11.28.2014  |   | Subscribe  | Contact us


Guide to teaching Virginia's Civil War SOLs

This web site is divided into three major sections: Story, Activities, and Help. All sections are accessible from the gray menu located along the left-hand side of every page on the site.

The Story section is divided into five topics:

• A nation divided
• Events and battles
• Leaders
• Daily life
• Aftermath

Each topic above includes several subtopics. By clicking on a subtopic, you will find further detailed information, primary source photos, and documents. This section is factually intensive. All background information has been carefully researched, and is largely based on the Virginia Standards of Learning.

The Activities section is also divided into several topics including:

• North or South?
• Match the abolitionist
• What would you do?
• Name the leader
• Study the artifact
• Be a columnist
• Interactive ap

Within each of the five topics there are corresponding activities. The activities can be found by clicking on the activity title within the section or by selecting the activities in the gray menu. Activities range from multiple-choice questions to writing news articles to coloring a map of the United States blue or gray.

The Help section is divided into two categories:

• SOL Civil War key word index
• Civil War glossary

To easily navigate the web site, the teacher or student can use these two powerful tools. The key word index consists of words, taken directly from the SOLs, making it a useful guide for teachers when planning lessons. It will also be helpful to students doing research, so they can quickly find their topic.

The Civil War Glossary currently contains 35 defined words. These words are important to understanding the Civil War. This glossary will serve as a reference tool to aid in understanding the Civil War.

Taken together, these three major sections of the site can be used to find out information with the background pages, test that information through the interactive activities, and easily navigate the site. This site is very user friendly and you are guaranteed to find the information you need, with a click of the mouse.

Fourth grade Standards of Learning

Civil War and Post-war Eras


The student will demonstrate knowledge of the issues that divided our nation and led to the Civil War by:

a) identifying the events and differences between northern and southern states that divided Virginians and led to secession, war, and the creation of West Virginia
b) describing Virginia’s role in the war, including identifying major battles that took place in Virginia.


The student will demonstrate knowledge of the reconstruction of Virginia following the Civil War by:

a) identifying the effects of Reconstruction on life in Virginia;
b) identifying the effects of segregation and “Jim Crow” on life in Virginia;
c) describing the importance of railroads, new industries, and the growth of cities to Virginia’s economic development.

Fifth grade Standards of Learning

Civil War and Reconstruction


The student will demonstrate knowledge of the causes, major events, and effects of the Civil War by:

a) describing the cultural, economic, and constitutional issues that divided the nation;
b) explaining how the issues of states’ rights and slavery increased sectional tensions;
c) identifying on a map the states that seceded from the Union and those that remained in the Union;
d) describing the roles of Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Frederick Douglass in events leading to and during the war;
e) using maps to explain critical developments in the war, including major battles;
f) describing the effects of war from the perspectives of Union and Confederate soldiers (including black soldiers), women, and slaves.


The student will demonstrate knowledge of the effects of Reconstruction on American life by:

a) identifying the provisions of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States and their impact on the expansion of freedom in America;
b) describing the impact of Reconstruction policies on the South.


The student will develop skills for historical and geographical analysis.



1. A Nation Divided

2. Events and Battles

3. Leaders

4. Daily Life

5. Aftermath


North or South?

Match the abolitionist

What would
you do?

Name that leader

Study the artifact

Be a columnist

Interactive map


Key word index