Monthly Archives: February 2015

Balloons & Generals in War

Week 8: Balloons & Generals in War

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Read K – 3: Runaway Balloon by Burke Davis*

4 – 6:  Runaway Balloon by Burke Davis* & Read “NOTE” (see below)

7 – 8: Mr. Lincoln’s High-Tech War by Thomas B. Allen & Roger MacBride Allen (Read only: Chapter 5 “Riding the Wing of Battle”, & Read “NOTE” [see below])

* Unfortunately this book may be hard to find.  You may need to request it through interlibrary loan.

NOTE: “3 Important Generals”

  1. McClellan led the Union (Northern) army during the first part of the Civil War.  Strengths: He was known for organizing highly disciplined troops and his soldiers loved him. Weaknesses: Did not think highly of Abraham Lincoln.  Made poor judgements regarding the sizes of enemy armies.  Seemed reluctant to pursue battles against his enemy.  If he had been more aggressive with his troops, the Civil War may have ended years sooner.  Abraham Lincoln stated “If General McClellan does not want to use the army, I would like to borrow it for a time.”  He was later removed from his position by Lincoln.  During the course of the Civil War, he ran against Lincoln for the Presidency.
  2. Robert E. Lee led the Confederate (Southern) army during the Civil War.  He was against succession. (Meaning, he was against the Southern states pulling away from the United States to start their own country.)  President Lincoln offered him command of the Federal Forces because of his excellent reputation as one of the finest officers in the country, but Lee believed he could not fight against his own state, so when he was offered a general’s position in the Confederate army, he accepted.  He also served as military adviser to the Confederate President, Jefferson Davis.  Strengths: His army became the most successful of all the Southern armies, engaging and defeating enemy troops much larger than themselves.  Weaknesses: Made poor military decisions during the battle of Gettysburg.  Despite his overall excellent military tactics, the Union army eventually wore his army down in numbers, weapons, food, clothing, etc.
  3. Ulysses S. Grant led the Union (Northern) army during the second part of the Civil War.  He became famous for his victories at Fort Donelson and Vicksburg.  In 1864 Lincoln gave him command of the entire Union army.  Grant met Lee in battle several times over the course of the next year.  Eventually Lee surrendered to Grant in 1865 at the Appomattox court house.  Strengths: Great military commander.  He became known as “Unconditional Surrender” (U.S.) Grant.  Reputation for never giving up.  Popular with the people.  He eventually became president of the United States.  Weaknesses: He was known for being a drinker.

Discuss:

  • Why were hot air balloons used during the Civil War? (to spy on the enemy)
  • What were some advantages of using a hot air balloon? (Could see how large enemy army was, where it was stationed, where it was moving to.)
  • What were some disadvantages of using a hot air balloon? (Balloon could be shot down; balloon could blow off course, get caught in trees, etc.)
  • Why was it harder for the Confederates to make and use balloons? (Didn’t have all the materials they needed to make them.)
    Questions for Grades 4 – 8:
  • Who was McClellan? (General of Union army during beginning of Civil War)
  • Name his strengths? (Organized disciplined troops; soldiers loved and followed him)
  • Name his weaknesses? (Reluctant to pursue battles; made poor judgements regarding the sizes of enemy armies)
  • Who was Robert E. Lee? (General of Confederate army during Civil War)
  • Name his strengths? (Most successful southern army)
  • Name his weaknesses? (Made poor military decisions during battle of Gettysburg; eventually could not beat larger, better supplied Northern army)
  • Who was Ulysses S. Grant? (General of Union army during second half of Civil War)
  • Name his strengths? (known for “Unconditional Surrender”; never giving up)
  • Name his weaknesses? (had an alcohol problem)
    Questions for Grades 7 – 8:
  • How did balloonists often communicate with their army down below? (telegraph lines)
  • Who urged Union generals to use balloonists to help in the war? (Lincoln)
  • Describe what happened when McClellan was given military information by his balloonists? (They reported the size of Confederate units and provided drawings and reports of enemy positions but he didn’t believe their information was accurate.)

