Civil War Battlegrounds

  Lesson Plan
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
Content Standards:
  • 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.
  • G-1A-M1
         identifying and describing the characteristics, functions, and applications of various types of maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies;
  • G-1A-M2
         interpreting and developing maps, globes, graphs, charts, models, and databases to analyze spatial distributions and patterns;
  • G-1A-M3
         organizing and displaying information about the location of geographic features and places by using mental mapping skills;
  • G-1B-M2
         identifying and describing significant physical features that have influenced historical events;
  • H-1A-M2
         demonstrating historical perspective through the political, social, and economic context in which an event or idea occurred;
  • H-1A-M3
         analyzing the impact that specific individuals, ideas, events, and decisions had on the course of history;
  • H-1A-M4
         analyzing historical data using primary and secondary sources;
  • H-1A-M5
         identifying issues and problems from the past and evaluating alternative courses of action;
  • H-1A-M6
         conducting research in efforts to answer historical questions;
  • H-1B-M12
         describing the causes and course of the Civil War and examining the impact of the war on the American people;
  • H-1D-M3
         identifying and discussing the major conflicts in Louisiana’s past;
  • H-1D-M4
         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

    Grade 8

    2. Locate major landforms and geographic features, places, and bodies of water/waterways on a map of Louisiana


    3. Construct a map based on given narrative information


    4. Construct a chart or diagram to display geographical information in an organized way


  • Places and Regions

    6. 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

    65. Analyze the causes, effects, or impact of a given historical event in Louisiana


    70. Conduct historical research using a variety of resources, and evaluate those resources, to answer historical questions related to Louisiana history


  • Louisiana History

    77. Describe major conflicts in context of Louisiana history (e.g., Rebellion of 1768, the French and Indian War)


    78. Describe and analyze the impact of Louisiana’s geographic features on historic events, settlement patterns, economic development, etc.


Interdisciplinary Connections:  
  • 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 audiences.
  • English/Language Arts : Standard 3
         Students communicate using standard English grammar, usage, sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and handwriting.
  • 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 intermediate level.
  • 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 activities.
  • 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 Chapter 10
*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:


Internet Explorer
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Paint


Background Information:
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.
Lesson Procedures:
Day 1
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 battle.

Day 2
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 essay

Day 5
Students present essays and maps.
Assessment Procedures:
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  

Reproducible Materials:
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
Contact Information:
Jill Esquivel
5th Grade Teacher
Additional Contacts:
Dana Trahan
Rene Rost Middle

Sandra Frederick
Erath Middle

Rima Duhon
Region 4 TLTC

Sharon Guilbeaux
North Vermilion
MarcoPolo Lesson:  No