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Making Civil War Maps Simple for Fifth Graders

written by: Margo Dill • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 1/6/2012

In social studies class, many teachers will make different types of Civil War maps with their students to make teaching points more clear. Maps will show which states were with the Union or the Confederacy as well as different battles or even the slave states and free states.

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    Finding Maps

    It's pretty simple to find easy to make Civil War maps for 5th grade students on the web. Here are some resources:

    • Utah Education Network: This site has several sources for teaching the Civil War in 5th grade. One of the links is an 1860s map, which shows the boundaries of the states and territories as they were during that time period in the United States. Teachers can download the map and make copies for students.
    • Blank U.S. States Map: If you are just looking for a blank United States map that shows the current 50 states, then go to this link.
    • Education Place: At Education Place, you can find an 1860s map with labels if you need students to create a map of the northern and southern states, for example, but you want the labels already on the map.
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    Creating A Map Project

    Once you have found and copied the easy to make Civil War maps for 5th grade students, you can give them assignments to create Civil War maps that will reinforce your teaching objectives. One of the easiest ways for fifth grade students to create their own maps is to give them a model to copy.

    This could be in a social studies book, on the Internet, or a poster used as a classroom display. For example, if you want students to make a simple map of Union and Confederate states, then ask them to select two colored pencils, create a map key showing which color stands for Union and which stands for Confederate, and then start coloring the states based on a map they are copying from the Internet or the social studies book.

    Here are some more ideas for easy to make Civil War maps for 5th grade students:

    • Students can make a map showing the slave states and free states in a certain year. Then they can do another map showing slave states and free states five or ten years later. You can also ask them to include territories in their maps.
    • Another map students can create is a map of different battle sites and the year they took place. Give students a list of battles--you can have a certain criteria such as "Battles won by the Union Army." Then students put a star on the map to show where the battle took place. Next students write the month (if applicable) and year of the battle as well as the name next to the star.
    • A final one of the easy to make Civil War maps for 5th graders would be to show an army's progress, such as General Sherman's army, through a certain region. In order to make this map, you may want to give students a blank map of the region and make the map outline larger, so it is easier for students to make an easy-to-read map.

    However you choose to use easy to make Civil War maps for 5th graders in your classroom, make sure to tie the map project to your social studies objectives.