The Civil War and South Carolina

Introduction Task Process Evaluation Conclusion Credits Teacher



            A reporter digs up facts and lets the public know what they discovered.  Just like a coin,  stories have at least two sides.  It is important for reporter to look at every event or "story" from all sides so you can "Report" all the information.  That way people are informed and can make better decisions.  

For this quest I want you to be a reporter, and after you gather the facts I want you to present your report to the class.  You will be working in teams, so reporters get ready to travel through history gathering information on the Antebellum Period and the Civil war. Your mission will be to discover the similarities and differences between the North and South regions during the Antebellum period. You will need to dig "behind the scenes" and uncover why people made decisions they did that "changed the course of history". 

            You will break up into teams of three and explore the websites together. 

              As you travel to each place, gather information to answer your questions.

                                                                        The objectives for this lesson are listed on the teacher page.


           On your Quest your team will analyze the events leading up to the Civil war. There will be various activities and worksheets along the way. As you go it may be helpful to keep a list of both the North and South’s positions on the country’s affairs during the Antebellum Period. Also, your team should determine how the state of South Carolina has been affected by the events of the civil war.

Teams will create a presentation to be shown to the class which includes the positions of the North and South during the Antebellum Period and a time line of events you find important. Your team will create a poster, video or power point for your presentation.

    Teams: You are being placed in teams of three to conduct your research on the events which lead up to the Civil War and key events in South Carolina during the war.
                                            Positions: Head Researcher
                                                            Layout Designer

         You can keep the same roles throughout the Quest or you can rotate roles.  
        Decide among the members of your team what you would like to do.  
        If you can't come to an agreement then rotate roles each day.  
          Each Day Listed will be a 40-60 minute class period.
             You will need access to the Internet, Microsoft Word, Adobe reader and Real Player (a link for a free download of Real Player is HERE) .


                  Day 1

          First, your team will begin by reviewing the definition of a Region. Click here and read the three paragraphs on Region.

         Second,  Watch the following videos introducing the events leading to the civil war.  
                       While viewing them think of the following questions.

                                   •How did the economies of the North and South differ before the Civil War?
                                   •Why was slavery so important to the South?                                    
 Video1                           Video2                             
                                 Video 1:  Civil War                                            Video 2:  Tariffs                                              Video 3 Events leading to Civil War
            Day 2

      Antebellum period.   What does this mean?  
                What is an abolitionist?  Who were the Grimke Sisters?
                Explore the book chapter below and read Section 1.  While you read together think of the questions above.      
                                                     Antebellum Period 
                                                                        Click here for a list of questions to answer after you have read the section.  
                                                                        Turn these questions and answers in at the end of the quest with your presentation.

       Days 3 and 4

              Research the sites below to gain the information you will be using for your presentation to the class.  
            Remember to gather facts for the North and South point of view, how South Carolina was affected by the Civil war and your time line.

                                              *  The South Secedes                                             * The Confederacy  

                                     First Battle at Fort Sumter April 12, 1861            

                                                                                                                    *  Civil War                                                           

                                  *  What caused the Civil War? (this takes a while to load)   

                                      *  The American Civil War                                     *  Civil War Photographs  

                                      *  After the fighting-The destruction of Charleston

                                      *  A Civil War Time Line                     *Missouri Compromise Student's guide (recommended resource of Lucy)


        Day 5
                     Use the cards to answer the questions HERE. 

                    You can click on each card for more information too.
                        After viewing the information pages click the arrow in the top left corner of each page to return to this page.

          Days 6 and 7

It's time for your team to get creative and design a presentation to share with the class. Use the resources above to help you in creating your presentation. You may use a poster board, a video or power point to create your presentation.
 A couple examples of video projects are  HERE, and HERE.  Just be sure to incorporate a time line in your project of choice and
list both the North and South’s positions on the country’s affairs during the Antebellum Period including the Abolitionist movement.  Also, your team should illustrate how the state of South Carolina has been affected by the events of the
civil war.


Do you now know why people fought the war? People had many reasons.  You discovered many new facts and ideas while reporting! 
The war lasted four years, but our country is still  dealing with the effects of the war.  In what ways do you think the war has affected South Carolina today?

                                Here are some other websites and activities you may want to try:
                                                       * President Abraham Lincoln                 * Civil War Battles
                                                       * Rice Crops and Plantations

                                                       * Emancipation Proclamation

                                                       *  South Carolina History
                                                       * North and South
                                                       * On the Home Front


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Cross Curriculum Quick Questions

                         *In the mid-1800s, a man working in a textile mill might make $5 a week. If the average work day was 12 hours and the work week was five days,                         how much did a male textile worker make an hour?
                                  $ 1 (one days pay)  x  5 (days) = $ 5 for the week            __________ x __12________  =  ___$1_______ (one days pay)

                         *In 1851, an “express” train made the 136-mile trip from Charleston to Hamburg in 6 hours.  What was the average speed of the train?


