Civil War Photography

Social Studies: Civil War Correspondents
Students imagine themselves as part of a civil war photography team with this illustrative project!
Time Needed: 30 minutes
Supplies Needed:
Tri-Fold Display Board
Markers (permanent markers)
School Glue Stick
history books, Internet access, encyclopedia
drawing paper
1. Explain to students that Matthew Brady was a famed Civil War photographer who photographed
experiences during the war to preserve for future times.
2. Ask each student to imagine they are part of Brady's Civil War photography team. Their
assignment is to "photograph" something that happens during the war and then write an article
about it for the newspaper. Have students choose one of the following suggestions:
o You interview Robert E. Lee. What does he say about the war and leading the Confederate
o You witness the battle of Monitor and the Merrimack. Describe the ships and the battle
between them.
o President Abraham Lincoln just gave the Gettysburg Address. Summarize what Lincoln said.
What do you think of his speech?
o You interview a black soldier who is part of the Union army. What does he say about his time
in the army? What hardships has he faced?
3. Have students gather information about their chosen topic using the research materials. Instruct
them to write about the topic and then use Markers to draw an illustration of the person or event
on a sheet of drawing paper. Invite them to print additional photos from the Internet or draw
additional images to accompany the article.
4. Have each student use Glue Stick to attach their writing and pictures to an Tri-Fold Display Board
to put on display.
Teaching Tips:
Use in conjunction with a study of the Civil War.
Use to teach significant aspects of the lives and accomplishments of selected people in history.
Assess students' use of multiple resources to locate information relevant to a topic.
Use to assess students' ability to summarize, organize, and interpret information gathered from
multiple resources.
Have students who chose the same topic share their projects to compare and contrast their
illustrations and written responses.
Have students give oral presentations of their projects.