Activities: K – 3:  Make own hot air balloon craft using a balloon, yarn, tape, and construction paper and these instructions from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOLpEuUzkFQ
4 – 6: Write a short essay on the following: If you had the opportunity to fly in a hot air balloon as a soldier during the Civil War, would you have wanted to do it? Why or why not?
7 – 8: Read this internet article about General George McClellan and the quotes by and about him after the article: http://www.nellaware.com/blog/george-b-mcclellan-quotes.html
Then complete the attached “McClellan” worksheet by clicking here: McClellan

Copyright February 26th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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The Telegraph & the Train

Week 7: The Telegraph & the Train

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Read K – 4:  Samuel F.B. Morse by Jean Lee Latham

5 – 6: 

  1. Read Samuel F. B. Morse by Jean Lee Latham AND
  2. View this Youtube video about the telegraph: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oo0hSZ9R_Xk AND
  3. Read this article on “Early American Railroads” by clicking on this link: http://www.ushistory.org/us/25b.asp

7 – 8: 

  1. Read Mr. Lincoln’s High-Tech War by Thomas B. Allen & Roger MacBride Allen (Read only: Prologue “The Spirit of Invention”, Chapter 1 “Lincoln’s Secret Train”, & Chapter 11 “Rails & Wires at War”) AND
  2. View this Youtube video about Samuel Morse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGs57VQHt7M AND
  3. View this Youtube video about the telegraph: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oo0hSZ9R_Xk AND
  4. Read this article on “Early American Railroads” by clicking on this link: http://www.ushistory.org/us/25b.asp

Discuss:

  • T/F Samuel Morse was a talented artist. (true)
  • T/F Samuel Morse was wealthy because of his artwork. (false)
  • When did Samuel Morse get the idea for inventing the telegraph? (on his way home on a ship from Europe)
  • What made electricity a good way to send messages? (Electricity travels on a wire instantaneously.)
  • Was the government excited about his telegraph at first? (no)
  • What was the first message sent by telegraph? (What hath God wrought?)
  • How did the telegraph change communication in the United States? (Telegraph wires eventually put all over the country; people could communicate instantaneously.)
  • Were people able to communicate from country to country during Samuel Morse’s lifetime? (yes)
  • How? (cables put under the ocean)
    Questions for Grades 4 – 8:
  • Who rebuilt Samuel Morse’s telegraph; provided the funds needed to pay for the invention (by his father) and invented the “Morse” code? (Alfred Vail)
  • Why didn’t Alfred Vail get credit for his contributions? (Samuel Morse’s name was on patent)
  • Where was the railroad first developed? (Great Britain)
  • Where was the first railroad chartered in the U.S.? (Baltimore, Maryland)
  • Why were some Americans unhappy about the new railroads? (put canal workers, inn keepers, & other businesses out of work)
    Questions for Grades 7 – 8:
  • As Commander-in-Chief during the Civil War, what two important inventions did Lincoln take control of after taking office? (telegraph lines, North’s railroads)
  • How did Lincoln find out he had won the election? (by telegraph)
  • How did Lincoln travel to his Inauguration? (by train)

Activities: K – 2: Write your first and last name in Morse Code using this key for help: http://morsecodealphabet.org/pdf/morse_code_alphabet.pdf
3 – 5: Complete this Morse Code worksheet: http://morsecodealphabet.org/quiz-worksheets-decode/morse_code_quiz.pdf by using this key: http://morsecodealphabet.org/pdf/morse_code_alphabet.pdf
6 – 8:

  1. Complete this Morse Code worksheet: http://morsecodealphabet.org/quiz-worksheets-decode/morse_code_quiz.pdf by using this key: http://morsecodealphabet.org/pdf/morse_code_alphabet.pdf
  2. Then answer the following question in paragraph form: What do you believe was the more important invention during 1800’s, the train or the telegraph? Give details to support your answer.

