Sunday, December 16, 2012

Little Women and the Civil War

From the middle of September through the end of October, Harmonia's literature, composition and social studies lessons used Louisa May Calcott's classic Little Women and it's Civil War setting as an over-arching theme. We even found a science lesson! Below are some links and activities from that unit:

* "Intro to the Civil War" Power Point -- You can find several good ones here
* Little Women Word Bank -- vocabulary words based on unfamiliar words we encountered while reading
* Death and the Civil War science lesson -- uses various historical documents to give scope and setting to the human toll during this conflict -- available here
* Civil War letters (primary documents) -- lesson available here
* The Gettysburg Address -- watched this YouTube video and this Power Point
* Battle of Corydon (As Hoosiers, taking a look at the only other Civil War battle fought on Union soil -- in Corydon, IN -- was very interesting) -- we had every intention of taking a field trip to the battle site, but the weather was uncooperative.
* Rebel Yell -- watched this video
* Letter to a character from Little Women -- give advice

Little Women journal questions:
* Which character do you think you are most like in this story? Explain.
* Write about a time when you felt awkward or uncomfortable in a social setting. Why do you think you felt this way?
* If you could change one quality about yourself, what would it be? Explain.
* Predict what you think you might be like in three year. What will you be interested in? How will you spend your time? What will you have accomplished?
* Write about a time when you felt proud of a talent or accomplishment.
* How important is money to you/your life? Explain.
* How do you handle sadness, loneliness, or disappointment? Explain.

Each picture is attached just along its top edge -- so they flip up.
Notebook Pages
(I have Harmonia keep a thematic notebook for each unit we study. I'll post about how I do that soon.)
* US Map showing Union and Confederate States
* Vivandieres -- Harmonia took notes and chose a picture from the Daughter of the Regiment website
* Zouaves 
* Morse Code and the Telegraph
* Civil War Quilts
* Civil War ships
* Women's Clothing of the 1800s -- pantalettes, chemise, corset, hoop skirt, petticoat; found information on each and printed pictures
* Food Price Comparison -- using info here and a trip to the grocery store, Harmonia made a compare/contrast chart
* Venn Diagram -- Meg at 16 v. Meg at 22
* Venn Diagram -- Laurences (Laurie and Amy) v. the Brookes (Meg and John)

Nadene at Practical Pages has some great Civil War notebooking resources here -- plus lots of good tidbits on notebooking.

Paragraph/Chunk Writing Practice
(I was trained to teach composition using the Jane Shaffer writing method. I love it, and I will write a separate entry on it in the future. For now, check out Wikipedia's entry. For chunk/paragraph practice, I provide a topic sentence and maybe a concrete detail, and Harmonia writes the rest.)
* A young person can change and mature a lot in three years.
* Talent can bring both joy and comfort
* Amy is the sister most concerned with money and social status.
* Laurie is smitten with Jo.
* Amy and Laurie fall in love in a surprising way.
* Although quiet and shy, Beth makes a big impact on her family.
* Jo was unable to love Laurie in a romantic way.

Final Projects
* Little Women commercial -- Harmonia used some simple video editing software to splice together pictures, music, and her own captions into this book trailer.
* Civil War Simulation -- Fun writing project that gets you in the middle of the action. I had Harmonia choose her person randomly. (She was Jefferson Davis!)

Just for fun, we watched Gone with the Wind.

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