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Civil War Unit and Lapbooks

October 15, 2010

We are technically on fall break this week, but we finally assembled our lapbooks today and officially wrapped up our Civil War unit.  We’ve had such a great time studying the Civil War the past four weeks.  I’ve covered a lot of this in previous weekly reports, but I wanted to have all my Civil War resources in one place.

We read quite a few non-fiction books and biographies:

As well as a number of picture books (most taken from this historical fiction website):

A is reading Run the Blockade and C read All Their Names Were Courage and is in the middle of Abraham’s Battle about Gettysburg.  I just finished accounts of the battle of Gettysburg by Col. William C. Oates, C.S.A., and Lt. Frank Haskell, U.S.A.  As a family we read Across Five Aprils.

I try to have the boys experience as much of the time period and place as we can during our history studies.  We tried our hand at making cornbread, hardtack, and Johnnycakes.  Obviously, living in Utah, we don’t get to visit Civil War battlefields on a regular basis so we looked through a photographic essay book on the war.  We listened to several CDs of Civil War music from the library and learned to sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”  The adults in the household watched Gods and Generals, Gettysburg, and Ken Burns’ Civil War, portions of which we shared with the boys.  They also watched a 1950s documentary on Gettysburg that was included on the movie dvd.

Hours of fun on Fun Mom’s part spent cutting out 100 Civil War Paper Soldiers provided the boys with many more hours of fun reenacting numerous battles.  Sometimes I can’t believe the things they talk me into doing.

C drew a mural of the two ironclads, Monitor and Virginia, this week, and is now adding an extension with the H. L. Hunley, the Civil War submarine.

Besides memorizing the Gettysburg Address (which is…still coming along), our major project was making the free Civil War lapbook from, which went along with the book Great Civil War Projects You Can Build Yourself.  I remembered why we don’t do lapbooks very often.  It is hard to help three children of varying cutting, folding, and writing skills complete and keep track of all those little booklets.  Don’t even ask how many lapbook projects we’ve started and never finished!  But this was a big unit and I especially wanted something that would represent the things that we learned.   There was quite the sense of accomplishment this afternoon as we assembled everything we’ve been working on.

I didn’t like the cover page from homeschoolshare, it looked like the Revolutionary War, so I let the boys choose their own covers.

On the inside: (All pictures are from C’s lapbook.  They all have the same elements, but put them together in different ways.)

Booklets or foldouts on vocabulary, flags, uniforms, signal flags, a map, and a timeline:

Food, the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman, Soldier’s Shelter, Important People, and Civil War songs.  Those are my favorite!  I copied “Battle Cry of Freedom” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic” from the Library of Congress website and found “Tenting on the Old Campground” elsewhere on the internet and printed them out 4 sheets to a page for mini-songbooks to add to our lapbooks.

Morse Code, the telegraph, Ships-ironclads and hospital paddlewheeler ships, buglers, drummers, and Taps (both the notes to play it and the lyrics.)

The Gettysburg Address is on the back of the folders.
And that wraps it up!  I could keep going I’m sure, I’ve become very fascinated with the Civil War, but I think we’ve covered it sufficiently for the boys and if listening to them playing is any indication, I’m sure they’ll keep revisiting the 1860s for weeks to come.  (Right now C is running through the house pretending he is Joshua Chamberlain leading the 20th Maine in a charge down Little Round Top at Gettysburg.)
8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2010 11:05 pm

    Wow, you’re a go-getter. How long did it take to cut out all those soldiers? The things we do…exactly.

    • cellista permalink*
      October 15, 2010 11:30 pm

      The better part of watching Gods and Generals, Gettysburg, and some of general conference! Actually the boys did help me cut, but I ended up trimming most of the ones they did.

  2. Linda permalink
    October 16, 2010 4:51 am

    Wish you lived near us (or could visit) to round out your studies! We are (temporarily) living in the state that was First to Fire, First to Secede, and Proud of It. Civil War sites galore. Our town annually holds a major reenactment featuring the last battle that the South won, and to my horror DS7 bought a Confederate flag and cap at the last reenactment and waved wildly during the battle.

    Thanks for showing the books your family enjoyed!

  3. Robyn permalink
    October 16, 2010 5:11 am

    Such fun projects! I can’t believe you cut all those soldiers out! We did a trojan horse Usborne project 2 year ago and I vowed never to do something like that again! But, those soldiers look like so much fun! Love the lapbooks… I’ll have to keep that in mind when we get to Civil War… lots of great lit. ideas you have too!

  4. October 16, 2010 8:56 pm

    Hi! 🙂
    We’re studying the Civil War also — and just moved to VA! Thanks for sharing all your book resources and the link!
    PS Lil E is so cute!

  5. Grandma permalink
    October 16, 2010 9:55 pm

    I have to say wow!, too. I’m sure the boys know more about the Civil War than I’ve studied in my entire life. You’ve given them a great time.

  6. November 7, 2010 5:13 am

    Impressive lapbooks. I agree that (if lapbooks are a chore,) you’ve chosen a worthy topic.


  1. Great Homeschooling Links: November 5, 2010

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