Grade 2History and Geography

Focus: In 1860-61, eleven slaveholding states seceded from the United States of America, and the Civil War began, giving credence to Abraham Lincoln’s warning, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” In this Core Knowledge Grade 2 Unit students explore the difficult subject of the Civil War in an age appropriate way, but without wavering from the difficult truths. Students see the beginnings of slavery in America, and the moral struggles and compromises surrounding it. They meet Harriet Tubman, and follow her as she takes her passengers north on the Underground Railroad, and watch the tensions between the slave and free states build until the Union and the Confederacy finally go to war.  

Students are introduced to the generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, and are shown some of the strategies behind the major campaigns. Finally, they see the surrender of the Confederacy, and walk with Lee to meet Grant at Appomattox.

The Civil War has a rich and complicated history filled with strong characters. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Clara Barton, and of course, Abraham Lincoln, among others, are shown as people who work to do what they feel is right, even when it is difficult.

Number of Lessons: 7

Additional Search Terms: • informational text • nonfiction • slavery • plantations • abolitionists • Sarah and Angelina Grimké • Uncle Tom’s Cabin • Confederate States of America • Jefferson Davis • Fort Sumter • blue • Yankees • Union • grey • rebels • Confederacy • George McClellan • Battle of Antietam • Manassas • Emancipation Proclamation • West Point • Battle of Gettysburg • Battle of the Wilderness • William Tecumseh Sherman • American Red Cross

CKHG Grade Levels: CKHG units are correlated to topics at the grade levels specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence, which allows students in schools following the Sequence to build knowledge grade by grade. In other settings, individual CKHG units may be used as supplemental resources. In general, the content and presentation in the CKHG units for Grades K-2 are appropriate for students in the lower elementary grades. The Civil War Student Book is intended to be read aloud by the teacher as the students look at images on each page.

We have intentionally left the pacing and timing needed to teach the content presented in the Teacher Guide and Student Book very flexible. Teachers can choose how much they read aloud and discuss in a single instructional period, as well as how often each week they use the CKHG materials.

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