Kelley Hundley and John Miller

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Content described below references three lessons sampled from a proposed 10 lesson course titled "The American Civil War, 1861-1865."The audience for this course are 8th grade students studying the California history curriculum. The course is being developed as a blended learning experience with approximately half of the student's time being spent online. The remaining time will be devoted to classroom instruction and supporting activities.

Lesson One

Students will compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of both the North and South at the outbreak of the Civil War. They will use their interactive journals to recreate a table presented in Moodle. After watching a video linked online, students will fill in the table with appropriate answers. They will then review their assigned readings in the textbook and discuss the economic and political philosophies that divided the nation. Finally, they will participate in a forum discussion where they will be asked to speculate about the likely outcome if both sides stick to their ideals.

Lesson Two

Students will be analyzing the successes and failures of the Union and Confederate armies in the war's early years (1861-1863). This lesson will specifically target notable personalities from both sides, their contributions to the outcome of specific battles, and identify geographic reference points and support map reading skills. The students will complete a circle map that identifies major contributions of four Civil War personalities, work collaboratively to share their work with other students via interactive journals, and participate in an online, moderated discussion of their conclusions. They will evaluate the contributions of each identified personality and then be assessed by completing a quiz through the Moodle.

Lesson Three

Students will investigate the political and personal motives of President Lincoln leading to the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the enlistment of African Americans into the Union army. Students will read and respond to a quote from President Lincoln on the eve of issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. They will read a passage in their textbooks and watch a video clip presented in the Moodle before creating a thinking map as a pre-writing activity. They will then write an essay, using MS Word, as a homework assignment analyzing the politics behind Lincoln's decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Finally, they will use the upload feature of Moodle to turn in their document to their instructor.