Friday, December 18, 2009

Finished the Civil War

We finished the Civil War a bit ago.  The girls made lapbooks from History Pockets: Civil War.  I shrunk the printables from this book to make smaller-sized booklets to use in their lapbooks.

Our favorite Civil War resources?

Across Five Aprils

We listened to this book on audio, rather than me read it. I have a hard time reading dialect aloud. It is available from iTunes or  This book is the (roughly) true story of the author's grandfather who was a boy of 12 or 14 when the Civil War began.  He remained on the farm while his older brothers went off to war and the story chronicles the war through all five Aprils, 1861-1865.  It's a wonderful, moving story that captures you and gives a fabulous overview of the war through the eyes of Jethro and his family.

We also listened to Bull Run on audio (also purchased from iTunes). LOVE this book! I prefer the audio version of this book because of the format of the story. It consists of about 15 characters, each speaking in his own chapter. The characters vary between male & female, North & South, slave & free, rich and poor, soldier and civilian. All meet in some way at the battle of Bull Run and through their collective perspective, you experience that battle. LOVE this book!

Besides listening to the audio version, which offers a different voice for each character, we also make a chart of the characters' names, their affiliation (north or south), a few words about their story (who they are) and their role at Bull Run.  This book can be a little confusing because of the number of characters, but the audio and the chart help us to keep it straight.

We read Lincoln: A Photobiography and a few Cornerstones of American History books.

To celebrate the end of our Civil War unit, we took a day-trip to Springfield, IL to visit the Lincoln Museum and his home there.

Lincoln's Home is a national park site and is a free tour.

The Lincoln Museum is part of his presidential library.  If you are within driving distance of this museum, I encourage you to go there!  It is a wonderful, interactive museum that traces Lincoln's life from his early log cabin days through his time in Springfield, the White House and to his death.  There are two really great holographic movies, lots of realistic wax (I think they are silicon nowadays) figures, a coverage of slavery and the Civil War, and actual items that belonged to the Lincolns.  The cost is $10 for adults and $6 for kids, but it seemed worth it to us.

We had actually visited this museum on our vacation to St. Louis two years ago and the kids were STILL talking about going here.  Since they had such fond memories of it, I thought it would be fun to revisit it now that that period in history was "explained" in their minds.  They liked it just as well the second time.

Also in Springfield are Lincoln's tomb, where he and his family are buried and the village of New Salem where Lincoln lived and worked before he became an esteemed lawyer.  We didn't visit those two places on this trip.  (We saw his tomb 2 years ago)  If you can't visit the tomb in person, you can take this photo tour.


thecurryseven said...

We really were separated at birth! We're just finishing up a unit study on the Civil War. We really liked the book, Silent Thunder.

Now, I have to go search through your blog for how you had your daughter draw her multiplication facts. (Will I find it?) I have a daughter, too, who has cried what seems an ocean over them.

sandwichinwi said...

It should be the post one newer than this. Let me know if it's not what you're looking for.