               You will be given a score for your two worksheets.  10 points possible for Chronological cards questions and 6 points possible for the Antebellum.
                 The Rubric is for scoring your final project and your cooperative group skills/on task points.
                Extra credit Cross Curriculum Quick Questions, 2 points for each correctly answered question.

Civil War and South Carolina Rubric
Final Project
The presentation shows little understanding of the main concepts: North and South positions, time line, and affect on South Carolina The presentation shows some understanding of the main concepts: North and South positions, time line, and affect on South Carolina The presentation shows an understanding of the main concepts: North and South positions, time line, and affect on South Carolina The presentation shows comprehensive understanding of the main concepts: North and South positions, time line, and affect on South Carolina
On Task SkillsOff task and needed  3 or more prompts daily.   Needed reminders on a consistent basis 1 to 2 daily to stay on taskStayed focused most of the time with few reminders, 1-3 weekly.Focused and on task all of the time 
Worksheets Scored as percentage of number correct.Scored as percentage of number correct.Scored as percentage of number correct.Scored as percentage of number correct.
Total points out of forty possible =

What Is a Region?

Geographers study regions to learn about different places. The United States is divided into many types of regions. Each region has features that make it different from others. Regions of the United States can be divided by location. The four regions are the Northeast, the South, the Midwest, and the West.

The country can also be divided into regions with similar landforms. For example, the Rocky Mountain region has many steep mountains. The Great Plains region has flat land.
Geographers divide regions by climate, too. Regions in the Southwest get more sunshine than regions in the Northeast.
Regions can also be based on the goods people produce. The Corn Belt in the Midwest produces more corn than any other region. Regions can also be areas where people speak the same language or share the same customs.  Regions can change. Silicon Valley used to be a fruit growing region. Now, computers are its main business.

Regions and the Economy                                                                                                                        

The resources in a region help people decide which crops to grow and which goods to produce. For example, Georgia's climate is very good for growing peaches, so many farmers in Georgia grow and sell peaches. If a business makes a lot of one product it costs less to produce it. Specialization results when people make goods using the resources they have.
Today all regions of the United States are interdependent. People trade with other regions for resources and products they do not have. Trading gives consumers a bigger variety of things to buy. When people in one region decide to produce something, it affects people in other regions.       Back to top.

                      Map of Regions during the Civil War

North and South 1800-1860

In the South, farming was the most important business. Huge plantations had many enslaved workers. Small farmers grew food and crops. The North also had farms but many people moved to cities. They worked in factories, making textiles, shoes, tools, and other things. By 1860, more than half of Northerners lived in cities.
Congress passed tariffs on imported goods. These tariffs helped factories in the North. There were few factories in the South. Prices for manufactured goods were high. People blamed high prices on the tariffs and on the North.

Vice President John Calhoun said the tariffs were unfair. He argued for states’ rights. He said the Constitution did not let the federal government set tariffs. People in the North and South continued to argue about tariffs and slavery. This increased sectionalism throughout the country.

Abraham Lincoln

Conflict grew between the North and South. Southerners thought abolitionists would start slave rebellions. Some southerners wanted to leave the Union. Northerners were afraid slavery would spread. Americans who opposed slavery formed the Republican Party. Republicans opposed slavery in the territories.

Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. He was born in Kentucky, a slave state. He was raised on a farm in Illinois, a free state. His family was poor. He did not go to school, but he read a lot. Lincoln became a lawyer and a political leader.
Lincoln’s Campaigns

 In 1858, Lincoln ran for Senate in Illinois against Stephen Douglas. They debated so people could hear their ideas. Douglas wanted popular sovereignty for territories. He did not think slavery was wrong. Lincoln said slavery was evil, but he did not support abolition. Lincoln lost, but the debates made him famous. Many southerners thought he wanted to abolish slavery.
Lincoln ran for president in 1860. He was the only candidate against slavery. He won, but the election showed that the country was divided. No southern states voted for Lincoln. Some southerners said the federal government was too strong. They said tariffs and laws to limit slavery threatened states’ rights. Some chose secession to protect their right to enslave people.

