Teaching the Civil War with Effective Learning Theories Essay
AbstractLearning is a broad and continuous activity that is experienced by everybody. The Civil War is one of the greatest occurrences that have had a huge impact on America and the entire world. Incorporating the principles of active learning, exploratory learning, and learning theories in teaching, helps to address the educational needs of all types of students, including those with special needs. Activities that support active engagement of students, transfer of learning, and subsequent evaluation and assessment of performance ensure that an optimal and beneficial learning experience is achieved.
It is the responsibility of the educator to ensure that effective learning principles are constantly incorporated into learning activities.Teaching the Civil War with Effective Learning TheoriesIntroductionIt is important for young learners to be introduced to the history of the United States of America in the educational setting of today’s society. This lesson introduces students in a ninth grade inclusion classroom, at Lakeside High School, in an Atlanta, Georgia school district, to the Civil War and how it affected the nation as we know it today.
The design of this plan includes the educational requirements of students with special needs. This lesson plan is designed to include four hours of instructional design and focuses on Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism. Each session will be structured around topical performance objectives based on the expectations outlined by the Georgia Department of Education for student learning.
Robert Gagné introduced Instructional Theories and Instructional Models in 1985 and it has been tailored throughout the years to encompass numerous learning theories for better learning strategies (Driscoll, 2005).The behavioral learning theory is based on the idea that knowledge is acquired through repeated patterns until behavior becomes automatic. The learning process takes place by observing the student’s behavior. This theory has become an important part of the learning process in the classroom today.
The cognitive learning theory involves the thinking process prior to the behavior. Since every student learns differently, it is important for the Lesson Plan Designer to include instruction that encourages the students to think about past knowledge and use it to relate with new information. The constructivist learning theory includes the benefit of prior knowledge as the foundation for hands-on learning in a real life environment.This lesson plan encompasses three instructional learning theories; Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism. It is designed to instruct ninth grade regular education students and special education students in social studies.
The curriculum guidelines used in this lesson are outlined according to the Georgia Department of Education (GDOE). The Standards outlined by the State of Georgia Department of Education, are recognized as “SSUSH9 a-f.” (GDOE, 2008). The Standards include:A. explaining the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the failure of popular sovereignty, Dred Scott case, and John Brown’s RaidB. describing President Lincoln’s efforts to preserve the Union as seen in his second inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg speech and in his use of emergency powers such as his decision to suspend habeas corpusC. describing the role of Ulysses Grant, Robert E.
Lee, “Stonewall Jackson,” William T. Sherman, and Jefferson DavisD. explaining the importance of Fort Sumter, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, and the Battle for AtlantaE. describing the significance of the Emancipation ProclamationF. explaining the importance of the growing economic disparity between the North, and the South through an examination of population, functioning railroads, and industrial output.
This lesson plan is designed to include each Standard using the learning strategies to achieve a higher level of learning, as described by Bloom’s Taxonomy (Driscoll, 2005). There are designated sessions for active learning and exploratory learning throughout this four-hour lesson.Background of Topic AreaThis four-hour lesson plan is designed to use instructional knowledge to understand the historical Civil War. The Civil War was one of the most important events in United States history.
Behavioral and cognitive learning theories are designed to instruct students on the cause and effect of the Civil War; and the Battle of Gettysburg. The constructivist theory is designed to instruct the students on the Gettysburg Address and how it affects them today. The Georgia Standards as outlined by the GaDOE are used to set the Terminal Performance Objectives (TPO), (GaDOE, 2005-2006). Evaluations and assessments are outlined for each session and can be found in the appendix. Formative and summative assessments are also included in the conclusion of this lesson plan design.The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides guidelines for educators and students with disabilities. These guidelines protect the rights of students with a variety of learning disabilities. Classrooms and educators have become accommodating to these students.
