Home Sweet Home by Winslow Homer
I taught Robert W. Chambers’ The Pickets many times and found it a great story for 8th graders – either as an entry into other CW topics or as a stand alone unit. I’ve refined that unit and put it on TPT. I checked with Perfection Learning (who published the story in “A House Divided”, their excellent CW anthology) and determined that it’s in the public domain. I included extensive excerpts from it and included links to the complete text of the story. Please take a look when you have a chance.
Julia Ward Howe arose at dawn on November 18th, 1861 and hurriedly wrote the words that became one of our most revered patriotic songs. I hope that the common core activities I offer on TPT will open the poem for young people. I’ve provided directed reading, scripted reading, reciprocal teaching, research questions and a poster assignment to help involve students with Julia’s words and with the turbulent times in which she lived. Here’s the link to the activities:
P.S. Here’s a great recording of the Battle Hymn:
Shiloh Church – “the log-built one”
Herman Melville never knew that he was one of America’s greatest writers and would become a world literary figure. Disappointed by the poor reception his novels initially received, he became a customs inspector and turned his literary focus to poetry. He expected to be remembered, if at all, as a poet. Moby Dick insured that this would never happen.
Melville volunteered in hospitals during the Civil War. His experiences with the wounded – their suffering and their bravery – greatly influenced him and resulted in some great American poems. One of these is Shiloh.
I’ve created some activities (common core, of course!) for teachers to use with students when they consider this poem. I’m pleased with what I’ve made and hope that the structures I’ve provided will open Shiloh for young people. It’s a good poem and needs to be read. It’s message of reconciliation and sharing of common ground is one Americans need to ponder. Here’s a link to my plans:
This unit was endorsed by the Civil War Trust Teachers Regiment, by the by.
Students and teachers of Chalone Peaks Middle School close each school year with a history and civics project – a day long reenactment of events from our Civil War. Here are some of Ed Haskell’s great pictures from the 15th annual Civil War reenactment.
Students, teachers, parents and guests honor Civil War veterans interred at King City Cemetery.
Lee and Lincoln greet each other after a the ceremony.
Hostilities commence with a skirmish between pickets.
The Union defends!
Harriet Tubman speaks with students.
President Lincoln addresses the troops
My Lulu Garlic, Contraband was recently recorded and broadcast by KVPR, an NPR affiliate. It is now available as a free podcast and is fifty minutes in length. Here is the link:
The story includes both Harriet Tubman and Abraham Lincoln as main characters. It details events from the last year of our Civil War. Teachers, should you wish to have your students listen to it, I’ve provided listening logs, directed reading assignments, reciprocal teaching assignments and three poster options. I think both the story and the assignments are suitable for 8th graders and up. All are free and here is the link:
The lieutenant of artillery looked down upon a scene he never imagined and would never forget: hundreds of men in blue torn apart by point-blank cannon fire. He turned to General Mahone. “We’ve held them, sir.”
Mahone continued staring at the slaughter. “It’s a turkey shoot.”
Today is the sesquicentennial of the Battle of the Crater. I wrote of the battle in Dawn Drums. I’ve posted that selection, along with a reading comprehension exercise, on my Dawn Drums website http://dawndrums.wordpress.com/blogs/. Please feel free to use it with your students.