Lesson Plans

Below are descriptions of lesson plans created by schools, educators, museums, state and federal parks, and other educational organizations.

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  • "Building an Army" The structure of a 19th century army

    To the non-military buff, the organization and terminology used for Civil War armies can be very confusing. The Union and the Confederate Armies had different names depending upon their location. But despite the many names both of the armies were organized in a similar fashion including a structure of corps, divisions, and brigades. But what were these different organizations and how did they all fit in to one huge force?

  • "Building an Army" The structure of an 18th century army

    Armies during the American Revolution were more structured and organized than we often give them credit for. Far from being unruly mobs or scattered groups of disorganized and poorly trained farmers with rifles and pitchforks, the United States did have well trained and disciplined soldiers. These men, Continental soldiers, were generally as skilled as their British opponents. In some cases, they had even more experienced than the British troops they faced.

  • "Comfortable Camps?" Archeology of the Confederate Guard Camp at the Florence Stockade

    This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places documentation for “The Stockade” and “Florence National Cemetery,” part of the “Civil War Era National Cemeteries MPS;" and on archival and archeological research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration (NCA), conducted by archeologists with MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, Inc. (MACTEC).

    Objectives for Students:

  • "Forward" to the Great Escape

    In this lesson, students will read a primary source document from Documenting the American South and examine a painting by Jacob Lawrence to understand the conditions of the underground railroad before the Civil War. Students will then create a painting and a narrative related to the underground railroad.

  • "Holocaust Remembered" Educators' Packet

    This is an educators guide  for use in the classroom as a resource to teaching the Holocaust, which includes information on SC and Columbia survivors.

  • "Home Sweet Home" in the Intertidal Zone

    Students will explore the biotic and abiotic characteristics of the intertidal zone.

  • "Money, Money, Money!" 19th Century Currency

    Just as the Revolutionary War prompted the Continental Congress to issue paper currency, the financing of the Civil War provided the catalyst for the continuing evolution of U.S. currency. In 1861, the U.S. Treasury issued its first paper currency since the Continentals--Demand notes. They were printed in $5, $10, and $20 denominations, redeemable in coin on demand.

  • "Necessity is the Mother of Invention" Evolution of Submarine Warfare during the American Civil War

    In this lesson, students will label a map of the USA and CSA in 1861, describe the events surrounding the construction of the various submarine vessels, and will read descriptions of each submarine and compare each submarine. Activity starts on page 11.

  • 20th C. Tourism

    In this lesson, students will create a web design to chart the effects of tourism on South Carolina.

  • A Curricula-based Education Program for the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail

    This set of materials is intended to help teachers use history to educate children. Specifically, these materials enable teachers to use the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail to meet enumerated curricula requirements in Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Health and Physical Education, Science and Guidance.

  • A Day in the Life of 8th Century Occupations

    This is a lesson plan from The Powder House, South Carolina's oldest public building.

    1. The student will demonstrate an understanding of colonial occupations: blacksmith, cooper, mason, candlestick maker, and a cobbler.
    2. The students will create a Help Wanted ad describing in three sentences the duties of an occupation during the colonial times.
  • A Day in the Life of a Soldier

    This is a lesson plan from The Powder House, South Carolina's oldest public building. Students will write a journal entry as if they were a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Students should discuss the importance of the soldier's equipment in relationship to daily life.

  • A Fish's Wish

    A short activity book to help young learners find out about runoff pollution from a fish's point of view.

  • A forced migration: Reading lesson

    In this lesson plan, students read an article about the slave trade in West Africa, which caused the kidnapping of millions of free West Africans by slave traders. The lesson plan includes reading strategies designed to prepare students for end-of-grade reading test.

  • A House Divided: Photography in the Civil War

    This activity provides an interactive look at photography from the Civil War. Participants examine a set of photographs and later place those shots into the historical context of the Civil War.

  • A House Divided: Reconstruction

    Political leaders and parties in the tense time after the Civil War proposed various plans for Reconstruction. By observing artwork of this period, students will learn how these plans affected the South (and North) and relationships between people of different races and geographic regions.

  • A Look at Charleston During the Civil War Years

    Students will analyze photographs taken in Charleston, SC, during the Civil War years, 1861-1865. The photographs are from the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress. 

  • A Mathematical Model of Geological Fracture Zones

    Students will be able to analyze data in a rose plot and determine preferred orientations.

  • A Mathematical Model of Native American Population Distribution

    Students will be able to interpret census data to statistically describe population trends.

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  • A Performance in the Big Apple: Big Apple / House of Peace Synagogue

    Property: The Big Apple, 1000 Hampton St., Columbia, SC 29201 

    Historic Content 

    The House of Peace Synagogue was built in 1907-1909 and located 100 yards to the south at 1318 Park Street. This building was sold in 1936, and shortly thereafter became a popular African American nightclub known as The Big Apple Club. A dance by this name originated here and soon swept the country. It is immortalized in the Tommy Dorsey song, "The Big Apple." The building was moved to its present location in 1984.