Civil War & Reconstruction

Vertical Alignment

Grade 8:    Students will discuss in depth the causes of and effects of the Civil War.  Texas played a critical role as a southern state in the Civil War.


Readiness Standards

7.1A – TSIET:  “identify the major eras in Texas history, describe their defining characteristics, and explain why historians divide the past into eras, including Texas in the Civil War and Reconstruction.”

7.5A – TSIET:  “explain reasons for the involvement of Texas in the Civil War such as states’ rights, slavery, sectionalism, and tariffs.”

7.5B – TSIET:  “analyze the political, economic, and social effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction in Texas.”

7.9C – TSIET:  “analyze the effects of physical and human factors such as transportation and communication on major events in Texas.

7.14A – TSIET:  “identify how the Texas Constitution reflects the seven principles found in the U.S. Constitution.”

7.14B – TSIET:  “compare the principles and concepts of the Texas Constitution to the U.S. Constitution, including the Texas and U.S. Bill of Rights.”

7.15A – TSIET:  “describe the structure and function of government at municipal, county and state levels.”

Supporting Standards

7.1B – TSIET:  “apply absolute and relative chronology through the sequencing of significant individuals, events, and time periods”

7.5C – TSIET:  “identify significant individuals and events concerning Texas and the Civil War such as John Bell Hood, John Reagan, Francis Lubbock, Thomas Green, John Magruder and the Battle of Galveston, the Battle of Sabine Pass, and the Battle of Palmito Ranch.”

7.8B – TSIET:  “analyze and interpret geographic distributions and patterns in Texas during the 19th century.”

7.15B – TSIET:  “identify major sources of revenue for state and local governments such as property tax, sales tax, and fees.”

Process Standards
7.21(A-H); 7.22(A-D); 7.23(A-B)

Inquiry Initiators (with Blooms verbs)

7.1(A) –         “What characteristics DEFINE the Civil War and Reconstruction Era?” (define, explain & evaluate)

7.5(A) –         “How did the northern states and southern states feel about the four reasons?” (explain & evaluate)

7.5(B) –         “How did the Civil War affect Texas politically, socially and economically?”  (analyze & explain)

7.9(C) –         “What roles did communication and transportation play in the Civil War” (identify & describe)

7.14(A) –     “What principles are in both the Texas Constitution and the U.S. Constitution?” (identify & explain)

7.14(B) –     “Compare the Texas and U.S. Bill of Rights.” (compare & explain)

7.15(A) –     “How is the Texas government structured at the municipal, county and state levels?” (analyze & explain)

7.1(B) –         “Chronologically sort the major battles of the Civil War.” (analyze)

7.5(C) –         “Identify the significant individuals, issues and events concerning Texas in the CW.” (describe & explain)

Project/Product Choices (P.I.s – Performance Indicators)

1)    Create a digital timeline of the major events of the Civil War.  Be sure to include all the important Texas events.

2)      Write a series of 12 journal entries from the perspective of a character in the Civil War.  (Ex: soldier, wife, etc…)

3)    Choose either a “Northern” perspective or “Southern” perspective and write a letter of response to President
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

4)    Draw blueprints of a plantation style house that would have paid “slaves” a working wage, and aided would be
escapees on the underground railroad (from Texas to the North).  Consider the fact that you will need to treat
your workers well giving them better shelters, beds, food (all in secret) while providing hiding places as well.

5)    Create a live play by play radio broadcast of the Battle of Palmito Ranch.

Resource Websites:

Massachusetts Historical Society

54th Massachusetts on

54th Massachusetts on


Civil War Diagnostic Review

Click on the link above to see the document.