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Daily Life, Civil War

Week 11: Daily Life, Civil War


Read K – 3: If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War by Kay More (Read only pgs 20 – 37 & 50 – 58)

4 – 5: If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War by Kay More (whole book)

6 – 8: Growing Up in the Civil War by Duane Damon


  • Where were most Civil War battles fought, in the North or the South? (South)
  • T/F Most Blacks in the army were soldiers. (False – given other jobs to do within army)
  • T/F All boys who fought in the war were 18 or older. (False)
  • Who did work in the North when men joined the Union to fight as soldiers? (Women & children)
  • Who did work on plantations in the South when men joined the Confederacy to fight? (at first slaves, but then many left with Union army when it moved through the South; after the slaves left, women and children were left to do the work)
  • What happened to food prices during the war? (prices went higher; people had to eat less or work more hours to buy what they needed.)
  • Who was president of the Confederacy? (Jefferson Davis)

Question for Grades 6 – 8: What tragedy occurred in both the Lincoln family and the Davis family? (both experienced one of their sons dying)

Activities: K – 3: Coloring page Union Flag: http://www.yescoloring.com/images/54_United_States_Country_flag_1861_at_coloring-pages-book-for-kids-boys.gif
Coloring page Confederate Flag: http://www.apples4theteacher.com/coloring-pages/usa-flags/official-confederate-flag.html
4 – 8: Using these sites for help:

  1. http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/army/ig/Selected-Union-Generals/
  2. http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/army/ig/Selected-Confederate-Generals/ and
  3. http://www.nps.gov/apco/february-1861.htm

Do the following: (You will need a poster board for this assignment.)

1. First, print out pictures of the following presidents and major generals:

  • Lincoln (President, Union)
  • McClellan
  • Grant
  • Meade
  • Burnside
  • Sherman


  • Jefferson Davis( President, Confederacy)
  • Lee
  • Jackson
  • Bragg
  • Stuart

2.  Next, take a large poster board and divide it into 2 columns and 3 rows. At the top of the left half write “Union”. Next to this title put the picture of Abraham Lincoln and label it. At the top of the right half write “Confederacy”. Next to this title put the picture of Jefferson Davis and label it.

3.  Next, on the “Union” half of the board, on the second row place the pictures of McClellan & Grant, two important commanders of the Union army. On the third row on the left side place the photos of the other Union generals. Under each picture write the general’s name and the “Principal Battles” they presided over. (This information can be found on the same site where the photos are located.  Click on the general’s name below each picture to find out what battles they participated in.)

4.  Finally, do the same assignment on the “Confederacy” half of the board with the Confederate generals, placing general Robert E. Lee on the second row, above the other Confederate leaders.

Copyright March 20th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Frederick Douglass

Week 6: Frederick Douglass


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  


  • 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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Slavery & the Underground Railroad

Week 4: Slavery & the Underground Railroad


Read K – 3: The Drinking Gourd by F.N. Monjo

4 – 5: Meet Addy by Connie Porter (Please also read “A Peek Into the Past” at the end of the book)

6 – 8: Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Young Folks’ Edition ISBN 9781617205163) by Harriet Beecher Stowe AND READ THIS ARTICLE FROM THE INTERNET: https://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/utc/impact.shtml

Note:  Uncle Tom’s Cabin is known as the book that started the Civil War. It is a very powerful book! However, the values and wording in the book reflect those of the times and would be very offensive to most people living in America today. Parents, please read this book prior to assigning it to your children so you can discuss it with them. Because it is a children’s version of the classic, it is a quick read. I also highly recommend reading the actual classic, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It is beautifully written and full of Christian themes.


  • Why do you think many slaves tried to escape to Canada? (no slavery in Canada)
  • How do you think many slaves were able to figure out how to travel north? (followed the North Star)
  • What was the underground railroad? (Series of houses coordinated by a secret group of people who believed slavery was wrong.   They would hide escaped slaves on their property, and then help escaped slaves get to the next station.  These “stations” stretched across the U.S.)
  • Why were masters so anxious to find escaped slaves? (worth a lot of money)
  • Why did slaves run away? (Many were whipped, beat, or hurt; some knew they or their family would be sold to others. Some just wanted freedom.)
  • T/F It was against the law to help slaves escape. (True)
  • Why did many people lie about hidden slaves and break the law? (They felt that they were saving their lives and that was more important.)
  • At that time, many people thought buying and selling slaves was the same as buying and selling …. ? (animals)

Questions for grades 4 – 8:

  • What did slaves call their owners? (master)
  • What were slaves’ houses like? (dirt floor, no furniture, very small)
  • What were masters’ houses like? (large brick homes, comfortable furniture, soft beds)
  • Describe slaves’ meals and masters’ meals? (Slaves often had barely enough to eat and basically the same food every day; masters had plenty of food and a variety.)
  • Describe slaves’ clothes vs. masters’ clothes. (Slaves often weren’t warm enough; clothes were old and ragged; masters had plenty of warm, good clothing.)
  • T/F Many slaves were separated from their families. (true)
  • What happened to slaves who got caught trying to run away? (whipped, beaten, sometimes even killed)
  • Why was it dangerous to run away with a baby? (baby could cry alerting slave catchers to where slaves were hiding)
  • Why did Addy try to escape to Pennsylvania? (no slavery there)
  • What were abolitionists? (People who wanted to get rid of slavery.)