This lesson plan is designed to accommodate both students with special needs and regular education students (Department of Education, n.d.). Using the behavioral and cognitive learning theories, this lesson is designed to educate every student on the cause and effects of the Civil War. It applies these theories using two separate class sessions. An event map is included as a strategy that will assist the special education students and also structure extra guidance for regular education students. Activities are designed to involve students in their learning processes. This session of the lesson also includes other learning tools which have been designed around one of the nation’s most important historical events, to equip the learner for developing behavioral and cognitive skills for future learning.
The cognitive learning theory includes useful ways to educate today’s learners. Combining the activities of watching a movie while using written data is a great way to involve the students in situated cognition. The third session of this lesson is one hour in length and includes segments of a movie about the all-important information regarding the direction and the consequences of the Civil War. Learners are more receptive to learning when they are comfortable in their environment. This lesson is designed to allow the students to relax while absorbing the content of the instruction. The movie presented in this session of the lesson is focused specifically on the Battle of Gettysburg, and is accompanied with handouts to trigger the students to use encoding for acquiring knowledge.
This session is designed to transition smoothly into the fourth session of this lesson plan, to produce the most effective instructional benefit to the learners. The constructivist theory encourages the use of technology for learning. This lesson design includes instructional technology, which focuses on technical sources for efficient learning (AECT, 2001). Computer access is necessary for this session of the lesson. The students will become active and exploratory learners by using the World Wide Web to listen to The Gettysburg Address and fill in the missing parts of the outline. This activity will be followed by participation in the reading and discussion of the topic. The teacher will assist the students in the comprehension of the connection between the Civil War and the nation as it is known today. A summative assessment will also be completed with the use of a multiple-choice handout (Appendix A).
As an extension to this lesson, the students will have the opportunity to display their own understanding of what they have learned. The students will use the previous knowledge gained from the Gettysburg Address to write their own Address; this is in support of the cognitive theory, which asserts that for students to understand a concept, they must be able to relate it with something familiar. Using an assigned topic, a group of students will come together to write a speech that one designated group member will share with the class. The constructivist theory is used in the design of this session of the lesson.
The students would have been engaged in the active and exploratory learning process. Their performance will be assessed, evaluated, and rewarded based on their performance. These rewards will serve as a form of reinforcement to the students, in support of the behavioral theory which asserts that reinforcement helps to stimulate learning.Audience Atlanta, Georgia has 57 public high schools.
Lakeside High School ranks eight on a scale of excellence rating from one to ten (ten being the best) in the school system for Dekalb County. There are 1567 students attending Lakeside High School for the 2007-2008 school years. The average classroom size is 18 students per teacher. This is an average in comparison to statewide classroom sizes.
The Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) scores are outstanding for the 2007 school year; when testing eleventh graders, the regular curriculum testing scores ranged from 88% in Science to 94% in Math. The school rated an 87% when GHSGT test scores were compared statewide for Social Studies. (greatschools™, 2008) The demographics for the school show that the current school year shows its ethnicity as being 46% White, 26% Black, 14% Hispanic, 9% Asian/Pacific Islander, less than 1% of the students are American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 4% of the students were unspecified. Local GHSGT scores, when compared with other local high schools in this district are 93% this year.
(greatschools™, 2008) This lesson plan on the Civil War focused on a Lakeside High School’s ninth grade inclusion classroom. There is an inter-related Special Education adaptation included in the lesson plan design. A lesson is designed to include students with ADD/ADHD and/or Asperger Syndrome, a form of Autism. These special needs students require a hands-on approach to learning and visual aids to assist in comprehension (Nemours Foundation, 1995-2008). The design of this lesson plan provides the behavior and cognitive tools that will guide the educators toward instructional quality for a diversity of learners.Terminal Performance Objectives· The students will understand the Civil War, its causes and consequences to America and the world as a whole. At this stage, they are said to have attained knowledge, which is the first level of Bloom’s Taxonomy; they can define concepts associated with the phenomenon.
