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[Detail] Group of Company G, 114th Pennsylvania Infantry

Examples of language arts materials that can enhance a Civil War unit using Civil War Photographs include:

  • Documents: "The Emancipation Proclamation"
  • Novels: Across Five Aprils; An Occurrence at Owl Creek; The Red Badge of Courage
  • Poetry: Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman
  • Songs: "Dixie" and "When Johnny Comes Marching Home"
  • Speeches and Articles from abolitionists: Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison
  • Spirituals: "Follow the Drinking Gourd" and "Go Down, Moses"
  • Short Stories: Mark Twain

Photographs from Civil War Photographs can be used to support language arts teaching in the following ways:

1) Illustration
Students can use photographs from the collection to illustrate stories, poems, songs, or first person narratives about the Civil War. Students can then describe reasons why they chose their particular photographs to illustrate the language arts selections.

2) Setting the Scene
The photographs can help students visualize the period in which Civil War stories are set. Students can study what soldiers looked like and what their living conditions were. They can examine towns, cities, battlefields, and camps during the War.

3) Creative Writing
After reading about the Civil War, students can review portraits of soldiers of different ages, ranks, and loyalties. Students can then write a piece from the point-of-view of one of the soldiers, using other photographs as illustrations. Students can be encouraged to write captions, journal entries, short stories, letters, diaries, or autobiographical sketches of subjects in the photographs. Students can then proof read and revise their draft writings.