Questions for grades 6 – 8:

  • What religious group helped many slaves escape on the underground railroad? (the Quakers)
  • Why did some “good masters” separate slave families? (for money)
  • Although most northerners thought slavery was wrong, did they treat African Americans as equals? (no)
  • What happened to slaves when a master died? (They were often sold and separated from each other.)
  • Why were some slaves chained? (so they wouldn’t run away)


K – 3:Take a piece of paper and fold it in half. Then fold it again. Unfold your paper. In each of the four squares draw a picture of a slave trying to escape by the Underground Railroad. Write one or two sentences under each picture to explain what’s happening.
4 – 5: Complete the following worksheet: Slavery and Underground RR 45
6 – 8: Complete the following worksheet: slavery and underground rr68


Copyright January 30th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Harriet Tubman

Week 3: Harriet Tubman


View K – 3: Harriet Tubman (Nest Animated Hero Classics) OR Read: A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman by David Adler

4 – 8: Go Free or Die by Jeri Ferris


  • What was the Underground Railroad? (series of houses where people let runaway slaves hide as they traveled north to freedom)
  • Why did Harriet run away? (tired of being beat, wanted freedom)
  • Why did Harriet want to make it to Pennsylvania? (free state)
  • What great man from the Old Testament was Harriet compared to? (Moses) Why? (led her people to freedom)
  • How many people did Harriet free from slavery? (over 300)

Questions for Grades 4 – 8:

  • What was Harriet’s home like as a child? (cabin with a dirt floor)
  • How did Harriet get hurt as a young girl? (hit by lead weight; Overseer tried to hit runaway slave but hit Harriet instead.)
  • T/F Harriet had a strong faith in God. (T)
  • T/F Harriet’s husband wanted her to try to escape. (F)
  • How did Harriet find her way north? (North star, moss grows on north side of the tree)
  • What were Abolitionists? (people who tried to abolish slavery)
  • What was the Fugitive Slave Act? (against the law to help a runaway slave; all runaway slaves must be returned to their owners)
  • How did the dogs chasing Harriet lose her scent? (she traveled through water)
  • Why did Harriet sometimes suddenly fall asleep? (wound on her head)
  • Most of the “conductors” on the underground railroad were of what faith? (Quakers)
  • Why did Harriet start taking runaway slaves all the way to Canada? (Fugitive Slave Act)
  • T/F Harriet helped most of her family escape. (T)
  • How did Harriet help during the Civil War? (helped southern slaves, worked as a nurse, worked as a scout, worked as a spy, worked as a cook)

Activities: K – 3:  Create your own Harriet Tubman shadow box similar to this one: http://www.crayola.com/lesson-plans/harriet-tubman-triarama-lesson-plan/ OR this one: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/64809682111719979/ OR Do this coloring page of Harriet Tubman: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/70791025366761144/
4 – 5: Harriet Tubman crossword puzzle: http://gardenofpraise.com/pdf/ibdpuz12.pdf AND Matching worksheet: http://gardenofpraise.com/pdf/matchtub.pdf Matching solution: http://gardenofpraise.com/images6/matchtub.gif
6 – 8: Write a 5 paragraph 3 proof essay on one of the following:

  • What made Harriet Tubman such a heroic person?
  • How was Harriet Tubman like Moses?

Copyright January 22, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Sojourner Truth

Week 14: Sojourner Truth


READ K – 3: Sojourner Truth: Path to Glory by Peter Merchant

4 – 6: Sojourner Truth by Gwenyth Swain OR Sojourner Truth by Laura Hamilton Waxman

7 – 8: Sojourner Truth (In their Own Words) by Peter & Connie Roop




  • T/F Sojourner Truth was a slave in the South. (False: Slave in the North)
  • What was Sojourner Truth’s real name? (Isabella Baumfree)
  • Where did Sojourner Truth and her family sleep when she was little? (cold, dark, damp, basement)
  • What happened to Sojourner Truth’s brothers and sisters? (sold away)
  • How old was Sojourner Truth when she was sold? (9)
  • T/F Slave masters were fair to her. (False: some beat her, made her work hard all day long; one promised her freedom after 9 years but didn’t give it to her; sold her son away)
  • What belief was a great comfort to her? (Belief that God loved her and cared for her.)
  • How did Sojourner Truth become famous? (as a great preacher)
  • Why did Isabella change her name to Sojourner Truth? (Sojourner is a traveler. She traveled from place to place preaching the truth.)
  • What things did Sojourner Truth preach about? (trusting in God, slavery was wrong; women’s rights)
  • T/F During Sojourner’s life many Northerners began to believe that slavery was wrong and slaves in the north were eventually freed. (True)

