Monthly Archives: May 2015

Short Break

Dear Fellow Homeschoolers & Subscribers,

I hope the lesson plans I’ve posted through this U Read Thru History site have been a blessing to you!  I’m going to take a break from posting lesson plans for the next few weeks.   In response to numerous requests, beginning in late June I will be posting “book lists” for all of the history unit studies listed on this site.  Then, in the Fall I will begin posting history lesson plans again.  They will be covering history during the Renaissance, Reformation, & Exploration Era.  To see an outline of the history lessons I’ve planned for the Fall and Winter of 2015, please click on the “Outline” tab at the top of this site  or click here:

May God continue to bless your homeschool adventure!


Gwen Fredette

Posted by Gwen Fredette on May 26, 2015

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PHB Homeschool Art Contest Winners (2015)

The winners of the 2015 PHB Homeschool Art Contest have been chosen!PHBART

Special thanks to all the students who participated!  You did a fantastic job!  We can tell that you all worked very hard.  I hope to host more art contests in the future.  Please try again!  The winners have been notified and will be receiving their prizes from the sponsors shortly.  You can see their winning artwork displayed below.

Special thanks to the following Sponsors who helped make this contest possible:

Special thanks also to the panel of judges who worked to select the winners:

  • Georgia Franchetti
  • Sarah Klein
  • Julia Melone
  • Delmalyn Vaughn

Art Contest participants were judged based on the following criteria:

  1. Artwork portrayed theme of “Music”
  2. Design/Composition
  3. Craftmanship/Skill
  4. Creativity
  5. Aesthetically Pleasing 

As promised, following are reprints of the winners’ fantastic artwork.

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Category 6th – 8th grades:

1st Place: Mary Rachel, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 8 from Hiram, Ohio, for her artwork entitled “Garden Song”.


2nd Place: Clarissa, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 7 from Raleigh, NC, for her artwork entitled “The Waltz of the Dancing Mice”.


3rd Place: Elizabeth, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 7 from Hermitage, TN for her artwork entitled “Notes on Pointe”.


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Category 3rd – 5th grades:

1st Place: Jaycee, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 5 from Miami Springs, FL, for his artwork entitled “Music Man”.


2nd Place: Gabriel, traditional homeschooler in Grade 5 from Rocky Mount, NC, for his artwork entitled “Never Too Old to Learn”.


3rd Place: Claire, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 5 from Alvordton, OH for her artwork entitled “Nature’s Symphony”.



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Category K – 2nd grades:

1st Place: Hannah, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 2 from Monee, IL, for her artwork entitled “Middle C Earth and Space”.


2nd Place: Sophia, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 2 from Collinsville, IL for her artwork entitled “My Ukelele”.


3rd Place: Rachel, a homeschooler in Grade 2 from Cedar Park, TX for her artwork titled “Nature is Music”.


Posted by Gwen Fredette on May 20th, 2015.

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Civil War Era History Test

Week 17: Civil War Era History Test


Note: Following is the Civil War Era History Test.  7th and 8th graders should be able to do all of this test.  4th through 6th graders should be able to do most of the test.   K – 3rd graders will be able to do a lot of this test orally.   Each question is worth 2 points.  This test is OPTIONAL.   Please feel free to skip it; scale it; eliminate parts of it; use it merely as a review, or do whatever best suits your family!  If you choose to give your children this test, I would recommend reviewing the “Discussion Questions” from the last 16 weeks’ lesson plans the day before you give the test.

Following the test you will find a teachers’ answer key.

Name: _______________________________ Date: ___________

Civil War Era History Test

Directions: Write “T” if the answer is true.  Write “F” if the answer is false. 

1. T/F Texas eventually won independence from Mexico by defeating the Mexican army. ______
2. T/F Before the Mexican War, California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, & parts of Colorado and Utah were part of Mexico. ______
3. T/F California had a large population before the Gold Rush. ______
4. T/F Harriet Tubman had a strong faith in God. _____
5. T/F Most Civil War battles were fought in the North. _____
6. T/F All boys who fought in the Civil War were 18 or older. _____

Directions: Circle the Letter of the correct answer.

7. Who was the first president of the Republic of Texas?
A.) Santa Anna                      B.) Sam Houston
C.) Zachary Taylor                D.) James Polk

8. Which of the following was NOT an issue of conflict between the Texans and the Mexican government?
A.) Religion                            B.) Slavery
C.) Gold                                   D.) Dictatorship vs. democracy

9. Circle the three ways people could get to California during the Gold Rush?
A.) Traveled across the states by covered wagon.
B.) Traveled by train.
C.) Sailed in a ship around the bottom of South America.
D.) Sailed in a ship to Panama – then crossed a dangerous jungle and caught a boat on the other side to get to California.