· Students will be able to explain the circumstances surrounding the Civil War, for example, the Gettysburg Address. At this stage, they are said to have achieved comprehension; they can summarize the history of the Civil War.· Students will be able to display their own understanding of the Gettysburg Address by creating Addresses of their own. This is the Application level of Bloom’s Taxonomy; students apply the knowledge acquired to creating their own Addresses, and solve any difficulties they may encounter.Behavioral/Cognitive Learning Activities In classrooms today, inclusion of exceptional learners has become common practice.
As a result, educators are required to employ multiple teaching strategies in order to effectively present information to a diverse student population. Although certain learning activities focus on the specific needs of students with learning disabilities, these activities benefit traditional learners as well. According to current research, “When children participate in activities, raise their hands in response to a question, show attention toward the teacher or are actively involved in a reading or writing exercise, they are showing evidence of behavioral engagement” (Downer, 2007, p. 2).
With a mixed student population, it is the role of the Special Education teacher to ensure that all students are behaviorally engaged in the lesson. This can be achieved by identifying the specific needs of each student, forming personal connections with each student, rewarding desired behaviors, and establishing a strong classroom management plan. Incorporating cognitive learning activities allows students to process new information based on experiences. By personally relating to certain perspectives, students are able to assimilate the knowledge presented and develop a richer understanding. Through role playing activities, students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with new concepts, relate the newly acquired concepts to previous experiences, and finally, to incorporate this information into their current perception (Driscoll, 2005, p.198-199).
In compliance with Sec. 654(a)(1)(c) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the lessons on Causes and Effects of the Civil War will be taught collaboratively by two teachers (U.S. Department of Education, IDEA). The general education teacher is certified to teach U.S. History, and the special education teacher is certified in both U.S.
History and Special Education. This lesson will be presented in two one-hour segments over the course of two days using both behavioral and cognitive learning strategies. The following lesson has been developed in accordance with Georgia Performance Standards for U.S. History, SSUSH9 (GDE, 2006).Day 1 As an activating strategy, students are asked to begin this lesson by writing one paragraph on what they think were the key causes and subsequent effects of the Civil War. In this way, students are able to conduct their own “prior assessment” of the knowledge they bring to the lesson. Upon completion of the warm-up exercise, students are presented with a video overview of the causes and effects of the Civil War offered through Discovery Education streaming.
While watching the video, students take guided notes using an Event Map (Appendix C), which focuses on when the Civil War occurred, who was involved in it, key events that led to it, and the subsequent results of it. The video is followed by an open discussion, facilitated by the teachers, in which students share their opinions and/or prior knowledge of the topic. To encourage participation, students are rewarded with “smarties” candy each time they contribute to the discussion. Teachers and students discuss the information filled in on the Event Maps, and students are encouraged to make notes of additional causes and effects they may not have included on their individual worksheets. Instructors circulate throughout the classroom to ensure proper completion of the assignment.
Day 2 As a warm-up, students are divided into small groups and begin today’s lesson by completing a chart (Appendix B), from memory, outlining the causes and effects of the Civil War as discussed in the prior lesson. This process allows students to assess their retention of the information presented previously, while offering those with retention difficulties a chance to benefit from others’ abilities to recall the material. Once students have completed their charts, the instructor, using a smart board, fills in a copy of the chart on the video screen.
Again, students are encouraged to include information they may have left out of their individual charts. Students return to their assigned seats and listen as the teacher reads a diary excerpt, a newspaper article, and a letter of a first-hand account of the Civil War aftermath. At the conclusion, numbered and laminated photographs of various Civil War era individuals (men, women, children, slaves, soldiers, etc.) are handed out, one per student. Making note of the number on their photograph at the top of the page, students are then asked to write a fictitious account of the war from the perspective of the individual in the photograph. The focus of the account can be from any point during 1861 through 1865.
The written account must be detailed enough so that the reader can easily identify the person writing without looking at the photograph. Upon conclusion of the writing exercise, the teacher will collect the written accounts and photographs. Then, as each account is read aloud to the class, the students must choose which photograph best depicts the voice of the individual being represented.
