Matters of Education

Learning Happens Everywhere

Civil War, Gr 6-8

Length of Time:   6-10 Class periods


We hope you will use these lessons to supplement topics you are already teaching in Grades 6-8 as well as explore some new subjects. You will find lesson on the following: GEOGRAPHY, THE CONSTITUTION, SLAVERY, and THE CIVIL WAR. We have thought a great deal about the important skills and ideas that students learn in these grades. We know how valuable it is for students to have a strong foundation of concepts that cross disciplines and can be developed over the years. There is also overlap among both topics and ideas as well a many enrichment opportunities built into these lessons.

Each lesson may be used independently or in combination with other portions of these materials.


Geography Focus: Lessons One and Two

Tab 1 – Lesson One: The Good and Bad of Westward Expansion

Tab 2- Lesson Two: North and South—Different but Connected

Constitution Focus: Lessons Three and Four

Tab 3 – Lesson Three: Writing the Constitution: The Role of Compromise

Tab 4 – Lesson Four: The Louisiana Purchase

Slavery Focus: Lessons Five and Six

Tab 5 – Lesson Five: The Role of Choice

Tab 6 – Lesson Six: The Economy of the Slave South

The Civil War: Lessons Seven and Eight

Tab 7 – Lesson Seven: The Road to Disunion

Tab 8 – Lesson Eight: Massachusetts and the Civil War

[Please note that more formal lessons for US 1 are in the 9-12 Curriculum Materials]


  • An overview sheet, including identified CCSS and MA History and ELA Standards
  • Teacher Sheets that include a detailed procedure, assessment criteria and enrichment activities
  • Student Students
  • Hardcopies and links to Supporting Materials

Essential Questions

How do these 4 years stem from our nation's origins and haunt us still?

Common Core Standards

Please see individual lessons for specific ELA Standards on Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

Content Standards

Please see individual lessons for specific Massachusetts ELA and History Standards