For Teachers

Today in the Civil War Guide for Elementary & High School

The following ideas will help elementary and high school teachers incorporate the Rosenbach Museum & Library’s Today in the Civil War Blog into their curriculum. These lesson ideas may be used in preparation for a visit to the Rosenbach to view civil war material or as a replacement for a visit to the Rosenbach.  If you would like to arrange a trip the Rosenbach with your class to see documents related to the Civil War, please visit


What is Primary Source Material?

Documents posted on the Today in the Civil War blog are primary source materials from the Rosenbach Museum & Library’s collection.  Over the course of the school year, ask students to check the blog daily or weekly and determine what type of primary source material is posted. Is the post a diary entry, speech, letter, photograph, newspaper article, something else?  Record your findings on a chart.  Use the results of the study to determine how many of each type of primary source the Rosenbach has in its collection.  This activity may be used in conjunction with a lesson about primary versus secondary sources.

Related to Pennsylvania Curriculum Standards 8.1.3, 8.1.6, 8.1.9 (D)


The Source

Ask students to determine the author of each document posted on the blog.  If it is a speech, who is gave the speech?  If it is a photograph, who took the photograph?  If it is a letter, who wrote the letter?  Once you’ve determined the author, conduct research to find out more about the people that created the Civil War documents that are housed at the Rosenbach.

Related to Pennsylvania Curriculum Standards 8.1.3, 8.1.6 (B)

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