Copyright February 19th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Frederick Douglass

Week 6: Frederick Douglass

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Read K – 3:

  1. A Picture Book of Frederick Douglass by David Adler OR
  2. Frederick Douglass: Writer, Speaker, Opponent of Slavery by Suzanne Slade 

4 – 6: Frederick Douglass: by Catherine Welch 

7 – 8:

  1. Frederick Douglass: Abolitionist and Author by Norma Jean Lutz  OR
  2. Voice of Freedom by Maryann N. Weidt  

Discuss:

  • T/F Frederick Douglass was born a slave. (T)
  • Who did Frederick live with as a very young boy? Why? (Grandmother cared for him; mother had to work all day long as slave.)
  • How old was Frederick when he started working as a slave? (about 7)
  • Who taught Frederick how to read? (new master’s wife in Baltimore)
  • Why did she stop teaching him? (ordered to stop by her husband; it was against the law.)
  • How did Frederick keep learning? (boys in neighborhood)
  • How did Frederick escape from slavery? (help from African American friends, especially Anna Murray who became his wife)
  • Why did Frederick change his last name to Douglass? (to make it difficult for slave catchers to find him)
  • How did Frederick become famous? (gave speeches about the evil of slavery; wrote autobiography of his life)
  • What was the “North Star”? (Antislavery newspaper Frederick started)
  • What famous president did Frederick become friends with? (Abraham Lincoln)
  • What important position did Frederick have in Washington D.C.? (U.S. Marshall)
    Questions for Grades 4 – 8:
  • T/F As a slave, Frederick was treated well by most of his masters. (False. He was whipped, slept on dirt floors, almost starved, not enough clothes, etc.)
  • Why did Frederick leave the country for Great Britain? (autobiography gave his real name and the names of his masters; he could be returned to his master as a result)
  • How did Frederick buy his freedom? (friends from Great Britain raised money to buy his freedom)
  • Were black soldiers treated the same as white soldiers during the Civil War? (no, weren’t paid as much; had to dig ditches)
  • Why was Frederick’s marriage to Helen Pitts a shock to most people? (She was white.)
    Question for Grades 7 – 8:
  • Describe Frederick’s experience with “Edward Covey”? (He was man known to be able to break any slave; Frederick was beat by him regularly. Finally, he stood up to him and Covey never laid a hand on him again.)

Activities: K – 2: Frederick Douglass coloring page: http://blackhistoryeverymonth.blogspot.com/2008/02/black-history-coloring-pages-rosa-parks_20.html
3 – 4: Frederick Douglass crossword puzzle: http://gardenofpraise.com/pdf/ibdpuz48.pdf
Frederick Douglass matching worksheet: http://gardenofpraise.com/pdf/matchfdoug.pdf
5 – 6: Frederick Douglass matching worksheet: http://gardenofpraise.com/pdf/matchfdoug.pdf
Frederick Douglass short answer worksheet: http://gardenofpraise.com/pdf/testb48.pdf
7 – 8: Write an essay on one of the following topics:

  • What do you think Frederick Douglass would say was the most important experience of his life? Learning to read? Standing up to Edward Covey? Making it to Pennsylvania? Working as an abolitionist? Something else? Why?
  • Choose 3 of your favorite quotes by Frederick Douglass from this site: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/18943.Frederick_Douglasss
    and explain why you like them.
  • Do you believe Frederick Douglass had more advantages than most slaves did to become all that he was? Explain your answer.