10. What was NOT one of the problems Chinese miners faced during the California Gold Rush?
A.) They began opening Chinese restaurants.
B.) They had to pay special tax just because they were Chinese.
C.) If someone stole their property, they couldn’t take them to court because a non-white’s testimony wasn’t valid.
D.) Chinese were persecuted and bullied by many white miners.

11. How many people did Harriet Tubman free from slavery?
A.) About 100                     B.) Over 300
C.) Over 500                       D.) Over 1000

12. Harriet Tubman did all of the following except ….?
A.) Wrote her own autobiography.
B.) Worked as a nurse during the Civil War
C.) Worked as a spy and scout during the Civil War
D.) Helped slaves escape to Canada.

13. Which of the following was NOT a job Abraham Lincoln held?
A.) Store keeper                 B.) Fireman
C.) Lawyer                          D.) President

14. Which of the following was NOT true of Frederick Douglas?
A.) He gave speeches about the evils of slavery.
B.) He wrote an autobiography of his life.
C.) He became friends with President Abraham Lincoln.
D.) He moved to Africa.

15. Who is famous for inventing the telegraph and Morse Code?
A.) Frederick Douglas        B.) Franklin Roosevelt
C.) Samuel Morse               D.) James Polk

16. He was general of the Confederate army during Civil War. He led the most successful southern army, and won many, many battles. However, he eventually could not beat a larger, better supplied Northern army.
A.) McClellan                      B.) Houston
C.) Lee                                  D.) Grant

17. He was general of Union army during the second half of Civil War. He was known for “Unconditional Surrender”. He never gave up. However, he had an alcohol problem.
A.) McClellan                     B.) Houston
C.) Lee                                 D.) Grant

18. He was general of Union army during beginning of Civil War. He organized disciplined troops; his soldiers loved and followed him. However, he was reluctant to pursue battles, and he made poor judgements regarding the sizes of enemy armies.
A.) McClellan                     B.) Houston
C.) Lee                                 D.) Grant

19. Who urged Union generals to use balloonists to help in the war?
A.) Lincoln                         B.) McClellan
C.) Lee                                D.) Grant

20. The Plan by the North to block all of the South’s ports so they could not receive needed supplies was called the …
A.) The Strategy               B.) Morse Code
C.) Anaconda Plan          D.) Lincoln Plan

21. What did slaves do when they heard they had been set free?
A.) Many joined the Union army.
B.) Many looked for loved ones.
C.) Many stayed on plantations because they had nowhere to go.
D.) All of the Above.

22. All of these slave states stayed in the Union except?
A.) Texas
B.) Delaware
C.) Maryland
D.) Kentucky

23. When the Civil War began, England and France continued to buy and sell with the Confederacy because they needed their supplies. Why did these countries eventually stop aiding the South?
A.) The Civil War turned into a war about slavery.
B.) They no longer needed cotton from the South.
C.) All of the cotton fields were destroyed in battles, so there was no cotton left to buy and sell.
D.) They couldn’t get past the naval blockade.

24. The battlefield of Gettysburg was turned into a ….
A.) A place to give speeches.
B.) The Lincoln Memorial.
C.) A national cemetery.
D.) A cornfield.

25. Which of the following was NOT true of Clara Barton?
A.) She was a teacher.
B.) She helped slaves escape.
C.) She collected clothes, food, medicine, other supplies for soldiers.
D. ) She was called the “Angel of the Battlefield.”

26. Which of the following was NOT a medical innovation during the Civil War?
A.) Penicillin
B.) Lifesaving amputations
C.) Anesthesia inhaler
D.) Ambulances to ER

27. Where did Southern generals surrender and sign a peace treaty to end the Civil War?
A. ) The Alamo
B.) Gettysburg
C.) Appomattox Court House
D.) Washington, D.C.

28. Which of the following was NOT true of Buffalo Bill?
A.) He was a pony express rider when he was young.
B.) He was a major general during the Civil War.
C.) He was friends with many Native American Indians.
D.) He was called “Buffalo Bill” because while men worked to build the railroad, he supplied buffalo meat to workers.

29. Which of the following is true of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show?
A.) It was half history lesson, half circus.
B.) There were shooting matches.
C.) After seeing the show, many Americans viewed Native Americans as a people with strong and proud identity who had been driven from their homeland.
D.) All of the Above.

30. Which of the following was NOT something Native Americans did with buffalo?
A.) Shot them for fun.
B.) Ate their meat.
C.) Used their skin to make clothes, tepees, and blankets.
D.) Made ropes and belts from their hair.