Cognitive Learning ActivitiesCognitive learning takes place in our heads. With cognitive learning, the student can learn though a variety of techniques, including listening, reading, and watching. While these learning mechanisms may seem passive, cognitive learning is a very active process that involves remembering, processing, and categorizing information.
Cognitive learning allows for the active transmittal of the symbols and values of a complex culture. Cognitive theorists believe that knowledge is internalized within the student regardless of whether the knowledge is transmitted or discovered (Driscoll, 2005). A change in behavior is not necessary for learning to occur.The Georgia State Department of Education specifically addresses the need to focus on the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War within their standards (GDE, 2006). This lesson involves watching the movie entitled Gettysburg, and discussing various ethical, civic, and contextual questions after the movie. Movies that engage the student are shown to help students learn and retain more information (Baker & Considine, 2006). This movie is purported to conform to the historical record.
Prior to viewing the movie, necessary permission must be obtained since the movie is copyrighted (Pascopella, 2003). The movie is four hours in duration but can be divided into chunks. This might be appropriate as many sections like Chamberlain’s speech to his disserting soldiers, Buford’s waking nightmare, the bayonet charge of the 4th Maine, Pickett’s charge, and the ending with General Robert Lee can each stand alone as individual lessons. The teacher would show the movie in its entirety in one-hour chunks.
The movie will be shown in class, and popcorn will be provided. This movie is rated PG, and is therefore suitable for viewing by students in the ninth grade. Before starting the movie, the teacher will provide a brief historical and situational context of the movie (see appendix D).
After this brief background, a list of questions will be handed out to the students, and the teacher will go over the list of questions with the students (see appendix E). The students will be asked to keep the questions in mind while they are watching the movie.After the movie, the students will be assigned to groups consisting of four students each. The purpose of this group activity is to discuss the questions that were provided to the students before the showing of the movie. The students will collaboratively record their responses to the questions. Individual names will not be associated with the group responses. The reason for this is to encourage group work.
The teacher will move from group to group with the purpose of listening to the discussions and offering insight when appropriate. By using the movie as a centerpiece to frame the group discussions, students will draw upon their previous knowledge, and their previous experiences in addressing the questions (encoding).Following the discussion group activity, students will be asked to write an essay on one of the questions or about a topic they found of interest while watching the movie. The teacher will individually discuss the student’s choice of topic with them, help them articulate, and define their essay topic. The group discussion will be turned in for a minor assessment. The individual student essay will be the primary assessment for the lesson.
A rubric will be given to the students for their essay assignment.Constructivist Learning Activities According to Driscoll (2005), the constructivist learning theory is an attempt to explain that learners acquire and refine knowledge by relating it with their life experiences. The constructivist theory, like all other learning theories is very important in the design of instructional technology. Instructional technology consists of technical sources developed to make learning more efficient for the learner (AECT, 2001). It aids learners in acquiring and processing knowledge. Two principles designed within the constructivist theory to aid learning, are active and exploratory learning principles. Active learning is being able to “actively” engage the learner during the learning process through “hands-on” activities (OLN, nd) while exploratory learning involves learners seeking their own understanding through investigations, relation to prior knowledge and intuition.The following one-hour lesson plan is developed primarily for ninth grade students within the U.
S. History Class. It involves learning about Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, with a focus on this style of learning. This lesson plan also follows the necessary criterion adopted by the Georgia State Department of Education, Standard SSUSH9 – B (GaDOE, 2006).
Before delivering the lesson, the History teacher should endeavor to pre-book the use of the computer lab. The teacher should also provide the internet link to the location of the audible version of The Gettysburg Address to the students (Absolute English, nd). Once there, the students are to use their headphones to listen to the speech and fill in the missing parts of the document. Through this, the students are actively engaged in the listening process and can use the computer to type the correct answer into the appropriate blank space. The students are then allowed to replay the speech in order to answer all the questions. Since this is a warm-up activity, no grade is given; however, active participation is required by all students.After successful completion of the warm-up activity, the teacher should provide each student with a copy of the text version of the speech (Library of Congress, 2005).
