For Educators

Cover of a teacher's daily register book used at Clear Creek School.

1883-1885 Teacher Daily Register Book from Clear Creek School
Image courtesy of Tommy Baker, whose grandmother, Emma Reiff, attended the school.

Community & Conflict consists of hundreds of primary source documents surrounding the Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi Theater. A committee of teachers selected specific themes and documents from the collection to develop into lesson plans. Each activity provides students with an opportunity to investigate the Civil War and interpret what occurred based on written evidence. The lesson plans are specifically designed for 4th, 8th, and high school grade levels. Each component is easily adaptable and complies with Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Educational Show-Me Standards. These lesson plans encourage students to engage with the sources, building critical thinking and interpretation skills.

Lesson Plans (pdf)

African American Soldiers

Approximately 179,000 African Americans served in the Union Army during the Civil War. While they were enlisted soldiers, they were not treated equally compared to white soldiers. This lesson plan explores hardships African American soldiers faced during the Civil War.

A Solider’s Life

Thousands of men enlisted as soldiers during the Civil War. Their service brought countless difficult decisions. This lesson plan studies choices made by five different individuals during the war.

Choosing Sides in Greene County, Missouri

Missouri, a slave-holding state, elected to remain in the Union. Her citizens, like other border states, were politically divided. Men from Greene County, Missouri joined both the Missouri State Guard, Southern, and the Phelps Home Guards, Union. This lesson plan investigates the political and military divisions in Greene County.

German Immigrants in the Civil War

German Americans played a significant role in the Civil War in Missouri. Their anti-slavery and pro-Union views caused conflict with the Missouri Democratic citizens. This lesson plan discusses why the Germans were so politically and militarily active and how this impacted the war in the state.

Guerilla Warfare and the Impact on Civillians

Guerrilla warfare plagued the Trans-Mississippi Theater throughout the Civil War. Both Union and Southern forces attacked military combatants and civilians using unconventional tactics. This lesson plan looks at the impact of irregular warfare on civilians through the letters of the Hunter-Hagler family.

Life on the Homefront

The Civil War brought economic hardships to civilians as market values crashed and food became scare. Migrating troops foraged the countryside and bushwhackers pillaged family farms. This lesson plan examines how civilians coped with adversity and played an active role during the war.

Slavery and the Legal System

The legal system surrounding slave trade was complex. As time progressed, the governing system became even more complicated as some states emancipated slaves before others. This lesson plan analyzes slavery through the court room. The court cases incorporated into the activities provide a glimpse into the lives of a slaves and slave owners.