NCSS Online Teachers' Library
A unique online tool helps students analyze documents from opposing perspectives, weigh each source’s significance, and come to evidence-based conclusions.
--Daniel F. Rulii
John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry—considered treasonous by some and heroic by others—helped strengthen the anti-slavery movement. Students can gain a deeper understanding of this event by studying General Lee's demand for Brown's surrender.
By Brian Dirck
Teaching Activity by Tiffany Willey
The same characteristics that made Lincoln a tenacious lawyer also made him a formidable president.
By Kay A. Chick
What makes an event worthy of the history textbooks? In this lesson, students study a little-known Civil War battle to broaden their understanding of historical significance.
By Carolyn Pereira and Nisan Chavkin
The writ of habeas corpus has been a critical tool for balancing the rights of individuals with the government’s responsibility to protect the nation’s welfare. The featured elementary, middle, and high school lessons explore the significance of this right.
By Kahlil Chism
The Freedmen’s Bureau was one of few agencies established to improve the lives of former slaves. Four documents highlight for students the bureau’s efforts to help African Americans acquire land, secure jobs, legalize marriages, and pursue education.
Bárbara C. Cruz and Jennifer Marques Patterson
The riots that shook New York City more than a century ago can provide contemporary students a useful framework for studying such complex issues as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and immigration.
Letters home from young soldiers give students a close-up view of the Civil War; their sense of empathy further deepens when they must use their imagination and write their own letters home.
Cheryl L. Mason and Alice Carter
An online archive, "Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities during the American Civil War", provides primary sources for elementary students.
--Lee Ann Potter
During the Civil War, poet Walt Whitman was eager to work for the government. Though federal jobs weren’t easy to come by, a letter of recommendation from Ralph Waldo Emerson was able to push open government doors.