The teacher should once again read the speech and point out key phrases. It is the responsibility of the teacher to aid the students’ understanding of the significance the speech had during the time of the Civil War. It is important that the teacher reemphasize that President Lincoln used the word “Nation”, instead of “Union”. It was Lincoln’s attempt to portray to the people that the Union and the Confederacy no longer existed; rather “One Nation” (Library of Congress, 2005). The teacher should encourage questions, and guide active participation by asking their interpretations of each line of the speech.
Once the entire speech has been discussed, the teacher must then hand the multiple-choice test (see Appendix A) to the students. The students are then allowed to use the text version of the speech to answer each question. Once completed, the students exchange papers with their classmates for grading. By breaking down the parts of the speech, each student has the opportunity to gain a better understanding of its meaning, which allows them to better complete the group assignment.Once the handouts have been graded and collected, the teacher should divide the class into four groups. The teacher is to give each group a topic, which may be teenage sex, teenage alcoholism, teenage violence, or teenage drug use.
Each group is then required to use their assigned topic to create their own address. One person from each group will give the speech to the class. The groups are encouraged to create a formal speech by using dialogue on today. The teacher should grade each member on participation, and grade the group on creativeness and thoroughness. Allowing the students the opportunity to create their own speech, should provide them not only knowledge on the importance of Lincoln’s Address, but also the difficulty of writing a formal Address.Each part of the lesson provides students with an opportunity to be actively involved within their own understanding of the Gettysburg Address. The three different knowledge acquisition methods allow a wealth of understanding through instructional technology, “hands-on” deciphering, and peer teaching, which are all components of constructivism.
The ultimate goal of education is to facilitate active learning of students. Constructivists follow this guideline by developing specific strategies necessary for active involvement to aid learning.Evaluation Different methods of evaluation are adopted to determine students’ progress. Summative assessments will be conducted using multi-choice questions (Appendix A). The submitted answers from the students are reviewed and subsequently graded to determine their understanding of the topic.The various addresses created by the students will also be graded to determine their level of comprehension and transfer of learning from their knowledge of the Gettysburg Address to creating their own Addresses. Students will be graded on topics chosen and creativity. Evaluations will also be conducted on the results of the event maps and notes taken by each student; students’ opinions and level of involvement during class discussions; and evaluation of individual charts and papers submitted on fictitious accounts of the war.
After watching the movie Gettysburg, discussions will be held amongst the students on various ethical, civic and contextual questions. A list of questions developed based on the movie is provided to the students to improve their understanding while watching the movie. These questions are subsequently discussed based on the movie. Responses will be recorded through group work. As a final method of assessment, students will be asked to write an essay on a topic they found to be of interest during the movie. These essays are reviewed and graded based on performance, team work and creativity.Conclusion It is necessary for all students acquiring knowledge within the United States of America, to learn the history that has shaped the world of today. One of the most influential parts of the history affecting the United States is the Civil War.
The Civil War changed the views of the American people and affected the culture extensively with lasting effects that can still be seen today. Marked by specific causational factors, shaped by events which have changed the world, and containing an incisive summation by President Abraham Lincoln, this four-hour lesson plan should provide students opportunities to grasp the necessary knowledge for mastering Standard SSUSH9 (GaDOE, 2006). Learning is a situated activity and its effectiveness is largely determined by approaches and methods adopted. Instructional technology and the learning theories of Behaviorism, Cognitivism and Constructivism influence teaching styles to a large extent and help to shape students’ attitudes towards learning.
When further combined with active and exploratory learning strategies, learning becomes a pleasurable, productive, and positive experience for both students and educators.ReferencesAbsolute English (nd). Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: Audio.
Retrieved April 16, 2008,from http://pagesperso-orange.fr/absolutenglish-972/notes/civil_war/audioget.htmAssociation for Educational Communications and Technology (2001).What is Knowledge Base?Retrieved April 7, 2008, from http://www.aect.org/standards/knowledgebase.htmlBaker, F.