Secession Begins

In 1860, South Carolina left the union. In all, eleven southern states formed the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis was president. Lincoln wanted unity and peace but it was too late. Confederates attacked Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Lincoln called for men to fight the rebellion. The Civil war began.
The Soldier’s Life Men from all over the country fought in the Civil War. Many soldiers hoped for excitement but found terror on the battlefield. Life in the camp was hard. Soldiers lived in tents. The food was not good. Confederate soldiers din’t have enough food. Many soldiers were killed by new rifles. However, twice as many died from diseases. At first almost all the soldiers were white men. About 180,000 African Americans served in the Union army. Immigrants from Ireland, Germany, and Italy also fought for the Union. American Indians fought on both sides. Thousands of boys went into battle even though they were too young. Some boys were drummers who sent signals during battles. Women on both sides disguised themselves as men and joined the army. Women also worked as spies. More than 3,000 women in the North and many women in the South nursed the sick and wounded. One nurse, Clara Barton, later founded the Red Cross.

On the Home Front

Soldiers left their families to go to war. The families made up the home front. With men gone, women took on new tasks. They ran farms and businesses. They sewed uniforms, knitted socks, made bandages, and raised money.
Most of the battles were in the South. Civilians in the North could not see the war happening. Mathew Brady used the new technology of photography to show them. He took pictures of soldiers in camp and on the battlefield. People in the South saw their cities, homes, and barns destroyed in the war.
Inflation, a rise in prices, made food very expensive. Soldiers and civilians in the South often did not have enough food to eat. Enslaved people also suffered, but they thought the war would bring freedom. The Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 gave them hope. News of emancipation did not get to Texas until June 19, 1865.That day is celebrated as Juneteenth, the day slavery ended, in many parts of the South.       Click Here to return

           Civil War and South Carolina Web Quest
           by Janet Chapman
           Graduate Student College of Charleston

This Web Quest is designed with the goal of providing an interesting environmnet to promote exploration of facts to further the knowledge of your students in the Civil War.

They will become reporters, digging up information and being provided with some questions they need to answer. The  quest also directs the students to interesting links to find the answers. These links contain photos, videos, and music. Just like real reporters, the students must cooperate to gather information, look for the information that is most correct, and report all the facts from both points of view to the class. In addition to basic facts, the students should try to determine why the Civil War was fought and how it has affected South Carolina.


The students should already be familiar with the computer and navigating to and from websites.  Students should be familiar with video cameras and "youtube" if choosing to make a movie for their presentation, otherwise time should be scheduled to teach those skills prior to this lesson.  Parental permission for making videos is highly suggested. The focus for social studies in grade three is South Carolina, which students explore in terms of the state’s varied geography and the diversity of its people and history. Students begin to understand South Carolina’s role and place in the foundation and the continuing history of the United States. This web quest lesson is designed to take seven class periods with a duration of forty to sixty minutes per period.  


tandard 3-4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the events that led to the Civil War, the course of the War and Reconstruction,
and South Carolina’s role in these events.


3-4.1 Compare the conditions of daily life for various classes of people in South Carolina,
including the elite, the middle class, the lower class, the independent farmers, and the free and the enslaved African Americans. (H, E)
3-4.2 Summarize the institution of slavery prior to the Civil War, including reference to conditions in South Carolina, the invention of the cotton gin, subsequent expansion of slavery, and economic dependence on slavery. (H, E, P)
3-4.3 Explain the reasons for South Carolina’s secession from the Union, including the abolitionist movement, states’ rights, and the desire to defend South Carolina’s way of life. (H, P, E)
3-4.4 Outline the course of the Civil War and South Carolina’s role in significant events, including the Secession Convention, the firing on Fort Sumter, the Union blockade of Charleston, and Sherman’s march through South Carolina. (H, G)
3-4.5 Summarize the effects of the Civil War on the daily lives of people of different classes in South Carolina, including the lack of food, clothing, and living essentials and the continuing racial tensions. (H, E)
3-4.6 Explain how the Civil War affected South Carolina’s economy, including destruction of plantations, towns, factories, and transportation systems. (E, H)
3-4.7 Summarize the effects of Reconstruction in South Carolina, including the development of public education, racial advancements and tensions, and economic changes. (H, E, P)

1.    Student will understand the Abolitionist movement as demonstrated by answering three questions from teacher created worksheet with 80 percent or greater accuracy.
2.    Student will show an appreciation of the differences in cultures and economies of the Northern and Southern states as demonstrated by their presentation content.
3.    Student will understand the sequence of events leading to the civil war as demonstrated by the creation of a time line with 80 percent or greater accuracy.
4.    Student will understand the events leading up to the civil war as demonstrated by answering ten questions on teacher worksheet with 80 percent or greater accuracy.

I wish to thank all the links cited in this Web Quest for the information they provided in making this project. I hope you will visit these sites many more times to learn more about the American Civil War!

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