Daily Activities – Alexander H. Stephens (1860)
The daily activities created for each of the Today in Georgia History segments are designed to meet the Georgia Performance Standards for Reading Across the Curriculum, and Grade Eight: Georgia Studies. For each date, educators can choose from three optional activities differentiated for various levels of student ability. Each activity focuses on engaging the student in context specific vocabulary and improving the student’s ability to communicate about historical topics.
One suggestion is to use the Today in Georgia History video segments and daily activities as a “bell ringer” at the beginning of each class period. Using the same activity daily provides consistency and structure for the students and may help teachers utilize the first 15-20 minutes of class more effectively.
Level 1: Provide the students with the vocabulary list and have them use their textbook, a dictionary, or other teacher provided materials to define each term. After watching the video have the students write a complete sentence for each of the vocabulary terms. Student created sentences should reflect the meaning of the word based on the context of the video segment. Have students share a sampling of sentences as a way to check for understanding.
Level 2: Provide the students with the vocabulary list for that day’s segment before watching the video and have them guess the meaning of each word based on their previous knowledge. The teacher may choose to let the students work alone or in groups. After watching the video, have the students revise their definitions to better reflect the meaning of the words based on the context of the video. As a final step, have the students compare and contrast their definitions to their textbook, dictionary or other teacher provided materials definitions.
Level 3: Provide the students with the vocabulary list and have them use their textbook, a dictionary, or other teacher provided materials to define each term. After watching the video, have the students write a five sentence paragraph based on the provided writing prompts.
1. In a five-sentence paragraph explain how a figure like Alexander Stephens could both staunchly defend slavery, but also adamantly oppose secession.
2. Did it surprise you that the man who tried to avoid secession later became the vice- president of the confederacy? In a five sentence paragraph explain why the people of the newly formed confederate states would want to elect Alexander H Stephens.
3. In a five-sentence paragraph explain why it was necessary for Alexander Stephens to make his famous speech today in Georgia history. In your answer summarize the main reasons Georgians wanted to secede from the Union.
Related Georgia Performance Standards:
Reading Across the Curriculum (Grades 6-12)
SSRC1 Students will enhance reading in all curriculum areas by:
c. Building vocabulary knowledge
• Demonstrate an understanding of contextual vocabulary in various subjects.
• Use content vocabulary in writing and speaking.
• Explore understanding of new words found in subject area texts.
d. Establishing context
• Explore life experiences related to subject area content.
• Discuss in both writing and speaking how certain words are subject area related.
• Determine strategies for finding content and contextual meaning for unknown words.
Grade 8 Georgia Studies
SS8H6 The student will analyze the impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction on Georgia.
a. Explain the importance of key issues and events that led to the Civil War; include slavery, states’ rights, nullification, Missouri Compromise, Compromise of 1850 and the Georgia Platform, Kansas-Nebraska Act, Dred Scott case, election of 1860, the debate over secession in Georgia, and the role of Alexander Stephens.
b. State the importance of key events of the Civil War; include Antietam, the Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, the Union blockade of Georgia’s coast, Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign, Sherman’s March to the Sea, and Andersonville.
c. Analyze the impact of Reconstruction on Georgia and other southern states, emphasizing Freedmen’s Bureau; sharecropping and tenant farming; Reconstruction plans; 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the constitution; Henry McNeal Turner and black legislators; and the Ku Klux Klan.
United State History (9-12)
SSUSH9 The student will identify key events, issues, and individuals relating to the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War.
a. Explain the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the failure of popular sovereignty, Dred Scott case, and John Brown’s Raid.
b. Describe President Lincoln’s efforts to preserve the Union as seen in his second inaugural address and the Gettysburg speech and in his use of emergency powers, such as his decision to suspend habeas corpus.
c. Describe the roles of Ulysses Grant, Robert E. Lee, “Stonewall” Jackson, William T. Sherman, and Jefferson Davis.
d. Explain the importance of Fort Sumter, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, and the Battle for Atlanta and the impact of geography on these battles.
e. Describe the significance of the Emancipation Proclamation.
f. Explain the importance of the growing economic disparity between the North and the South through an examination of population, functioning railroads, and industrial output.