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Civil War Letters in Eighth Grade Social Studies Classes

Coffee

Students in Ms. Haydn's 8th Grade Social Studies classes have been working on civil war letters. The students worked in pairs and were instructed to pretend that they lived during the Civil War.  The pair determined their relationships to one another (cousins, siblings, etc.) and were instructed to produce handwritten letters to their partners describing their experiences. The first paragraph had to be personal and the second paragraph had to be based on historcial facts that were indiciative of the time period and or events.  Students were encouraged to use as much detail as possible, by mentioning specific battles, names, dates, etc. to make their letters more authentic. They then "dipped" their letters in coffee to make them look old. Students laid their letters out to dry and plan to display them in the hallways outside of Ms. Haydn's classroom. 

Michele T. Bost