and the National Park Service, students spend time analyzing photographs and creating their own photographs in the style of Mathew Brady. Also, students read primary and fictional sources to develop their own role-playing character to help them appreciate what is going on as they keep their own diary and react to the events that lead up to and events during the Civil War. A formal research paper and student presentation round out the unit.
Naturally Joshua Chamberlain plays a role in the unit.
Literature, art, music, research, historical content are all integrated into this engaging unit. Role playing is always a popular activity with middle level students; Ernie’s kids create the persona of a person who might have lived through this catastrophic time in our history and write letters and diary entries that reflect the realities of their lives. Below is an image of the graphic organizer they use to bring to life their “person”.
Ernie put all of the materials for his presentation in a Google Drive document and has very generously allowed MAMLE to publish it here so everyone can access these terrific resources: