American History 2 Week 1

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Civil War books

Start off your 5 week Civil War adventure with 12 year old orphan Will in the novel Shades of Gray and read some silly stories about Brer Rabbit. Explore picture books about Harriet Tubman and a true story about a run away slave boy who joins the Union army.
Start your presdient's study learning about Abraham Lincoln and printing out some free president's cards you'll be using this year.
Choose from activities like make a tin lantern, a Civil War drum or a "wooden" paper doll. This week features some great notebooking pages from Time Travelers as well as lots of optional lapbook pages, some videos and an interactive website.
Wrap everything up on Friday with a dinner of "Down Home Chicken" or some "Hoppin' John".

Don't forget to take a look at the notes below the daily schedule!

To get more information about the books and resources in the schedule below or to order them, click here.

American History Civil War 1861-1865

Week 1


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5


Abraham Lincoln’s World

Part 1 When Lincoln was born

p. 1-10

p. 11-25

p. 26-35

p. 36-46

p. 47-64

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4  
Two Miserable Presidents p. 1-22 How to Rip a Country Apart p. 23-40 John Brown Lights the Fuse

Shades of Gray

tm1 Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4


Time Travelers

Lesson 1 text: Slavery in America part 1

Lesson 2 text: Slavery in America part 2

Lesson 3 text: Advancing towards an abrupt stop

Lesson 4 text: Fort Sumter and the Union blockade



The Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit

Peanut Patch

Fishing for Suckers

Tell No Tales

Mr. Possum Loves Peace

The Underground Railroad: An Interactive History Adventure Read over the course of this week.        


Choose any book:


Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom


From Slave to Soldier



Abraham Lincoln
(DK Biography)

tm2A Nation’s Fascination


A Complex Boy


Ordinary and Extraordinary

President Cards

Print out these free president cards onto card stock at the beginning of the year. Cut them out and store them in a Ziploc bag. Your student will be coloring the cards and adding facts to the backs of them throughout the year. Some recommended facts are major accomplishments, place of birth and anything that stands out as interesting to your student.  As you start accumulating cards you can play games with them.
 “Guess Which Card is Flipped” game: Lay out the cards in a row (in order of presidency) and flip some of them over. See if your student can name which presidents are flipped over.

American President’s Song





Song 1
Song 2



Time Travelers Activities:

Lesson 1 safe house lantern, Lesson 4 Library of leaders (create the storage box and the 1st booklet: Lincoln and Jefferson), Lesson 5 factfile cards

Make a Civil War drum

Wooden doll paper doll


 PBS Civil War: Episode 1 The Cause (DS) 1:39:08


 PBS Civil War: Episode 2 A Very Blood Affair (DS) 1:07:53


Dear America: When Will This Cruel War Be Over? (DS) 26:49

. . . .

Civil War Causes


*Lesson 1 penmanship

*Lesson 1 newspaper assignment (write an article and create an advertisement)

*Lesson 2 penmanship

*Lesson 2 newspaper assignment (Add article and advertisement)

*Lesson 3 penmanship


*Lesson 4 penmanship

*Lesson 4 newspaper assignment (2 articles)

*Lesson 4 Pivotal papers (print and read – store in notebook)


You can download a free 50 page, full color printable book of the presidents. After studying each one during the year, place the appropriate page into your notebook.



*Lesson 2 ”The Liberator” abolitionist newspaper

*Lesson 3 Causes for conflict 3 panel flip book

*Lesson 4 Ft. Sumter matchbook


Free Homeschool Share lapbook

Important people side by side



Uses for flags

Timeline fan

Dynamic 2 Moms lapbook items


Causes of war

Other names for the war




*Map of the Underground Railroad

*Lesson 2 slave & free states

*Lesson 4 Add to slave & free states map

*Lesson 5 Begin the map of Civil War battles



*Construct your timeline (see Lesson 1 projects)

*Lesson 1 timeline figures

tm1 Shades of Gray book cover (1861-1865)

tm2 DK Abraham Lincoln book cover or timeline figure (1809-1865)

tm3Gilbert Stuart 1755-1828

*Lesson 2 timeline figures


*Lesson 4 figures



An Interactive Tour of Natchez: Get an interactive tour of through a Southern planter’s house and grounds that is narrated. There are also interactive portions where you can click on rooms in the house and see pictures of the areas you click.


