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Read Kansas! Middle School - M-18 "War for the Union and for Freedom!": Recruitment of Civil War Volunteer Regiments

This lesson examines the recruitment of volunteer regiments in Kansas at the beginning of the Civil War.  Students learn about the nation's need to raise a volunteer army.  They compare and contrast soldiers' motivations for joining a volunteer regiment using primary sources and identify how and why a soldier's race factored into the decision to enlist. Select each image to see a PDF with the front and back of each card.

M-18  The Call for Volunteeers
mp3 audio

M-18 Where Duty Leads, I Will Be With You: James Lane Recruits Volunteers
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M-18 For Your Own Freedom, and Your Country: William Matthews Recruits Volunteers
mp3 audio


Lesson plan

Kansas History, Government, and Social Studies Standards:

Standard #2 Individuals have rights and responsibilities.

  • 2.2:  The student will analyze the context under which significant rights and responsibilities are defined and demonstrated, their various interpretations, and draw conclusions about those interpretations.

Standard #3 Societies are shaped by beliefs, ideas and diversity.

  • 3.2: The student will draw conclusions about significant beliefs, contributions, and ideas, analyzing the origins and context under which these competing ideals were reached and the multiple perspectives from which they come.

Kansas College and Career Ready Standards:

  • RH.6-8.3: The student will identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies.
  • RH.6-8.4: The student determines the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
  • RI.7.1: The student cites several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • SL.7.1 (a-e):  The student engages effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.