Civil War Report Card

Students created a report card evaluating Union President Lincoln, Union Generals Grant and McClellan, Confederate President Davis and Confederate General Lee. I use this report card activity often throughout the year because it's a really effective way for students to analyze and synthesize material. It also helps students see "the big picture". Students must give a grade for each topic/person and justify the grade. Students need to argue, for example, why someone earned a B but also why that person did not earn an A. It's a higher-level activity and it generates terrific discussions.

The consensus was that, two years into the war, Lincoln, Grant and Lee earned Bs or As but McClellan had grades that ranged from Bs to Es because of his inability to consistently engage Union troops in battles and the students haven't forgiven him for not finishing off the Confederates after Antietam. President Davis earned a B, on average, but students want to learn more about him and see how he handles the later years of the Civil War.


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