ACTIVITIES: K – 3: Coloring page: http://www.doonething.org/heroes/colorme/pdf/colorme-truth.pdf

4 – 5:  Sojourner Truth once said “”If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again.” What do you think she meant by this statement? Write your answer in paragraph form.
6 – 8:Pick two of Sojourner Truth’s famous quotes on this page and, in paragraph form, write what you think she meant by each statement. http://www.doonething.org/heroes/pages-t/truth-quotes.htm


Copyright April 4th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette


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African Americans & the Revolutionary War

Week 15: African Americans during the Revolution


READ: K – 6:  Phoebe the Spy by Judith Berry Griffin OR Phoebe and the General by Judith Berry Griffin

7 – 8: Chains: (Seeds of America) by Laurie Halse Anderson


Note (Please read the following information to your children):  The first Africans that came to America were treated as servants rather than slaves.    They worked for a period of years and then earned their freedom.  They got along well with white servants and intermarried with them.

            Eventually however, more and more workers were needed to run large plantations in the South.  Black Slaves were relatively cheap and could not go to their government for help, so demand for them increased.  During the 1600’s slavery became a life term rather than a form of indentured servitude.  Marriage between races was forbidden.  Children of slaves became the property of their master.  As time went on more and more Africans were kidnapped from their native countries and forcibly taken by ship to America.   They were packed together in the bottom of  boats with no bathrooms.  Many died or became very sick on their long trip across the ocean.   When they reached America, they were lined up and auctioned off to bidders like cattle.  Most worked in the fields in the South, helping with rice, indigo, tobacco, and cotton.  Others worked in the homes as servants/slaves in both the Northern and Southern colonies.  Many were treated cruelly and worked ruthlessly by their masters.

                A small percentage of African Americans earned their freedom, thrived in the colonies, and did much to benefit society.  A black scientist named Benjamin Banneker wrote almanacs and created his own clock.  A black woman  named Phillis Wheatley wrote beautiful poetry.  Others owned successful businesses.

                During the Revolutionary War some enlisted as soldiers.  Great Britain promised freedom to blacks who helped fight against the Patriots.  Many Patriot masters promised slaves their freedom if they fought for them in the war.  Others saw the confusion of the war as an opportune time to flee from their masters and make themselves free.  White soldiers and black soldiers often fought side by side.  Unfortunately, after the war many who were promised their freedom in return for service for their country were never given it.  Others were freed, then kidnapped because they were black and forced into slavery again.  During and immediately after the war, Northern colonies began passing laws to eliminate slavery.  However, slavery remained a way of life in the South until the Civil War.

                Unfortunately many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were slave holders themselves, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  Some of these men even believed that slavery was wrong, yet setting their own slaves free was not something they could bring themselves to do.  They depended too much on their services.



  • T/F African Americans were always slaves in the colonies.  (false)
  • T/F Before the Revolutionary War there were only slaves in the Southern colonies. (false)
  • What type of work did slaves do? (worked on plantations, worked as servants, were soldiers)
  • What type of work did free African Americans do? (some owned businesses, were soldiers, scientists, poets, etc.)
  • How did slaves come to America? (kidnapped from Africa and taken by boat)
  • How were slaves purchased? (sold at auctions)
  • How were slaves involved in the Revolutionary War? (some fought for the British in return for their freedom; others fought for the Patriots in the place of their master; some fought because they believed in the ideals of the Revolution)
  • Just after the Revolutionary War, laws were passed to set slaves free in what part of the colonies? (North)
  • Did any of the signers of the Declaration of Independence have slaves? (yes)

Questions for grades K – 6:

  • In your own words tell the story of Phoebe the spy.
  • How did she save George Washington’s life?
  • Were Phoebe and her father free or slaves?
  • Do you think they knew George Washington had slaves?
  • Do you think they still would have helped him if they knew?

Questions for grades 7 – 8:

  • In your own words tell the story of Isabel.
  • Do any of the events in this book surprise you?  Explain.
  • Do you believe Isabel’s life as a slave was typical?  Why or why not?
  • A famous quote is written at the beginning of each chapter.  Did any of these quotes surprise you?  Why?

ACTIVITIES: K – 3: Take a sheet of paper and fold it in half and then in half again.  In each of the four quadrants, draw a scene from the story Phoebe The Spy (or Phoebe and the General).  Write a sentence under each picture explaining what is happening in that scene.

4 – 8:  Go to this link from Teaching American History Md by clicking HERE.   (You will need to scroll down on this site.) Use this information to do the following worksheet.  (Click to Open): Slavery During the Revolutionary War


Copyright July 27th, 2013 by Gwen Fredette

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