Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Pre Civil War Timeline Poster

I have been having the children create their own posters for certain science and history lessons for over an year now.  This summer we have done a great deal of learning about the antebellum years prior to the Civil War.  We have been exploring indepth the many reasons, events and people of the era that may have played a role in the lead up to the Civil War.  We have done this looking at videos, books, and other resources to help us understand how the war was not inevitable.  I thought I would show you how we go about our process!
the kids and I sat down and brainstorm all the people and people that we have read about over the summer and wrote them down

Next we looked up the year that the event occurred or the year of importance of the person and put them in order
 To double check our list I had the kids search the web to see what the experts said and if there was anything missing that we had not gone over!  The kids discovered that we had not learned about the Wilmot-Provisio act and we stop what we were doing and took the time to look it up and learn about it.  Everything else the kids wrote down was on the experts lists:)  The kids decided to add a few other things that they thought were important!

Next the kids spent some time deciding how they wanted to create their poster and what pictures they wanted to use to make it more interesting.  I confess I did the line work on this poster as my kids just don't have the patience to draw a straight line and I can't handle uneven lines:(  But other than that the kids did all the work!

The finished poster and it is now hanging up in our school room for us to refer to as needed as we begin our unit on the actual Civil War.
 One of the things my husband and I discussed with the children was whether the Civil War was about states rights or about slavery...as this is often up for debate among people.  The kids decided that while states rights were important that in nearly every case of the debate of state rights, slavery was mentioned.  Therefore the kids decided that slavery was a very important issue and that state rights and slavery could not be separated as both issues were intertwined.

Next I had forgotten I bought some cotton plants and brought them out for the kids to explore and try to remove the cotton seeds from the fibers.

the kids were surprised to see how many seeds could be found in a single puff of cotton.  They were also surprised how hard it was to remove the fibers and this gave them a better understanding of the importance of the Eli Whitney cotton gin

We counted 32 seeds in a single cotton plant!

If you want to see some other History posters we have done in the past take a look here!


  1. Wow, this was a great project and I love how you are approaching it all. I am sure that they will really have a sound understanding of why this war occurred.
    Hugs for all the hard work.