Lesson Snapshot

1. Engage: Students will watch a brief film clip outlining why Abraham Lincoln’s victory in the presidential election of 1860 drove the country into a Civil War.

2. Explore: Students will use the close reading strategy to review two letters from opposing sides of the Civil War; one from a Union supporter and one from a Confederate supporter. Students will be dissecting the letters in order to determine each author’s viewpoint.            

3. Explain: Students will create a RAFT (Role Audience Format Topic) where they take on the role of each individual from the letters and create a text message stream of the two talking to each other about why they believe in their cause.

4. Extend/Expand: Students will look at a hypothetical map depicting what the United States would look like if all the secessionist movements proposed in US history been successful. They will discuss how these possible secessions could have shaped the present day and will write a short response on what justifies an acceptable secession.            

5. Evaluate: Students will be evaluated through their RAFT and their written response.