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Civil War – Middle

Older Abe Lincoln - black and white photograph

Middle School PBS LearningMedia Resources

Civil War Overview|The Address|5 – 13+

This short history of the Civil War, exposes months prior to November 1863, when Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address. This synopsis paints a gritty picture of the war. But additionally, it illustrates Lincoln’s inspiring words that redefined the Union’s fight as a battle for human equality.

Loreta Velazquez Civil War Soldier
|REBEL|6 – 12

An estimated 500 to 1,000 women went into military service during the American Civil War. However, their contributions to major events of that era are often overlooked, misunderstood, misrepresented, or undocumented. Excerpts from the documentary film Rebel: Loreta Velazquez Civil War Soldier and Spy will guide, students to consider how factors such as gender and race shape our understanding of history.

Slavery and Freedom
|The Underground Railroad|6 – 12

This video segment from Underground Railroad: The William Still Story explores the thought process behind enslaving others. Slaves believed they had a better life than others because slave owners made them think this way.

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.

Harriet Beecher Stowe
|The Abolitionists|8 – 12

This video adapted from American Experience: “The Abolitionists,” features historical reenactments. Additionally, learn about the impact of novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe on the abolitionist movement. Stowe’s commitment to the abolitionist cause strengthened after passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. She responded with the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an immediate best seller that was credited with “putting a human face on slavery” and ultimately helping launch the Civil War.

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