Resource Package for a U.S. History Civil War Curriculum

Resource Package for a U.S. History Civil War Curriculum

By Tim S. Carlberg
Eastern Washington University

IntroductionMoviesMusicPrimary Sources | PDF File


This project originated as a way to help teachers find easily accessible materials for teaching the American Civil War. History teachers search constantly for new materials to supplement their curriculums. This packet can be used as a guide to ease that search when covering this topic.

New teachers will find the information within extremely helpful. When I was in the process of completing my student teaching, I was confronted with the task of introducing ninth graders to the Civil War. I was dismayed when I saw what the textbook covered, giving a watered down and boring version of what I find to be the most important topic in United States history. I was left scrambling for materials on what little time I had available. Needless to say, guiding my way in creating this packet, the needs of the novice teacher were on my mind. However, I feel that the information included in this project will be of use to even the most veteran teachers.


In this packet, you will find three main sections of information. The first section is an annotated bibliography of Civil War movies I have screened. For each movie, I give a brief description of what it is about, followed by suggestions for how it might be used in a classroom setting. Section two deals with the music of the Civil War. The final section of this packet contains a list of websites for suggested use in the classroom. Each website listed has a short description of what can be found when accessed. The websites deal mostly with primary sources that can be easily accessed by both teachers and students.


Bassett, J. (1998, Summer). Keeping a perspective on computer technology. OAH Magazine of History, 74-76.

Briley, R. (1990). Reel history: U.S. history, 1932-1972, as viewed through the lens of Hollywood. The History Teacher, 23(3), 215-236.

Coleman-Knight, J. (1995, Winter). The five keys to history-social science. Social Studies Review, 14-23.

Green, T., Ramirez, F. (2002, November/December). The blue and the gray: The civil war on the web. The Social Studies, 282-283.

Hall, R. (1994, February). Women in battle in the civil war. Social Education, 80-82.

Harp, L. (1996). The history wars: How technology changes everything. Electronic Learning, 16(2), 32-39.

Mugleston, C. F. (1998, Summer). Teaching the American civil war in the twenty-first century. OAH Magazine of History, 71-73.

Prator, C., Sampson, M. (1997, Spring/Summer). The Hopewell project: Creating a community of learners. Social Studies Review, 58-67.

Shiroma, D. (2000, July). Using primary sources on the internet to teach and learn history. ERIC Digest, 3-4.

Tally, B. (1996). Up against authentic history: Helping teachers make the most of primary source materials online. Electronic Learning, 16(2), 40-41.

Works Cited

Lee, J. K. (2003). Digital history in the history/social studies classroom [30 paragraphs]. The History Teacher, 35(4) [On-line].

Palmer, J., Burroughs, S. (2002, March/April). Integrating children’s literature and song into the social studies. The Social Studies, 73-77.

Percoco, J. A. (1998). A passion for the past: Creative teaching of U.S. history. Portsmouth: Heinemann.

Singleton, L. R., Giese, J. R. (1999, July/August). Using online primary sources with students. The Social Studies, 148-151.

Caller, L., Edgington, C. D. (2001, July/August). Using songs to help teach the civil war. The Social Studies, 147-150.

Ceinstein, P. B. (2003). Movies as the gateway to history: The history and film project [57 paragraphs]. The History Teacher, 35(1) [Online].

Yarema, A. E. (2003). A decade of debate: Improving content and interest in history education [20 paragraphs]. The History Teacher, 35(3) [Online].

Yeager, E. A., Morris, J. C. (1995, November/December). History and computers: The views from selected social studies journals. The Social Studies, 277-282.