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Civil War - Elementary

Elementary School PBS LearningMedia Resources

The Address | Learn the Gettysburg Address | K-12

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, documentarian Ken Burns, along with numerous partners, has launched a national effort to encourage everyone in America to video record themselves reading or reciting the speech. The collection of recordings housed on this site will continue to grow as more and more people are inspired by the power of history and take the challenge to Learn the Address.


Looking for Lincoln
| WNET | 1-3

What was Abraham Lincoln’s life like before he became our 16th President? What are some of the major milestones of his presidency? In this interdisciplinary lesson, students will gather different facts about Lincoln through a variety of hands-on activities.

In the Introductory Activity, students match vocabulary words with pictures to piece together a timeline of Lincoln’s life. In the Learning Activities, they gather various facts about Lincoln’s life as they learn about his work as a lawyer on the prairie and gain insight into Lincoln through objects and artifacts of his life. Students then select classroom objects that best tell a story about themselves and/or their class. In the Culminating Activity, they reflect upon the life of Lincoln, revisit his timeline and create their own personal timelines!


Civil War
| History Detectives | 4-12

The Civil War (1861-1865) is America’s bloodiest war to date. It cost close to 1,100,000 casualties and claimed over 620,000 lives. These lesson plans and videos are based on History Detectives episodes that examine a variety of artifacts — a weapon, an early photograph, a letter, a piece of pottery — highlighting African-American involvement in the Civil War. They offer students opportunities to research and create paper or interactive biographical posters, delve into the intersection of military and social history, and survey slave art and culture.


Transcontinental Railroad
| Wyoming PBS | 5-12

The idea for a Transcontinental Railroad had been suggested as early as the 1830’s, but 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.


Mission U.S. Flight to Freedom
| 4-8

Mission US is a multimedia project featuring free interactive adventure games set in different eras of U.S. history. The second game, "Flight to Freedom," takes place in northern Kentucky and southern Ohio, and begins in summer 1848. The game is divided into five parts, as well as a framing prologue and epilogue. Students play this interactive adventure game and assume the role of Lucy. As the game opens, Lucy is a young slave on the King family’s plantation outside of Lexington.

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