View single post by Crazy Delawares
 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 03:36 am
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Crazy Delawares

Joined: Fri Feb 22nd, 2008
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 143

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I teach that slavery & union were equal parts of the of a braid of rope that had many strands. Just as a rope is weakened when one strand is removed, so is the argument over which is more important for fighting the war. You cannot argue one over the other without weakening the "rope" (or argument).
As for the constitutionality of secession, we look at the Constitution (we've already studied it as a unit earlier in the school year) then, hold a debate. Sometimes it gets a little "squirrelly."
After that, we concentrate on the famous persons, battles and the regiment(s) that recruited from our area. Much of what is done concerning battles is done via reports by the students. Some draw up battle maps on bed sheets so they can make a BIG map. Some sing battle songs. A few have come in to deliver soliliquoys(sp) by famous folks. One time a student dressed up as Jeff Davis and delivered a small part of his inaugural address. He did quite well!
I always come in dressed, talk about the regular soldier, and shoot my .69 cal. outside for them every year. Sometimes I organize an encampment when I can get my hands on some extra $$$ for a few units and surgeons, zouaves, etc..
The idea is to do less talking (by the teacher) and more research and talking by the students. The war presented as a lecture is really dry and boring. Bringing in artifacts helps.
Sometimes starting the whole unit off by doing something different and getting the kids out of their chairs is the best way of teaching.
Find your passion in presenting and the students will follow you! And without knowing it, they will learn!!! Psst-just don't tell them that they're learning. :-)

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