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Literature of the U.S. Civil War, by Thomas E. Holmes

Guide Entry to 97.02.02:

This curriculum unit is designed to help fourth and fifth grade students to gain a greater appreciation for literature of the U.S. Civil War. The Civil War is covered in many textbook series with a main focus on timelines and main events but little attention to the wide spectrum of childrenís literature available for their reading enjoyment. I provide in this unit educational goals in developing childrenís various developmental pathways. I want students to acquire a knowledge of the talents that lie within them through reading, writing, dramatization, and musical activities.

I want students to come to appreciate the people of the time, and the events of the time that would change our nationís future.

In approaching this unit of study, students will use various skills in listening, reading, problem-solving, and critical thinking. I give examples of graphic organizers that can be used for the building of background and organization of information for various activities. I include whole-group approaches to independent work activities, with the focus on literature of the U.S. Civil War. I introduce novels, poetry, music, and picture books. The main goal is to provide enough varied printed material and visuals to stimulate the students to discover the power of knowledge and appreciate the wealth of information available to them on the U.S. Civil War. I give strategies to help to accomplish this throughout the unit, using various books within the same genre for contrasting of similarities and differences. Poetry and music written by great authors and musicians is presented. I also suggest books that bring the events of the time alive through pictures and photographs.

(Recommended for Language Arts, Social Studies, and Reading, grades 4 and 5)

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