Curriculum Materials

War for Freedom: African Americans in the Era of the Civil War - a curriculum developed by the American History Workshop for use by the National Park Service.

National Park Service Jeopardy
This powerpoint is designed as a game. Project in class and challenge your students' knowledge of their National Parks!

Harpers Ferry Jeopardy
There are two rounds of Harpers Ferry Jeopardy. The first round covers basic information and the second round is very specific to industry and archeology.
Harpers Ferry Jeopardy Round 1
Harpers Ferry Jeopardy Round 2

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  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

    The Battle of Harpers Ferry 1862: Joining Up!

    When war broke out in April 1861, thousands of young men rushed to join the colors. Why were they so anxious to go off to war? Then, after the horrors of war had been exposed, why were thousands more willing to enlist in 1862?  Why did men of central New York decide to join a new unit, the 126th New York Volunteer Infantry in August of 1862? Each student will receive the identity of an actual soldier from a regiment, and eventually find out what happened to him as a result of the war.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
    Subjects:
    Social Studies
  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

    Incident at Harpers Ferry: Slavery and John Brown

    In this lesson, students will share their thoughts on slavery, examine how our country dealt with this institution, consider how both pro-slavery elements and abolitionists looked at slavery and why, and learn a little about John Brown’s early life - in particular, his activities out in Kansas in the years 1855 ‹ 1857.

    Students will then be able to answer the following essential question:
    What was slavery like in the antebellum United States?

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    Social Studies
  • John Brown was brought up in a strict Calvinist environment, in which he was taught that slavery was a sin.  With a difficult personal life, including loss of his first wife and little success as a businessman, in 1855 Brown set out to do something he had always detested ‹ slavery.  What was the institution of slavery like in our country?    What did Brown do out in Kansas?    Is it ever okay to use violence to bring about needed change?

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fifth Grade-Ninth Grade
    Subjects:
    Civil War, History, Military and Wartime History, Slavery, Social Studies
    Keywords:
    Slavery, John Brown, Kansas-Nebraska Act, Abolitionists, Dred Scott Case, harpers ferry
  • When war broke out in April 1861, Harpers Ferry was still producing weapons for the U.S. Government, but that spring, the Confederates dismantled both weapons’ factories and sent the machines south.  Yet Harpers Ferry remained important to the Union.  Why?  Students will learn about the town’s importance, a little bit about soldier life, and of the 126th New York’s first experiences in this border town after their arrival in August 1862.

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    Average: 4.0 (17 ratings)

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fifth Grade-Ninth Grade
    Subjects:
    Civil War, History, Military and Wartime History, Slavery, Social Studies
    Keywords:
    The Battle of Harpers Ferry 1862, Civil War, General Robert E. Lee, General Thomas Stonewall Jackson, General George B. McClellan, The Battle of Second Manassas, The Battle of Antietam Sharpsburg, The Battle of South Mountain
  • When war broke out in April 1861, thousands of young men rushed to join the colors. Why were they so anxious to go off to war? Then, after the horrors of war had been exposed, why were thousands more willing to enlist in 1862?  Why did men of central New York decide to join a new unit, the 126th New York Volunteer Infantry in August of 1862? Each student will receive the identity of an actual soldier from that regiment, and eventually find out what happened to him as a result of the war.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fifth Grade-Ninth Grade
    Subjects:
    Civil War, History, Military and Wartime History, Slavery, Social Studies
  • John Brown had a burning desire to destroy the evil institution of slavery; this drove him to organize the 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry, site of the U.S. Musket Factory.  Although Brown’s raid didn’t “succeed,” it helped propel our country into war, a conflict which would eventually bring about the end of slavery.    What happened during the raid?  Why was the South so frightened by this event?  What effect did the raid, Brown’s words during his trial, and his execution have on our country?

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fifth Grade-Ninth Grade
    Subjects:
    Civil War, History, Military and Wartime History, Slavery, Social Studies
    Keywords:
    Causes of the Civil War, Civil War, John Brown, harpers ferry, Slavery, Abolitionists