31. Why was Sitting Bull angry with white settlers?
A.) They killed millions of buffalo for sport.
B.) They broke peace treaties they had made with his people and traveled over their lands.
C.) They didn’t share their gold.
D.) Both answers “A” & “B”.

32. Why were the Black Hills important to the Lakota Sioux?
A.) Holy Mountains; they believed sacred spirits of their people lived there.
B.) They believed gold was there.
C.) Buffalo lived in the hills.
D.) None of the above.

33. Which of the following was true about Indian Reservations?
A.) They were areas of land where Native Americans were being forced to relocate so white settlers could live in their land.
B.) Sitting Bull wanted to live on the reservation.
C.) Native Americans had plenty of buffalo to hunt there.
D.) Native Americans didn’t have to live there. They could choose to stay where they were.

34. Which of the following was true regarding schools the U.S. government started for Native American children?
A.) Native Americans didn’t like them.
B.) Native American children were taught English, not their own Indian language.
C.) Native American children had to live away from home at school and had to dress like white settlers.
D.) All of the above.

Directions: Fill in the blanks with the correct answers.
35. What was the Underground Railroad? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
36. What great man from the Old Testament was Harriet Tubman compared to? Why? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
37. What were Abolitionists? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
38. What was the Fugitive Slave Act? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
39. Many of the “conductors” on the Underground Railroad were of what faith?
40. Why did the Civil War begin? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
41. During the Civil War, a famous document was issued that stated all slaves currently part of the Confederacy were free. What was this famous document called?

42. Where did Abraham Lincoln give his most famous speech?
43. When the war first started, what was Lincoln’s goal in winning the war?
44. What did the southern states call their new “country”?
45. How long did the Civil War last? ___________________________________________________________
46. How did Abraham Lincoln die?
47. As Commander-in-Chief during the Civil War, what two important inventions did Lincoln take control of after taking office?
48. Why were hot air balloons used during the Civil War?
49. Name the two iron clad warships used during the Civil War?
50. Who was president of the southern states?

Extra Credit:
Grades K – 3:

What did slaves call their owners? ________________________
What was Sitting Bull’s name when he was little? ____________________
Grades 4 – 6:

Frederick Douglas started an anti-slavery newspaper. What was it called? _________________________________________________________________________________
Who worked in northern factories while the men were away fighting the Civil War? _________________________________________________________________________________
Grades 7 & 8:

What was the name of the dictator of Mexico during the Mexican War? ______________________
Many gold seekers coming to California were called? ___________________________


Answer Key:

  • 1.  T
  • 2.  T
  • 3.  F
  • 4.  T
  • 5.  F
  • 6.  F
  • 7.  B
  • 8.  C
  • 9.  A, C, & D
  • 10.  A
  • 11.  B
  • 12.  A
  • 13.  B
  • 14.  D
  • 15.  C
  • 16.  C
  • 17.  D
  • 18.  A
  • 19.  A
  • 20.  C
  • 21.  D
  • 22.  A
  • 23.  A
  • 24.  C
  • 25.  B
  • 26.  A
  • 27.  C
  • 28.  B
  • 29.  D
  • 30.  A
  • 31.  D
  • 32.  A
  • 33.  A
  • 34.  D
  • 35.  A series of safe houses that an escaped slave could travel to and spend the night.  The house owners would give directions to the escaped slave to know how to reach the next safe house.  Escaped slaves would travel from house to house, eventually making it North to freedom.
  • 36.  Moses:  She led her people out of slavery.  She was a great leader and risked her life for her people.
  • 37.  People who wanted to abolish slavery.
  • 38.  A law that said all citizens were obligated to return escaped slaves to their owners.
  • 39.  Quakers
  • 40.  Many southern states were not pleased that Lincoln had been elected president.  They broke away from the Union and started their own country.  Southerners officially began the war when they fired on Fort Sumter.
  • 41.  Emancipation Proclamation
  • 42.  Gettysburg, PA
  • 43.  To make the United States united again.
  • 44.  The Confederate States of America
  • 45.  4 years
  • 46.  He was shot by John Wilkes Booth while watching a play at Ford’s Theatre.
  • 47.  the Train and the Telegraph
  • 48.  They were used to spy on the movements of the their enemies and to determine the size of enemy armies.
  • 49.  Monitor & the Virginia (Merrimac)
  • 50.  Jefferson Davis

Extra Credit K – 3:  Master, Slow

Extra Credit 4 – 6:  The North Star, Women & Children

Extra Credit: 7 – 8:  Santa Anna, Forty-Niners

Copyright May 6th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Filed under Charlotte Mason, Civil War Era