Copyright February 11, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Abraham Lincoln

Week 5: Abraham Lincoln

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Read K – 3:

  1. Abraham Lincoln by Nest Animated Hero Classics OR
  2. A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln by David Adler OR
  3. Abe’s Honest Words by Doreen Rappaport OR
  4. Abraham Lincoln: Lawyer, President, Emancipator by Pamela Hill Nettleton

4 – 6: Meet Abraham Lincoln by Barbara Cary

7 – 8: Don’t Know Much About Abraham Lincoln by Kenneth C. Davis

Discuss:

  • How did the Civil War begin? (South fired on Fort Sumter. The Southern states joined together to start their own county and government. They weren’t happy that Lincoln was elected president.)
  • At first, what was Lincoln’s goal in winning the war? (to save the Union and democracy)
  • What was the Emancipation Proclamation? (Document that stated all slaves currently part of the Confederacy were free.)
  • Where did Lincoln give his most famous speech? (Gettysburg)
  • How did Lincoln die? (shot & killed)

Questions for grades 4 – 8:

  • Where was Lincoln born? (Kentucky)
  • Was this a slave or free state? (slave)
  • T/F Abraham Lincoln grew up in a wealthy family. (F)
  • How did Lincoln’s family feel about slavery? (didn’t like it)
  • What happened to Abraham’s mother when he was a boy? (died of milk sickness)
  • How did Abraham feel about his stepmother? (loved her)
  • What was Abe’s favorite hobby as a boy? (reading)
  • What did Abraham see on his trip to New Orleans that made a big impact on him? (slaves being sold)
  • Name some of Abe’s jobs. (store keeper, mailman, surveyor, lawyer, state representative, president)
  • What was Lincoln’s wife’s name? (Mary)
  • How many kids did Lincoln have? (4 boys)
  • Describe Lincoln’s relationship with his sons? (Loved to play with them)
  • Who was Stephen Douglass? (Man Lincoln ran against to be senator and then president; had many debates with him over the issue of slave states vs. free states)
  • How did Lincoln become famous? (speeches with Stephen Douglass about slavery)
  • What did the southern states call their new “country”? (Confederate States of America)
  • Why did the south win many battles? (much better generals)
  • What were some of Abraham’s nicknames? (Father Abraham, Honest Abe)
  • What happened to Abraham’s son, Willy? (died)
  • Why didn’t Abraham free all of the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation? (didn’t want four slave states to join the Confederacy)
  • How long did the War last? (4 years)
  • What was the war called? (Civil War)
  • What general began winning battles for the North? (Grant)
  • Who was the head of the Confederate army? (Robert E. Lee)
  • Where was Abraham shot? (in a theater)

Questions for grades 7 – 8:

  • Who was president of the Confederate states? (Jefferson Davis)
  • What were Abolitionists? (people who fought to abolish slavery)
  • Was Lincoln popular as president? (no)
  • How many times was Lincoln elected? (2)
  • Who killed Lincoln? (Actor John Wilkes Booth)
  • What happened to Mary Lincoln after he died? (started acting crazy)
  • How is Lincoln remembered officially today? (President’s day, penny, $5 bill, Mount Rushmore, Lincoln Memorial)
  • What famous African American supported Lincoln? (Frederick Douglass)

Activities: K – 2: Make Abraham Lincoln mask using black construction paper, a paper plate, and a Popsicle stick: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/246712885808844871/
(On the back of the hat, tape a white piece of paper and have students write 3 sentences telling 3 things they learned about Abraham Lincoln.
3 – 4: Complete this matching worksheet: http://gardenofpraise.com/pdf/matchlinco.pdf and this wordsearch: https://www.teachervision.com/tv/printables/TCR/0615_144.pdf
5 – 6: Write a short essay to answer the following questions: When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, he only freed slaves in the Confederacy. Do you think the North would have won the war if he had freed all of the slaves? Do you think the border states would have stayed with the Union or switched to the Confederacy? Do you think this was the best decision to make in this situation?
7 – 8: Choose one of the following for a 5 paragraph, 3 proof essay topic:

  1. Abraham Lincoln, like presidents today, was criticized for many of his decisions. Describe some of the criticisms people had for Lincoln and his decisions at the time of his presidency.
  2. Do you believe Mary Lincoln was an asset to Abraham as president, or a detriment? Explain your answer.
  3. Do you believe Abraham Lincoln was a compassionate president? Explain your answer.

Copyright February 5th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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