Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate soldier
Students read the account of a private from Charlotte who served in the Civil War and grew tired of only hearing about the war from the perspectives of officers. After reading his experiences as a “man behind the gun” students will write their own point-of-view piece. They also have the opportunity to read other diary accounts from the war available through Documenting the American South.
A lesson plan for grade 8 Social Studies
- learn more about the experience of soldiers during the Civil War.
- read and evaluate a primary source and identify perspective and bias.
- express what they know about the Civil War in a point-of-view writing exercise.
Time required for lesson
- Computer lab or individual student computers (or copies of the primary source document)
- Access to the “Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier.”
- Copies of the Primary Source Analysis Sheet — one per student (if they will not be accessing them on the computer)
- Copies of the RAFT Assignment and Rubric — one per student (if they will not be accessing them on the computer)
This lesson should coincide with a study of the Civil War.
- Have every student read the “Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier.”
- While they are reading ask students to complete the Primary Source Analysis Sheet.
- After students have completed the analysis sheet, have them share their answers with a partner. Then facilitate a whole-class discussion about what students learned through this activity.
- Next hand out the RAFT Assignment and Rubric sheet. Allow students to select their own role, audience, format, and topic and to brainstorm on the handout before writing their final assignment on un-lined white paper. This could be done in a word processing document or by hand.
- If students have additional time, they may add illustrations.
Assess students based on the completion of the analysis sheet and the RAFT assignment.
There are many additional Civil War diaries available online through the Documenting the American South site that students may read.
- North Carolina Essential Standards
- Social Studies (2010)
- 8.H.1 Apply historical thinking to understand the creation and development of North Carolina and the United States. 8.H.1.1 Construct charts, graphs, and historical narratives to explain particular events or issues. 8.H.1.2 Summarize the literal meaning of...
- 8.H.2 Understand the ways in which conflict, compromise and negotiation have shaped North Carolina and the United States. 8.H.2.1 Explain the impact of economic, political, social, and military conflicts (e.g. war, slavery, states’ rights and citizenship...
- Social Studies (2010)
North Carolina curriculum alignment
Social Studies (2003)
- Goal 4: The learner will examine the causes, course, and character of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and their impact on North Carolina and the nation.
- Objective 4.02: Describe the political and military developments of the Civil War and analyze their effect on the outcome of the war.
- Objective 4.04: Evaluate the importance of the roles played by individuals at the state and national levels during the Civil War and Reconstruction Period.