History Pockets

Pocket 1

p. 5 Fast facts

p. 6 About the Civil War

p. 7 Map of the U.S. in 1861

p. 8 Civil War timeline

p. 10 Confederate states word search

p. 11 Union states word scramble

p. 12-14 North vs. South fact cards w/answer mat

Pocket 2

p. 16 Fast facts

p. 17 About slavery in America

p. 18-19 King cotton (gin) (diagram, read & write activity)


. . . .

*Lesson 5 Hopping John or Down Home Chicken

Online recipe: Hoppin’ John


Free color mini-book about Lincoln You can print this out for your lapbook or place it in your notebook. The sentences in the booklet are short enough for copywork or narration.

. . . .


Great American Artists

tm3Gilbert Stuart
p. 17  Read info

Painted crackle crayon art activity

Continue working on your project if you didn’t finish it.

Online images

Notebooking page


I recommend you choose between Homeschool in the Wood’s Time Travelers History Study or History Pockets, NOT both! (But hey, you can do both if you wanna!) Yet another option is the FREE Homeschool Share Civil War lapbook or FREE lapbook items over at Dynamic 2 Moms (or combine your favorite freebie components). The answers to many of the lapbook components for the Dynamic 2 Moms site are provided on this page.

I’ve included these 3-4 options so you can choose what will fit your budget both time and money-wise.
TT is designed for grades 3-8. HP is for grades 4-6. I think TT is a bit more intense work-wise than HP but a lot more beautifully illustrated. There is also a greater variety of assignments and projects contained within the TT study.  The free lapbook materials would entail the least amount of work.


* An asterisk in this week's schedule indicates the item is from Homeschool in the Wood’s Civil War Time Travelers History Study. You can find more detailed instructions and printables on the Time Travelers CD.

History pocket items like map work and timeline activities are scheduled only in the History Pockets line of the schedule, not in the map and timeline areas.

Book Info:


Abraham Lincoln’s World: reading level: 7th grade and up

Abraham Lincoln’s World also covers a lot of world history in addition to American history. I think it’s helpful sometimes for older students to grasp what else was going on during a specific time frame. If you want your focus to be purely what was going on in the U.S., you’ll want to skip this book. Also, the fact that the book jumps around from one thing to the next may be overwhelming to some students (especially younger students). Check it out the table of contents at Rainbow Resource to get an idea of what all is covered.

I scheduled in pages from The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas using a free PDF file from This book contains violence and things that may be disturbing to younger readers. I recommend it only for high schoolers or a mature middle schooler. Preview!
Another option would be to read the longer book: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Linda Brent. You can get it for free on Google Books. There are 41 chapters so your student would need to read approx. 8 chapters a week for the next five weeks.

Shades of Gray reading level: Grade 5.5

Dk Biography Abraham Lincoln reading level: Ages 10 and up


The Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit is a very easy picture book. Each story can be read in just a matter of minutes. I scheduled it in because it’s a quick introduction to the Uncle Remus Tales with beautiful illustrations that will help you ease into the school year. If you want to check out some of the original stories for free you can visit Your students might have a hard time with the “dialect” of the original stories. There is also a free book you can download in pdf format from Google Books. There is also a listing of an old radio show Sleepy Joe with lots of recorded Uncle Remus stories you can listen to online for free.

Video Notes:


You may want to preview the PBS Civil War series or be on hand to skip portions. It may contain graphic and/or disturbing images, ideas, etc. and may not be appropriate for younger students.




Supplies needed for Time Travelers this week:

Timeline - 10 pages of colored card stock for your timeline, tape, glue, colored pencils

Safe house lantern – hammer, flexible wire, empty soup can, towel, 2 rubber bands, 1 small and 1 large nail, tea light candle

Factfile cards project – three 6x9 manila envelopes, packing tape, double sided sticky tape
You will also needs lots of paper to print things like the timeline figures out onto, scissors, a hole punch and other common household items like a ruler and paper clip for scoring paper, etc.


Time Traveler's recipe shopping list: (Ingredients for online recipes may be different, please consult the url's if you are using them.)

Hopping John: bacon, 1 lb. black-eyed peas, rice, salt, pepper

Down Home Chicken: 1 chicken, 1 onion, celery, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, flour, milk, butter, eggs, salt


Supplies needed for other activities:

Make a Civil War drum – coffee can (2 lb. or larger), ¼ yard of heavy acetate cloth (from local hardware or craft store), rubber bands, paper cup, paintbrush, paints and markers, 2 chopsticks (to drum with - You can also use unsharpened pencils, etc.)

Wooden doll paper doll - card stock







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