Library of Congress
The Civil War Through a Child's Eye
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Activity One - Readers Theater
- Provide students with a preview of Paul Fleischmans Bull Run.
- Establish Readers Theater protocol.
- Introduce characters from Bull Run and assign roles to the students.
- Read Bull Run using Readers Theater.
- Discuss characterization.
Activity Two - Library of Congress Online Collections
- Direct Students to the gallery of images.
- Allow students to select an image of a child to examine and characterize in the next activity.
Activity Three - Photo Analysis
- Direct students to locate the photograph or daguerreotype of a child that was selected from the gallery of Images of Children from the Civil War Era.
- Students analyze the photograph, recording their thoughts on the Primary Source Analysis Tool. Before the students begin, select questions from the teacher's guide Analyzing Photographs and Prints to focus and prompt analysis and discussion.
Activity Four - Literary Portrait
- Explain that the purpose of the literary portrait is to reveal a child's perspective of the Civil War era. Stress the importance of using their responses to the primary source analysis tool to compose a literary portrait of their character. Emphasize that the literary portrait needs to match the student-selected image and the importance of vivid word choice when describing the character.
- Have students write the literary portrait (first person characterization) of the selected image. Encourage students to identify the characters physical attributes, age, personality, and other traits that were observed or inferred from the photo analysis.
- Have students share their literary portraits in the Readers Theater format.
- After sharing the literary portraits as Readers Theater, provide opportunities for students to revise and polish the portraits for publication in print or digital form. The student selected photograph or daguerreotype needs to accompany the final draft of the literary portrait.
- Look at photographs and daguerreotypes as primary source materials.
- Introduce format for analyzing photographs.
- Conduct a whole class activity of analyzing photographs.
- Working in pairs, students analyze selected photographs using the Primary Source Analysis Tool.
- Debrief results of analyses with entire class.
- Based on the results, student pairs write a caption for their selected photograph.
- Students share their selected photographs and captions in a gallery walk.