, & Cosidine, D. (2006). Focus on film: Learning through the movies. National Middle School Association. 10, 2, p. 12-15. Retrieved April 15, 2008 from the Eric database.
Downer, J., Rimm-Kaufman, S., & Pianta, R.
(2007). How do Classroom Conditions and Children’s Risk for School Problems Contribute to Children’s Behavioral Engagement in Learning? School Psychology Review 36(3), 413-433. Retrieved April 18, 2008 from ProQuest Education Journals.Driscoll, M.
P. (2005). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (Third Edition). Boston MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
Georgia Department of Education, (2006). Georgia Professional Standards:SSUSH9 (Civil War). Retrieved April 18, 2007 from http://www.georgia standards.org/SearchResults.aspz?viewmode=details&StandardIDSelected=1627Gettysburg National Park. (2008). Retrieved April 17, 2008 from http://www.
nps.gov/gettgreatschools™ The Parents Guide to K-12 Success. (2008). Compare High Schools.Retrieved April 17, 2008, from http://www.greatschools.
net/cgi-bin/cs_compare/ga?area=m&city=Atlanta&level=h&sortby=distance&tab=overKidsHealth. (1995-2008). Aspergers Syndrome. Retrieved April 18, 2008, fromhttp://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/asperger.htmlLibrary of Congress.
(2005). The Gettysburg Address. Retrieved April 14, 2008, fromhttp://www.loc.gov/exhibits/gadd/images/Gettysburg-2.jpgOhio Learning Network (OLN, nd). Innovative Learning & Teaching: Use Active LearningTechniques. Retrieved April 7, 2008, fromhttp://www.
oln.org/ILT/7_principles/active.phpPascopella, A. (2003). Lights, Camera… Oh, do you have a License? District Administration, 38, 11, p.
15. Retrieved April 16, 2008 from the ProQuest Educational Journal database.U.S. Department of Education. (2008). Individuals with Disabilities Education Act(IDEA), Sec. 654 (a) (1) (c).
Retrieved April 18, 2008 from http://idea.ed.gov.Appendix AThe Gettysburg Address1. This sentence talks about the battlefield of Gettysburg and the larger battlefield that America has become. a. Sentence 1 f.
Sentence 6 b. Sentence 2 g. Sentence 7 c. Sentence 3 h. Sentence 8 d. Sentence 4 g. Sentence 9 e. Sentence 5 i.
Sentence 102. This statement claims that the world will never remember this speech or day but will always remember the soldiers that died here.a. Sentence 1 f. Sentence 6 b.
Sentence 2 g. Sentence 7 c. Sentence 3 h. Sentence 8 d. Sentence 4 g. Sentence 9 e. Sentence 5 i.
Sentence 103. This statement rallies support to finish the job that these holy figures started by ending the war and fighting on.a. Sentence 1 f.
Sentence 6 b. Sentence 2 g. Sentence 7 c. Sentence 3 h.
Sentence 8 d. Sentence 4 g. Sentence 9 e. Sentence 5 i.
Sentence 104. This statement says that this is the right thing to do.a. Sentence 1 f. Sentence 6 b.
Sentence 2 g. Sentence 7 c. Sentence 3 h.
Sentence 8 d. Sentence 4 g. Sentence 9 e.
Sentence 5 i. Sentence 105. This statement discusses the heroic sacrifice of each soldier and dedicates the field as a resting place for them.a. Sentence 1 f. Sentence 6 b. Sentence 2 g.
Sentence 7 c. Sentence 3 h. Sentence 8 d. Sentence 4 g. Sentence 9 e. Sentence 5 i. Sentence 106. This statement claims that we can not make this ground holy or sacred here at the scene of this speech a year later and casts doubt into the audience.
a. Sentence 1 f. Sentence 6 b. Sentence 2 g. Sentence 7 c. Sentence 3 h.
Sentence 8 d. Sentence 4 g. Sentence 9 e. Sentence 5 i.
