Thursday, February 18, 2016

A highscool lesson on the Civil War period

To be honest, this whole period in history makes me uncomfortable.  The idea that people were not equal makes me not even understand humans.  It's is not that it's hard to talk about, it's hard to TEACH about.  It is hard to find the words to explain why anyone, ever, thought that slavery of a people would ever make sense!  And on top of that, the atrocities that happened to all of them... the slaves and the people who were opposed to slavery... well, it turns my stomach.  It really does.  I tried to find a 'nice' way to talk about it.  But really, in the end, I just decided that my crying while telling these stories was going to end up being part of the lesson.  My strong feelings would be a testament that these things were worth fighting for.  And for my little humans, those tears mean something.  Even in their very safe and very free lives.

Here is the 'order of operations' for my little batch of homeschoolers.  9th grader reads the books aloud to 4th grader (and preschooler if he wants to sit still).  Movies that are above PG are for 9th grader only.  Each movie and book comes along with a notes and summary sheet.  At the end of each unit, she is to write a paper, 2-4 pages, that talks about an aspect of this period in history.  Some movies, or sets of movies, have a paper that is required as well.

America: The Story of Us - Episode 4 (Netflix)
Book - If You Grew Up with Abe Lincoln - McGovern
Book - Harriet Tubman - Alder
Gettysburg (Had to purchase - Amazon Instant Video $2.99)
Listen to the Gettysburg Address, read by Jeff Daniels (free audio - google it)
Book - The Show Way - Woodson
Book - If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad - Levine
America:The Story of Us - Episode 5 (Netflix)
Gone with the Wind (Library)
Glory (Had to purchase - Amazon instant video $2.99)
John Henry

Some of these may seem simple and young but they all start wonderful conversations and bite-sized bits of a hard part of history.  This should be a great lesson and eye-opening for all of us.  I am hoping that this will lead to a bunch of wonderful conversations about this dark period in our history.


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