Title: Civil War Battlegrounds
Subject: Social Studies
Grade Level: 8
Students will use Geomedia to create a map of Louisiana Civil War
battlegrounds including rivers and parishes. They will then write an
essay describing what a general would have planned and worried about
during one of the battles that occurred in Louisiana.
Approximate Duration: 3 - 5 days
Geography: Physical and Cultural Systems
Students develop a spatial understanding of Earth's surface and
the processes that shape it, the connections between people and
places, and the relationship between man and his environment.
History: Time, Continuity, and Change
Students develop a sense of historical time and historical
perspective as they study the history of their community, state,
nation, and world.
identifying and describing the characteristics, functions, and
applications of various types of maps and other geographic
representations, tools, and technologies;
interpreting and developing maps, globes, graphs, charts, models,
and databases to analyze spatial distributions and patterns;
organizing and displaying information about the location of
geographic features and places by using mental mapping skills;
identifying and describing significant physical features that
have influenced historical events;
demonstrating historical perspective through the political,
social, and economic context in which an event or idea occurred;
analyzing the impact that specific individuals, ideas, events,
and decisions had on the course of history;
analyzing historical data using primary and secondary sources;
identifying issues and problems from the past and evaluating
alternative courses of action;
conducting research in efforts to answer historical questions;
describing the causes and course of the Civil War and examining
the impact of the war on the American people;
identifying and discussing the major conflicts in Louisiana’s
locating and describing Louisiana’s geographic features and
examining their impact on people past and present;
Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs):
The World in Spatial Terms
Locate major landforms and geographic
features, places, and bodies of water/waterways on a map of Louisiana
Construct a map based on given narrative
Construct a chart or diagram to display
geographical information in an organized way
Describe ways in which location and
physical features have influenced historical events in Louisiana and
the development of the state (e.g., Mississippi River/swamp in the
Battle of New Orleans)
Historical Thinking Skills
Analyze the causes, effects, or impact
of a given historical event in Louisiana
Conduct historical research using a
variety of resources, and evaluate those resources, to answer
historical questions related to Louisiana history
Describe major conflicts in context of
Louisiana history (e.g., Rebellion of 1768, the French and Indian War)
Describe and analyze the impact of
Louisiana’s geographic features on historic events, settlement
patterns, economic development, etc.
English/Language Arts : Standard 1
Students read, comprehend, and respond to a range of materials,
using a variety of strategies for different purposes.
English/Language Arts : Standard 2
Students write competently for a variety of purposes and
English/Language Arts : Standard 3
Students communicate using standard English grammar, usage,
sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and
English/Language Arts : Standard 4
Students demonstrate competence in speaking and listening as
tools for learning and communicating.
English/Language Arts : Standard 5
Students locate, select, and synthesize information from a
variety of texts, media, references, and technological sources to
acquire and communicate knowledge.
English/Language Arts : Standard 7
Students apply reasoning and problem solving skills to reading,
writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and visually representing.
Educational Technology Standards:
Demonstrate the operations of a computer (e.g., touch-keyboarding
skills, save, organize and back-up files) and other peripheral devices
(scanner, digital and video cameras, VCR, laser disc player) at an
Compose and edit a multi-page document with appropriate formatting
using word-processing skills. (e.g., menu, tool bars, dialog boxes,
spell check, thesaurus, page layout, headers and footers, word count,
margins, tabs, spacing, columns, page orientation)
Use information, media, and technology in a responsible manner which
includes following the school's acceptable use policy, adhering to
copyright laws, respecting the rights of others, and employing proper
etiquette in all forms of communication.
Use multimedia tools and desktop publishing to develop and present
computer-generated projects for directed and independent learning
Use technology tools (e.g., multimedia authoring, writing tools,
digital cameras, drawing tools, web tools) to gather information for
problem solving, communication, collaborative writing and publishing
to create products for various audiences.
Understand Internet concepts (e.g., website, hypertext link,
bookmarks, URL addresses) and apply intermediate on-line searching
techniques (e.g., employ keyword, phrases, and Boolean Operators).
TLW identify Louisiana Civil War battlegrounds using GeoMedia software.
TLW analyze the battleground locations in relationship to major rivers
and physical features of Louisiana.
TLW write an essay from Civil War General's point of view.
Lesson Materials and Resources:
*Louisiana History Text Book: The History of An American State
*Note taking materials (paper & pencil)
*GeoMedia Quick Tips
*Using Paint to Label a GeoMedia Map (Quick Tip)
*Louisiana Civil War Battles Worksheet
*Louisiana Civil War Battles Directed Web Search
Technology Tools and Materials:
This activity will be a culminating activity for Chapter 10 which covers
Louisiana's role in the Civil War. Students should have a working
knowledge of Microsoft Word and Internet Explorer. Students should be
introduced to GeoMedia prior to this lesson.
1. Activate Prior Knowledge: Instructor leads whole-class in
brainstorming ideas learned throughout chapter 10 using Inspiration.
2. Group students into pairs (students will work with these partners
throughout the activity) to complete Louisiana Civil War Battles
directing browsing activity. Distribute and orally review the Louisiana
Civil War Battles Worksheet. Inform students that the directed browsing
sheet has been saved to the desktop of each computer. Students will
obtain the longitude/latitude of each battle noted on the worksheet,
they will identify the General of each army and the victor of each
1. Students return to groups.
2. Orally review GeoMedia Quick Tips. (Provide a copy of Quick Tips at
each computer station.)
3. Review requirements (rubric) for GeoMedia activity.
A. Make a connection to a blank LA map
B. Add features: Parishes & major rivers
C. Add battleground sites colorcoded by Confederate or Union victory
D. Take snapshot of map, open Microsoft Paint, and Paste map.
Provide copy of Using Paint to Label a GeoMedia Map quick tips
sheet at each computer.
4. In Paint identify battle sites and river names and save map.
Days 3 - 5
1. Following the writing process & following guidelines set in grading
rubric, students will compose an individual essay
2. Type final copy using Microsoft Word and insert map at the end of the
Students present essays and maps.
Teacher observation and teacher monitoring should be ongoing throughout
this lesson. Rubrics can be used for formal assessments of the
Battlegrounds Map and the Essay.
Accommodations and Modifications can be made to all areas of this lesson
as they are needed. Students with special needs will probably need
extended time to complete most activities.
----- written by Jill Esquivel
Explorations and Extensions:
Have students locate all battle locations and include in map.
Lesson Development Resources:
Louisiana Department of Education, LCET Louisiana INTECH 2 Social
Studies Using GeoMedia: A Louisiana Bus Tour Step-By-Step
5th Grade Teacher
Rene Rost Middle
Region 4 TLTC
MarcoPolo Lesson: No