- 11.1 Students analyze the significant events in the founding of the nation and its attempts to realize the philosophy of government described in the Declaration of Independence.
- 11.1.4. Examine the effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction and of the industrial revolution, including demographic shifts and the emergence in the late nineteenth century of the United States as a world power.
For this assignment, students were assigned to create a Civil War newspaper including four articles, on slavery, on abolition, on a Civil War battle, and a biography on an important individual. Using the internet, I researched the topic of Civil War newspapers, looking particularly at the Harper’s Ferry periodical. Then, from information gathered through research, I wrote all four articles. Having researched each topic that I was to write on in-depth, it was a simple task to write the articles. Then, from what I saw in searches, I created two text-based advertisements for products. I found images pertaining to the articles that I had written and added them to the newspaper.
How and What I Learned
By forcing myself to work under pressure, I was able to produce higher quality work at the same speed as if I had spent a significantly longer time working. I used my knowledge of computer software to reduce the errors in layout of the newspaper.
Writing the articles ran the information for each topic through my head multiple times. This is a basic study concept. By repeatedly reading and interpreting the information, I grasped the concepts more securely.
As a result of the Civil War project, I learned many important facts about my four topics. On the Civil War battle article, I learned that Fort Sumter was surrounded by various other federal forts which had been taken by the Confederate forces. I also learned that not a single soldier died at Fort Sumter, though they endured two days of bombardment and suffered many injuries. On Lincoln, I learned that he had a first love who died, and that Mary Todd Lincoln was his second “love”, introduced to him by a friend. Also, I found that he had lost a great deal in his family to death. On Frederick Douglass, I learned and reinforced what I had learned in class and from A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. On the Underground Railroad, I learned more about the conductors of the Railroad, including prominent Quaker, Levi Coffin, and son of slaveholder, John Fairfield.