Lesson Plan

Literature of the Andersonville Prison

Collage of books about Andersonville
Collage of books about Andersonville

NPS/E. Leonard

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Grade Level:
Fifth Grade-Eleventh Grade
Civil War, Reading
90 Minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
This activity aligns to the common core standards for ELA/social studies.


The story of Andersonville Prison is not confined to a history class. A wealth of literature has been created telling the story, both fictional and nonfictional. Former prisoners are a powerful source of this literary tradition, many of whom published memoirs, diaries, and poetry about their experiences. Their works are full of the rich literary symbolism that are a hallmark of American literature and are an important part of the story of Andersonville and how it is remembered.


At the end of the activity, the students will be able to:

  • Students will learn some of the problems faced by prisoners of war at Andersonville.
  • Students will suggest possible causes for the hardships at Andersonville.


This lesson plan does not develop specific activities for these works of fiction. Rather it is to provide you with suggestions of grade level appropriate books to recommend for your students and to provide you with copies of little published prisoner poetry for use in your literature class.


Provided by Teacher - Books from library or photocopies of the poetry included with this lesson.

Last updated: November 14, 2017