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City Point, Va. Brig. Gen. John A. Rawlins...

[Detail] City Point, Va. Brig. Gen. John A. Rawlins...


We are going to use historical fiction and primary source images from the Library of Congress to explore a child’s perception of the Civil War era. Throughout the project, our focus will be examining history from a child’s point of view, rather than from an adult perspective.

At the conclusion of this project, you will be able to:

  • use primary and secondary source materials to explore perspectives of the Civil War;
  • read historical fiction as an introduction to multiple perspectives of the Civil War;
  • interpret and analyze photographic images from the American Memory collections;
  • form conclusions about how children were affected by the Civil War; and
  • create a literary portrait that conveys a child’s perspective of the Civil War era.


  1. View the gallery of images, which uses photographs, daguerreotypes, and facts to learn about the boys who participated in the Civil War.
  2. Read and rehearse your assigned part in Bull Run. Participate in the class reading of Bull Run as Readers Theater.
  3. Next, explore the Civil War era photographs and daguerreotypes from the American Memory collections.
  4. Work as historians to carefully examine and analyze the photographic image you selected. As you work, complete the Primary Source Analysis Tool. Remember to describe the physical attributes, age, and other traits that you observe or infer from the photographic image. Your teacher may have additional questions to focus your analysis.
  5. Read the criteria supplied by your teacher. Using your detailed responses on the Primary Source Analysis Guide, write a literary portrait of your selected child. Remember that the literary portrait needs to be written from the point of view of the child. Get ready to share your literary portrait with the class as Readers Theater.