On the Edge

During the Civil War, there were woman who stayed in the sphere of domesticity, but also woman who ventured out to make a difference in the war. Some women stayed at home and did what they were “expected” to do: cook, clean, and take care of the children. But many woman, when their husbands went off to war, stepped up and took the role of both the man and the woman in their family. In class, we compiled information about 12 different women and where they landed about the sphere of domesticity. Once we gathered the information, we created quilt squares about them. We put these, along with descriptions and quotes, on a Padlet. here is the QR code for the site.

(and the link http://padlet.com/wall/bblockcivilwarquilt)

One example of a woman who stayed inside the sphere was Alice Chapin. Although she did step up and help burn victims in the war, she did not venture far. Because of her outstanding job of nursing these soldiers (which was something acceptable for them to do), she was offered a high position. She refused it, which shows she wasn’t willing to step out of her comfort zone and do something that wasn’t expected of her. She also did a lot of charity work, which was something OK for woman to do back then.

A woman who started in the sphere was stepped out was Martha Costen. She was married to a man and had five children by the age of 20. Her husband was inventing flares for the Navy, but when he died she had to take over. Almost having to start from scratch because her husband did not keep good track of his worth, Coston invented red, white, and blue flares that were relied heavily on by the army. One million infamous “Coston flares” were sold to the US Navy, and were used for many years after (flares used on the Titanic).



Save Yourself!

          It was more important for a 18 year old Reading clerk living in 1861 to self preserve himself than risk his life in fighting for his country. The Civil War was known as one of the first “modern” wars because of all the new technology, but the guns were no where near what we have today. For guns, they no longer used bayonets because the new guns were more accurate and could shoot farther. The new bullets for these guns were called the Minié ball, which is oblong in shape. The bullet caused much more damage to humans than musket balls did. They would shatter bones, and doctors had no way of saving the soldier. The majority of people who were shot in extremities could not save those limbs, and had to get amputated. The amputation process was grotesque, and was simply the doctor sawing through the bone. Many died even before the amputation process, because chloroform used to anesthetize the patient either worked to well and suffocated them, or did not work enough so they felt too much pain. In the battle of Fredericksburg alone, there were 500 amputations. The technology for guns, and then treating gun wounds, was not advanced enough to protect a young man from Reading who had never experienced war or shooting a gun. He would be a sitting duck out there, and get shot easily. Worst case scenario is he would die, but the next best thing is him needing to get an amputation and never being able to be the same again.


Here is a picture of what a bone looked like after it was shot with a Minie bullet

Here is a picture of an actual Minie bullet

       Although both armies needed masses of people, it is still not worth it for a 18 year old clerk from Reading to join and fight in the war. At the beginning of the war (which is when he is questioning whether or not he should join the war), the tactic of having a bigger army was not known. The sides did not know that whoever had the bigger army would most likely win the battle. Also, since the clerk is living in the North, he most likely does not have as much to fight for than the South. The South is trying to save themselves and fight for freedom, while the North is simply trying to bring them back. The war being fought down South also means it is less of an obligation because he will not really be affected by the battles. Living in the North, the clerk would not be in direct line of fire because the battles are mainly in the South. It is more important for the clerk from Reading to preserve himself than fight in the war because the technology was not advanced enough, and the risk of injury was extremely high.

Hunting for the War

         Instead of learning about all of the Civil War battles in the average class setting, we excitingly moved out of the classroom and into the hallways for a scavenger hunt. Each stop along the hunt was a QR code, giving information about a certain battle (it’s name, what theater it was fought in, who won, and a few other important details). The first step in creating this hunt was to find the information on each battle. Since there were 23 battles we were focusing on, the class was split into 23 and given a certain battle. Then for homework, we researched our battle and created a QR code that led to our Google document on the battle. In class the day before, we coordinated with the people before and after us and told them the clue to get to the next battle. For example, I had the battle of Chancellorsville (Battle #11), so I told Paul, who had Battle #10 that I was putting it on water fountain outside Guidance. The clues are put at the bottom of the document, so people knew where to go next.

Here is the link to the document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1haIH9w4Fb0ZrDgIclLNxp__3Ugi28rQFh-wxR53qc5c/edit?usp=sharing

It was very easy to make a QR code. All I needed to do was copy and paste the link to the Googledoc, and it downloads it right to your computer (as you can see it the bottom left of the picture). Here is a picture of the website, qrstuff.com:


On the day of our scavenger hunt, we hung our QR codes in the place we told the battle before us it would go (if we put it in a different place, the whole hunt would be messed up). Two people were absent on the day of our scavenger hunt, but their battles were right next to each other. To solve this problem we simply wrote the clue to the one after theirs on the one before theirs. The actual scavenger hunt went very well. The wifi was a little spotty, but I got all of the codes scanned. Once they scanned in, I screenshotted the information so I could email it to myself later.

