Singing Through the War: Songsters and Music during the Civil War

Title: Singing Through the War: Songsters and Music during the Civil War

Topic: Civil War Songsters and Music

Description: Some of the most insightful (and catchy) information about the Civil War comes from the creation of songsters and song sheets- lyrics on paper with decorative illustrations. These clever rewrites of popular songs allowed anyone familiar with the tune to catch on right away. This allowed large groups of people to join together- either for or against issues, political candidates, or even the war itself. Learn more about these important lyrics and the connectivity they bring to the Civil War period by looking at original documents.

Target Audience: Elementary students, Middle School students, High School students

Indiana State Standards:

1.1.3 (1st grade: Identify American songs and symbols and discuss their origins)

4.1.8 (4th grade: Summarize the impact of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency on Indiana and describe the participation of Indiana citizens in the Civil War)

8.1.30 (8th grade: Using primary and secondary sources, analyze an issue confronting the United States from colonial times through the Reconstruction period)

IS.1.6 (High School: Describe causes and lasting effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction as well as the political controversies surrounding this time)

IS 1.7 (High School: Analyze how the Civil War affected men, women, and children on the home front. Explain how those on the home front helped the war effort)

I.S. 1.36 (High School: Analyze multiple, unexpected and complex causes and effects of events in the past)

Outcomes: Students will be able to read and understand song sheets and lyrics from the Civil War and the larger context of them in the war and on the home front. Students will identify primary sources and use them directly to draw conclusions about different subject matters. Students will be able to explain the complex causes of the Civil War and explain how Indiana directly participated.

Evaluation: A post-presentation Q&A with the class will determine outcomes; a questionnaire will be sent out to the teacher/class to complete either onsite or electronically after the presentation.