This lesson plan is intended as an introduction to the Coming of the Civil War tour for grades 5 & 8. It will acquaint students with some of the divisive events which led to the outbreak of the Civil War, from colonization through Reconstruction. This lesson plan will also help orient your class to the layout of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (NURFC), specifically the galleries and exhibits which you will see during your time here. Students will learn about how the philosophical divide over enslavement showed up in virtually every aspect of the US’ social, political, legal, religious, and economic life. Both the pre and post-visit lesson plans and the tour itself underscore that Free States and Slave States were not only reflective of geographic divides but also ethical, cultural, and values-based ones. The activities given here satisfy learning standards from Social Studies, Technology, and Science. The times given for each activity are estimates based on doing all three over one or two days. Depending on how deeply into discussion you would like to go, each can be spread out over a full class day.
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