CWRGM lesson plans are designed by experienced educators who specialize in social studies, language arts, geography, economics, and digital humanities. They also include brief contextual essays authored by a trained historian to help educators understand the historical context of the period and significance of the content contained in the letters. Our goal is to help educators and students to dig deeply into our rich collections to
- Better understand this revolutionary era
- Learn fundamental skills in historical analysis and interpretation.
Our educators have designed these plans around three central themes. These themes are present in the lesson plans at every grade level and oftentimes more than one of these themes can be found:
- Soldiers & the Military Experience
Lesson plans help students explore the wartime experiences of Mississippi soldiers and their families and military occupation during Reconstruction from a multitude of backgrounds including Native Americans, American citizens, African Americans, and immigrants. They reveal men's frustrations with military discipline, hardships suffered by families with men absent, and the gradual increase of dissent and desertion across the state.
- Civilians & Divided Loyalties
Lesson plans are designed to help students study the impact of military campaigns and other wartime pressures on the Mississippi home front. They reveal that while some Mississippians remained devoted Confederates, others were steadfast Unionists, while others changed their positions throughout the war. Students can also explore the changing gender and racial roles Mississippians experienced during the war and Reconstruction.
- Emancipation & Citizenship
Lesson plans help students consider emancipation and citizenship as a constantly evolving process. The plans help classes learn about the uneven nature of that process, which included advances and setbacks throughout the war and Reconstruction. Finally, they help students understand the powerful connection between factors like military service, emancipation, and citizenship for a myriad of Mississippians, including African Americans, Native Americans, immigrants, and women.
The CWRGM collection also offers important opportunities for educators in the computer sciences and mathematics to explore the ethical dimensions of data, as well as beginning to teach students digital humanities skills. Therefore, we offer a growing collection of lesson plans designed to teach students how to think through data equity and practice digital humanities skills using CWRGM data, documents, and materials.
These lesson plans utilize the Mississippi's governors' papers featured on the site—in conjunction with brief, accessible secondary source literature—to help students practice their critical analysis skills and study this tumultuous period. Please explore CWRGM’s documents and subject tags to find more or alternative resources for your classroom.