Sentence 107. This statement says that it is his hope that the audience can not let these heroes die for nothing and that, only by continuing to fight, can we assure the ideals that began this country and this speech. It rallies support for the union and reenergizes the ideals behind the bloody war.
a. Sentence 1 f. Sentence 6 b. Sentence 2 g. Sentence 7 c. Sentence 3 h.
Sentence 8 d. Sentence 4 g. Sentence 9 e.
Sentence 5 i. Sentence 108. This sentence discusses the beginning of the country and quotes the Constitution and brings the audience back to the central ideas that started the country.a. Sentence 1 f. Sentence 6 b. Sentence 2 g.
Sentence 7 c. Sentence 3 h. Sentence 8 d. Sentence 4 g. Sentence 9 e.
Sentence 5 i. Sentence 109. This sentence discusses the plight of the country today.a. Sentence 1 f. Sentence 6 b.
Sentence 2 g. Sentence 7 c. Sentence 3 h. Sentence 8 d. Sentence 4 g. Sentence 9 e. Sentence 5 i. Sentence 1010.
This statement makes #6 clear by saying that the ground is already holy as the men who died here for the right cause have made it so with their selfless sacrifice.a. Sentence 1 f. Sentence 6 b. Sentence 2 g. Sentence 7 c. Sentence 3 h.
Sentence 8 d. Sentence 4 g. Sentence 9 e. Sentence 5 i.
Sentence 10Appendix BCauses and Effects of the American Civil WarList the Key CausesList the Subsequent EffectsAppendix CEvent MapAppendix DThis movie is considered to be a historically accurate account of the Battle of Gettysburg. It was the summer of 1863. The army of the south had been mostly victorious in battle after battle throughout the south. However while the north has been able to use it strong manufacturing base to supply and equip its troops, the south as a more agrarian society was having difficulty supplying its’ army with clothing, food and ammunition. Facing these circumstances, the south’s beloved top commander Robert E.
Lee believed he was faced with only two choices, return with his army to his Virginia home and try to withstand a siege or attack in Pennsylvania. Believing that the North would win in any siege due to their vast manufacturing base, Lee decided to invade Pennsylvania. Lee believed by attacking Pennsylvania, he would bring the war to the north and allow the war ravaged south time to heal. He had hoped that by invading the north General Grant would pull his troops out Vicksbug, Virginia and therefore end the siege of Vicksburg. General Grant did not pull his troops out of Vicksburg.
The Union arrived at Gettysburg first and took up positions in the hills around the town. The Union had over 83,000 men in the hills. The Confederates brought an army of over 75,000 soldiers. General George Mead, who was new to the post, commanded the Union army. The Battle of Gettysburg is considered by many historians to have been the turning point in the war.
During the Battle of Gettysburg the North suffer 23,000 casualties. During the Battle of Gettysburg the South lost over 28,000 soldiers. (Gettysburg National Park, 2008).
Appendix E1. There are several mentions to the words ‘good ground’ in the movie. The repeating rifle was invented just before the Civil War. What is meant by the term ‘good ground’ and how does the repeating rifle help explain the phrase?2. What are some specific examples of leadership shown in the film?3.
Over 50,000 men were killed in the Battle of Gettysburg. By contrast over 4,000 soldiers have been killed so far in the Iraq war. How can you explain the difference in the loss of life?4. Why did the Union soldiers fighting in the war? Why did the Confederate soldiers fight in the war? Was where you were born make a big difference in who you would have fought for? Would you have fought for the North if you were born in Georgia?5. Do you think the Civil War was a moral war? Do you think there is such a thing as a moral war? Was slavery immoral? What are your responsibilities when you encounter wrongdoing in your life?6.
General Longstreet objected to Lee’s tactic. Was he correct in disagreeing with his boss? Should he have been more persistent? When you disagree with an authority figure, do you speak out? What is the most effective way to speak out?7. Was Robert E. Lee is statesman? Lee believed that slavery was wrong, yet he still led the south against the north. Is this a contradiction?