The Schumacher gallery had an exhibit of artifacts related to Generals Lee and Grant. Here are some resources and teaching ideas we discovered and created as a result of seeing the exhibit.

Civil War Songs

Information on Civil War Songs

One thing to be aware of is that many Civil War songs were acceptable in their day but have words or sentiments that are not acceptable in our day. It is important to choose the songs you study carefully. While high school and college students might benefit from studying the full range of songs, the songs chosen for younger children should reflect the values of today in relation to race because younger children are less likely to understand how a song could be offensive.

These sites have midi/mp3 files so you can hear the melodies and learn them that way

Sites with lyrics (and sometimes sound files):
(this one has Battle Cry of Freedom and Hard Tack Come Again No More
(this one is a history of the song Home Sweet Home and has the lyrics to it)
Every generation has some way of getting music to keep. Before the invention of recording, many people had pianos in their parlors and they bought printed sheet music of popular songs. After the Victrola/phonograph was invented, people bought record albums. These were literally albums: large bound books (like an old-fashioned photo album) with pockets that contained five or six 78 rpm records. Each record side could hold about 4-5 minutes of music, so you would buy an album of records so you could have close to 40 minutes (2 sides per record) of music. When the LP (long play) record came into being, there were 20 minutes of music on one side, so you typically bought one record, but the "album" word hitchhiked along with the LP, so we referred to these productions as "record albums." Single songs were sold on 45 rpm records which, like the 78s, only had about 5 minutes of music on them. They also had a big hole in the center so you had to have a special adapter to play them.

Recording technology began changing relatively rapidly with the invention of the 8-track tape and the cassette tape, followed by CD and now mp3 files. But it all began with sheet music like the ones on the web pages below.

Sites with printed music:
(this one has images of the original published sheet music)


Give students both Grant and Lee's views on slavery and have them guess which is which and why and then have a discussion Have students construct a double timeline on the lives of Lee and Grant that makes it easy to compare and contrast their lives Write a newspaper article on a current event after viewing and discussing the article about Lincolns assasination Have each child research a certain battle and then write a letter home from the perspective of a drummer child that gives facts and events as well as feelings. After viewing the personal memoirs of Grant, discuss what a memior is and then have the students write their own about a certain event in their lives. Have the students think of a time when they lost a game and then writie and discuss how they felt and acted (was it like Lee?) Write a letter to Lee of Grant from the future

1) Civil War Letter from 1st Sgt. Aaron T. McNaughten
a. Students studying the Civil War could write letters home to their families as if they were a soldier, or students who preferred to write a response from the family to a soldier could also do so. Students could use this letter, their prior knowledge about the war, and research to accurately and creatively describe the happenings of the times.
2) Assassination Newspaper about Abraham Lincoln
a. Students could use this newspaper as a model to write their own headlines/newspaper on a unit of study. This could include what would have made the news of the times for a particular region, or could be a fictitious or imagined place regarding any portions of the unit.
b. School/classroom newspaper could be constructed.
3) Civil War artifacts like the canteen, drum, coatee, and slouch hat
a. Students could gather and imagine what objects from our time might become artifacts in a museum someday. Students could share these items or create a museum of these “artifacts”.
b. Students could go on a scavenger hunt around their neighborhood, house, etc. to find something that could be considered an artifact.
4) Gettysburg Map
a. Students could compare and contrast this map of Gettysburg to a recent one.
b. Students could re-enact the Civil War and create a strategy map of their own.
c. Students could create a map of something familiar to them
i. Their house
ii. Their room
iii. The playground
iv. The classroom
5) Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant
a. Students could write their own personal memoirs.
b. Students could write as if they were a person living during this or another time period based on a unit of study.
6) Grant Campaign Pin
a. Students may compare and contrast how campaigns were run in the past versus now? What tactics were used? How did politicians travel? How were elections conducted?
b. Students may create and market their own campaign using strategies to gain and model an election.
7) Newspaper printed on Wallpaper from Confederates
a. Students could create new uses for other commonly used items.

1. Re-creating your favorite instrument using African-style materials, such as wood, paper mache', etc.
2. Using the "3 children on a bull" painting to learn about water colors and animals; interpret your favorite animal into a painting
3. Re-create a Chinese fan after learning background on the Chinese culture
4. Using clay or playdough to portray how different cultures view/sculpt various animals
5. Based on the idea of the mask of Lincoln, have children make a mask that represents who they are.
6. Have children dress up like different presidents and put on a little skit to tell about the president's main accomplishments.
7. Same as the president idea but children could dress up as civil war icons instead

1. The Tin Lantern that was displayed
a. Describe the evolution of electricity to students
b. Have children create their own lantern
2. Assassination Newspaper
a. Show the differences in newspapers and how they have changed over the years
b. Have students make their own newspaper during the civil war
3. Confederate Currency
a. Teach students about money and show examples of different currency from around the world
4. Teach the students about Gettysburg
a. What happened there and why this was important
b. Have students act out a scene from the battle at Gettysburg
5. Tribal Units
a. Teach about the different tribal units around the world and what they stand for
b. Have students in a group make their own tribal mask and explain the meaning behind it
6. Art techniques
a. Teach children about the various forms of painting and the different techniques that can be used
b. Show examples and have children create their own art piece using a specific art technique
7. Sculptors
a. Have children create an abstract animals and explain the meaning behind each animal they make

8. Have students create their own civil war trivia games using puzzles, board games, etc.

1) Modes and means of transportation in the time period - paddle wheel, steamboat(?), horse w/ or w/out carriage, cobblestone, gravel and dirt roads, rivers and streams. How was heavy artillery moved?
2) Music and culture of soldiers, slaves, and other civilians.
3) How to build a fort.
4) Geography, maps, topography/terrains.
5) Conflict resolution. This of course has many possibilities and uses.