English, Reading, Social Studies, U.S. History
Terms used by Michael E. Ruane in “A War Ends” and by Philip Kennicott in “No Closure After Appomattox” are found in In the Know. Review these terms before reading the articles. Teachers may also ask students to find the words in context and define them.
Read About the End of the Civil War
Reading, Social Studies
The KidsPost article, “When the guns of the Civil War fell silent,” puts the surrender of Southern commanding general Robert E. Lee to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant into perspective of the four-year conflict. Questions to stimulate discussion are provided in “Surrender at Appomattox Court House.”
Remember Abraham Lincoln
Reading, Social Studies
The KidsPost article, “Reunited nation loses its leader,” focuses on the April day that rejoicing turned to sorrow. Questions for discussion would include:
1. Where was President Lincoln attending a play? What is the name of the British comedy?
2. Why did John Wilkes Booth’s presence at the theatre not concern anyone?
3. Where and when did President Lincoln die?
4. The funeral train carrying the slain president’s body departed D.C. on April 21, 1865, for its 1654-mile journey. It made stops in 180 cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Buffalo, Columbus, Indianapolis and Chicago before its final destination of Springfield, Ill. Locate the cities on a map.
5. What happened to John Wilkes Booth? To those who assisted him?
Illustrate the War
Art, U.S. History, Visual Arts
Washington Post Art and Architecture Critic Philip Kennicott examines Reconstruction and the influence of Civil War commemoration through a Winslow Homer painting and two photographs. Read "No closure after Appomattox." Teachers might discuss the three works before reading the article. Questions would include: What do students think is happening in each image? Who might the figures be in each? What details help to decipher the painting and photographs? What is the theme of Kennicott's article?
Teachers could ask students to interpret Civil War diary entries and narratives, history book accounts or newspaper accounts of domestic life and war. Give students "Capture the Civil War (in Your Imagination)" to stimulate ideas for the project. The sidebar of this student activity sheet provides many sources and examples of work done during the period.