This unit is designed to illuminate the remarkable strength and dedication of women during the years of the Civil War. This study provides the background information necessary to allow students in the middle and upper elementary grades to view a tapestry woven with the remarkable, vivid, lives of slaves, spies, abolitionists, nurses, soldiers, mothers, daughters, teachers, and protectors of home and ideals, during a turbulent period in American history.
This study reveals the way women have influenced and even changed the course of society by their experiences, as documented in diaries, letters, and children’s literature. A strong evidence of commonality is disclosed in the written expressions and feelings of these women. This written evidence discloses a solidarity which alters the value of women in the American Culture. No longer were women seen as the weaker sex. They defied this Victorian image, demonstrating a strength to be reckoned with. Women began their organized move toward equality as the Civil War offered them opportunities to display courage and resourcefulness.
To provide an organized approach to the vastness of the data discovered and provided as part of this unit of study I have structured my research and subsequent student lessons and activities into three interwoven categories. I. The lives of Euro American women. II. The lives of African American Women. III. The times as seen through the eyes of the female child.
At the center of each group the limelight will be on a limited number of documented lives which parallel the uncounted experiences of many. An educator facilitating this unit will be equipped with opportunities in each section for widening personal perspectives as well as expanding the hearts and minds of his or her students. A final culminating section will weave the individual threads, in their three hues, into a strong, beautiful, interwoven fabric.