The day after we did the scavenger hunt, we got to use a new website called Padlet. On this site, everyone in the class could write out responses to a core question. We did two separate Padlets, answering the two different essential questions. Here are the links to each of the two:



These Padlets were a great way to compile everyone’s idea on the essential question. The question asked who the ultimate victors were on each of the three theaters: East, West, and Naval. The Confederacy was the ultimate victor in the Eastern battles, which were mainly fought in the beginning of the war. The battle of Chancellorsville was won by the Confederacy and Robert E. Lee in the East because of their superior military leadership. Although the Union had more soldiers, Lee won by aggressively split up his already smaller army to attack from both sides. The Confederacy may have been the ultimate victor of the East, but the Union overall won both the West and the Naval theaters. In the West, Ulysses Grant led his armies to great victories, mainly because they outnumbered the Confederacy. In the battle of Shiloh, they got a reinforcement of 22,500 men. This allowed them to have a strong force against the Confederacy deep into the battle. The only battle the Union lost in the West was the Battle of Chickamauga. Just like the East, the Union was the ultimate victor of the Naval Theatre. They won because they had more advanced boating technology. The battle of Hampton Roads was a great showcase for the Union’s steamers, which had a fully traversable turret. The second essential question asked about commonalities that aided the results of some of these battles. This is answered in my response to the first essential question. The North mainly had more people (like in the battle of Shiloh), which allowed them to win battles. They also had the excellent leadership of General Ulysses S. Grant, who led them to many victories. The South won the battles they did because of excellent leadership as well, but through the mind of Robert E. Lee. Here are pictures of what the Padlets look like:







Civil War Infograph

Infograph was a great way to get the information across in an engaging and understandable way. The pie charts were helpful because they visually showed the advantage the North had in supplies. The word graph was another great tool because it gave us a way to group their war strategies together, with the most important strategies being the biggest. Gathering all of the information on both the North and South made me realize how much of an advantage the North had over the South. They had a greater population, and many more resources. The South only had advantage in location and military generals.

The embedding isn’t working, so here is the link to the infograph.


Causes of the Civil War Project

For this project, we go into groups of 2 to focus on one cause of the Civil War. Once we collected background information and primary sources on our topic (Simone and I had the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo), we connected it to the theme of conflict, compromise, and slavery. Once we completed out interactive, online projects, we shared them with the class. With all of the events complied, we were able to create a timeline of the events leading up to the Civil War.

Our Prezi on the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (it didn’t embed so here is the link)

Picture of the timeline

imageimage (1)

EdCafe Fun

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the EdCafe. My favorite part about it was how you got to lead a session, and pick what you wanted to talk about. For me, when I’m interested in something, it is more enjoyable to talk about. This also goes with another thing I liked, which was being able to pick what presentation I attended. I think it goes for all students that if you like what you’re doing or have a choice on what your doing, you are more engaged in the lesson. One thing that could be fixed is the preparation. My partner and I barely finished preparing our lesson in the one class period given to prepare. But that problem could easily be fixed if we were told that we needed to finish our presentation for homework.

Our presentation went very well for a first time Edcafe. Simone and I did our lesson on the different outlooks of slavery from someone who has been enslaved their whole life versus someone who had been forced into it. One thing we did well was use the whiteboard that we signed up for. Having the white board at our disposal allowed us to write our notes on the board. Not only was it easier for us to organize our questions and notes, but also it was easier for the people attending our lesson. The Venn diagram made it easier for the people attending to take notes on our topic, why still being able to add into the conversation. One thing we could make better for next time is that we could have had more quotes from the reading to support our claims.  But I think our presentation went excellently. We had a good amount of people who came and we never ran out of topics to talk about.


These are the notes from our presentation

I do believe I was a good attendee to the other presentations. It was hard to contribute a lot to the discussions because we did not know which ones we were going to go to until the day of the presentations. Because of this, I felt a little unprepared. The two presentations that I went to were about the emotional toll of slavery, and the difference of slave masters. Since all we did was discuss in the groups, it was a little challenging to take notes and talk. But I definitely got a better understanding on both topics, and I learned new information as well.  I thoroughly enjoyed the EdCafe, and hope we do it again soon!

Not All Black and White

This Prezi contradicts the assumption that the debate of slavery was between the North, who were totally against slavery, and the South, who were totally for slavery. The project focuses on the grey areas in the North, and how they truly felt about slavery.

The Prezi won’t embed, but here’s the link: http://prezi.com/njhd97mdmryn/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share