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Civil War Newspaper

Life Skills:

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication

Time Frame:
5 class periods that run 45 minutes each.

Group Size:
Small Groups


The purpose of this activity is to provide students with a broad overview of the Civil War through the creation of a newspaper. Students will research and write about specific assigned topics dealing with the Civil War (ie, abolition, battles, key individuals, etc.) and report their findings through articles, political cartoons, biographies, and other stories.

Objectives: By the end of this activity students will be able to:

  • Identify advantages and disadvantages of each side
  • Explain the role of slavery before and during the Civil War
  • Identify key individuals
  • Explain how the Civil War affected people

Enduring Understanding: Students will understand the significance of the Civil War Era to the United States.

Essential Questions:

  • What are the regional differences and events that led to the Civil War?
  • What are the factors that affected the course of the war and contributed to Union victory?

Career Connections:

  • Artistic
  • Technical

Textbooks,Libraries,and Internet resources. It would also be helpful to have copies of newspapers to show the students.

Background For Teachers:
Newspapers were one of the major sources of information in the 1860's. They included many of the same components that newspapers do today. Many of these components can be included in this paper; i.e., political cartoons, editorials, biographies, advertisements.

Student Prior Knowledge:
Students need to have an understanding of the events leading up to the Civil War.

Instructional Procedures:
Step 1: Divide into small groups or allow for individual work. Each group will be researching and creating an actual newspaper. Although each textbook should have a wealth of information that the student may use, this project can benefit from outside research.

Step 2: Pass out a copy of the Newspaper Project Outline paper (see attachments below). This can be adapted to meet the needs of a variety of students. A sample project outline is included in the attachments.

Step 3: Go over the assignment paper with the students. Answer any questions and give due dates for the assignment. This can be used as a 2-3 week assignment that includes class time, research time and homework, or can be compressed into several class periods.

Step 4: Allow time for research and writing. Use of the library is encouraged. There are many Internet sites that include a wealth of information on these topics.


Web Sites

Strategies For Diverse Learners:
Gifted students can be given the assignment to complete the newspaper from a regional or ideological perspective.

This project can be done in with the support of the language arts classes or be done as a cooperative project.

Web Sites

Assessment Plan:
Performance will be assessed through the finished Civil War newspaper. The assessment will be mostly content oriented.


Scott Stucki
Russell Fullmer
Heidi Alder

Created Date :
Jul 09 2002 11:23 AM