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Civil War – Elementary

sepia-tone civil war soldier portrait, holding weapons

Elementary School PBS LearningMedia Resources

The Address|Learn the Gettysburg Address|K – 12

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, documentarian Ken Burns and others, started a national effort. It encourages American citizens to record themselves reciting the speech. This collection will grow as more people who feel inspired by history’s power, take the challenge to Learn the Address.


Looking for Lincoln
|WNET|1 – 3

What did Abraham Lincoln’s life look like before becoming our 16th President? Do you know about his major successes? In this lesson, students gather different facts about Lincoln through multiple hands-on activities.

During the first activity, students match vocabulary words with pictures to piece together a timeline of Lincoln’s life. In the Learning Activities, they learn about Lincoln’s work as a lawyer and gain insight through artifacts of his life. Then, students choose classroom objects that best tell a story about themselves and/or their class. And finally, in the Culminating Activity, they reflect upon the life of Lincoln, revisit his timeline and create personal timelines.


Civil War
|History Detectives|4 – 12

The Civil War (1861-1865) is America’s bloodiest war to date. It cost close to 1,100,000 injuries and claimed over 620,000 lives. These lesson plans and videos are based on History Detectives episodes that examine a variety of artifacts highlighting African-American involvement. From these lessons, students can create biographical posters, learn about the relationship between military and social history, and survey slave culture.


Transcontinental Railroad
|Wyoming PBS|5 – 12

In the 1830’s, the idea for the Transcontinental Railroad sparked. However, the real planning did not begin until the 1850’s. Then, a little over a year after the start of the Civil War, Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act.


Mission U.S. Flight to Freedom
|4 – 8

This multimedia project features free adventure games set in different eras of U.S. history. The second game, “Flight to Freedom,” takes place in northern Kentucky and southern Ohio, and begins in summer 1848. In five parts, along with a prologue and epilogue, students assume the role of Lucy. At the start, Lucy, a young slave, lives on the King family’s plantation outside of Lexington. As a result of participating in this activity, students will begin to understand how life looked during the Civil War.

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