Strengths and Weaknesses Stations Activity The Civil War Distance Learning


Social Studies – History, U.S. History, Critical Thinking
Grade Levels
5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
Resource Type
Activities, Handouts, Cooperative Learning
File Type
Zip (21 MB|13 + slides)


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This lesson is a creative approach to a simple topic – Strengths and Weaknesses of the North (Union) and South (Confederacy) during the Civil War.

The classroom version includes a 1 page historical background handout that introduces the Anaconda Plan and the attack on Fort Sumter. Once the students are aware of the background information, they will investigate the Confederacy and the Union by examining five sources. Although some of the sources provide direct information, others require the students to use their decoding and inferencing skills. These documents could be used as stations, or you could hang them around the room for a gallery walk.

An exit ticket is included to check for student understanding.

With the digital version, the the students watch a video about the battle of Fort Sumter, “draw” the Anaconda Plan, and then analyze primary sources and add those details to a graphic organizer. This version can be easily assigned in Google Classroom.

The lesson is linked to the NYS Social Studies Framework, but you could easily cut and paste in your own standards for your state.

NYS Standard:

7.8a.1 – Students will examine regional economic differences as they related to industrialization.

7.8c.2 – Students will identify which states seceded to form the Confederate States of America and will explore the reasons presented for secession. Students will also identify the states that remained in the Union.

7.8.d.1 – Students will compare the advantages and disadvantages of the North and the South at the outset of the Civil War.

This zip file includes a PowerPoint version (fully editable), a PDF version, and a link to a Google Slides version. I’ve also included a short PowerPoint that reviews all of the information. The digital version is provided in Google Slides.

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