Florida During the Civil War

By: Sinead Williams



Students will explore the role Florida played during the Civil War. Students will explore a document detailing Florida's role and be able to identify key battles that took place on Florida soil. Students will be able to explain how Florida helped the Confederacy during the war.

Keywords: Florida, Confederacy, Civil War


Students will:
1. use reading strategies to comprehend historical text
2. work collaboratively through assigned roles
3. become familiar with Florida's role in the Confederacy during the Civil War
4. complete a presentation activity to summarize what they have learned to include an evaluation statement about Florida's role in the Confederacy.


Standard 5: Examine the causes, course, and consequence of the Civil War and Reconstruction including its effects on American peoples. (SS.8.A.5)
7. Examine key events and peoples in Florida history as each impacts this era of American history. (SS.8.A.5.7)
Reading Comprehension: The student uses a variety of strategies to comprehend grade level text. (LA.8.1.7)


Academic Preparation

Have copies of text, and role notecards prepared for student use.
Assign student groups in advance.
Suggestions: by ability, mixed ability and/or based on teacher knowledge of students.
Have media center booked for student use to complete culminating presentation activity.
Students should be familiar with the events leading to Civil War, the advantages and disadvantages of both sides at the beginning of the war.


Preview question: Display map of US in 1860 - see weblink, and have students respond to the following question: Do you think Florida played any role in the Civil War? Have students respond and clarify any questions or misunderstandings. Students should be able to identify Florida's role as a Confederate state and that Florida was a slave state prior to the Civil War.
Explain to students that they will be working collaboratively - assign groups as pre-determined.
Distribute reading and assign roles using the Reading Quest recpricoal teaching weblink - see weblink. Students should be familiar with each individual role. Teacher should explain each role, checking for understanding and making any clarifications where needed.
Distribute one notecard to each member of the group identifying each person's unique role.
1. Summarizer - highlights key ideas
2. Questioner - poses questions about the reading ex. unclear parts, puzzling information, making connections to other concepts already learned etc.
3. Clarifier - addresses confusing parts, attempts to answer the questions that were posed
4. Predictor - offers guesses about what the author will tell the group next and/or might suggest what the next events in the story will be.
Students will work through the reading in their roles to comprehend Florida's role in the Confederacy and how Florida played a vital role as a supplier of food. Students should use highlighting and underlining to mark key content.
Teacher should observe groups to make sure students are completing their roles. Rotate roles by moving roles to the right after a section of text is completed.
After students complete the reading strategy teacher should stop for a comprehension check answering any questions that students might have and ensuring student comprehension of text.
Culminating activity - Using notes and knowledge learned from the reading student groups will complete a presentation using online or presentation software.
Suggestions: PowerPoint, Xtranormal.com, Prezi.com
Each group will interact with their notes by completing a three - step presentation to include:
1. a summary of the reading
2. a visual to depict the reading or something specific from the reading
3. an evaluation statement on Florida's role in the Confederacy.


Student note-taking, teacher observations of group work
Student Wrap-up: Presentation activity

Extensions and Adaptations

Modify reciprocal teaching strategy to three roles rather than four.
Adjustments to presentation requirements may be made based on the presentation software students use for their end assessment.

Estimated Lesson Duration

2hr 00min


  • http://fcit.usf.edu/florida/lessons/cvl_war/cvl_war1.htm
  • http://fcit.usf.edu/florida/lessons/cvl_war/cvl_war8.pdf
  • http://www.readingquest.org/strat/rt.html
  • http://www.xtranormal.com/
  • http://prezi.com