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Sectional Differences Prior to the U.S. Civil War By: Brooke Long ED 629-01 PowerPoint Presentation
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Sectional Differences Prior to the U.S. Civil War By: Brooke Long ED 629-01. Before the Civil War. 8 th Grade Standard : History Benchmark : Civil War and Reconstruction

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Sectional Differences Prior to

the U.S. Civil War

By: Brooke Long

ED 629-01

before the civil war

Before the Civil War

8th Grade

Standard: History

Benchmark: Civil War and Reconstruction

Indicator: 9. Explain causes of the Civil War with emphasis on:


States’ rights;

The different economies of the North and South

civil war unit
Civil War Unit
  • Civil War Unit – beginning lesson
  • Grade – Eighth
  • Lesson – Sectional Differences before the Civil War

  • Given an essay question students will be able to describe in complete sentences three differences between life in the North and South in the pre-civil war years.
  • This lesson may take two class periods depending on discussion
  • Computer with Internet access
  • Paper and Pencil
  • This PowerPoint
  • Transparency or large paper & marker
student activities
Student Activities

1. Brainstorming activity (slide 8)

2. Open discussion on map (slide 10)

3. Plantation Exploration (slide 13)

4. Around the room discussion (slide 14)

5. Students create a North/South contrast chart (slide 17-18)

6. Students turn in objective question in paragraph form (slide 19)


1. Factory vs. Plantation in the North and South. EDSITEment.

2. Sectional Division. ThinkQuest.

3. Monticello Explorer.

4. Civil War Causes, Timelines, Flags, & Maps.

5. Civil War Graphs.

* All graphics used in this presentation have the URLs hyperlinked below the graphic. If a picture does not have a hyperlink, then it was found on Microsoft Word Clipart.


It is well that war is so terrible - we should grow too fond of it."

Gen. Robert E. Lee

Have students read the above quote and volunteer their thoughts. This quote is provided just to get the ball rolling and to get students into the mindset of the events leading up to a war.

opening activity do as a group discussion using map
Opening Activity(Do as a group discussion using map)
  • Notice that the north is almost all red what does this imply?
  • What does Manufacturing and Trade mean? Examples?
  • The South has a lot of blue and green colors; what does this mean? What states would you consider to be in the South?
  • If the South did not have a lot of manufacturing and trade what things do you think people in the South were doing for work?
  • Where did most slavery occur?
  • Using the map, why do you think most slavery occurred here?


In groups of two or three brainstorm ideas for why slavery was more predominant in the South rather than in the North (3 minutes)

Teacher should ask all groups to volunteer ideas to the class and should compile all ideas on large paper/transparency for the class.

*This activity can serve as a pre-assessment and can help the teacher find out what students already know. You could also do this in a K-W-L chart.

Direct instruction of reasons why South had slavery while the North did not
  • (Teacher will discuss the reasons listed below with the class)
    • Climate
    • Industrialization
    • Resources
    • Physical characteristics of the land
    • It takes a lot of manpower to run a plantation

plantation life
Plantation Life

Students will go online to an interactive tour of a large plantation in Virginia.

Give Students ten minutes to explore the plantation at:

  • After the online activity go around the room and have each student say one thing they learned from looking at the plantation or one question they have after looking at the plantation.
  • Students who cannot think of anything can be prompted with a statement such as:
    • What did you notice about the size?
    • Where were the slave houses located?


  • Next, students will look at the graphs on the following page, so they can see differences between the North and South in graph form. Visual learners will benefit from this activity. After viewing the graphs discuss how the differences contributed to tensions between the North and South.
graph analysis
Graph Analysis

create a chart
Create a Chart
  • Students will now create a chart with the labels North and South heading two columns. Students should list characteristics of each and place them in the appropriate column.
example contrast chart share with students after they have created their own



Tobacco and Cotton

States’ Rights


Warmer Climate

Example Contrast Chart(share with students after they have created their own)



Paid Labor

Textiles and Trade

Strong Central Government


Cooler Climate


Final Question to be handed in at end of class. This is to be done individually.

  • In paragraph form describe three differences between the North and South in the years leading up to the Civil War.

look ahead question ask at the end of class
Look Ahead Question(ask at the end of class)
  • Why do you think the North and South will disagree when it comes to Westward expansion and the addition of new states to the Union?
a look forward to subsequent lessons
A Look Forward to Subsequent Lessons
  • Differences intensify with the Compromise of 1850, Kansas Nebraska Act, Abraham Lincoln’s controversial leadership, and Fugitive Slave Laws
  • Manifest Destiny
  • Southern States Secede from the Union
  • Civil War Commences