Educational Projects for Kids

Everyone who lived in Arkansas between 1861 and 1865 was impacted by the Civil War, regardless of wealth, race, or social class.  One way to understand life during the Civil War is to consider the everyday items that soldiers and civilians used during the conflict.  This portion of our website offers several craft projects that can help kids learn about life during the war by recreating these objects.  Parents and teachers will find stories about how each item affected Arkansans, along with step-by-step instructions explaining how to create each object.  

Make Your Own Regimental Flags: Regimental flags were very important to both soldiers and civilians during the Civil War. Learn about two battle flags in the collection of the Old Statehouse Museum and how to make your own.

Make Your Own Underground Railroad Lantern: The Underground Railroad, a term used to describe the paths that slaves often took to freedom before the Civil War, was alive and well in Arkansas. Learn about one boy's journey North toward freedom and learn how to make your own Underground Railroad lantern.

Make Your Own Zouave Fez: Not every soldier in the Civil War wore Union blues or Confederate grays. Learn about Zouave soldiers in Arkansas and how to make your own Zouave uniform hat or "fez."

Make Your Own Fan: Women were essential to the Civil War in Arkansas. They managed farms while their husbands or sons fought, they kept the soldiers clothed and some of them even disguised themselves as men so they could join the fighting. One symbol of women's lives in the 19th century was the practical and fashionable fan. Learn about women's roles in the Civil War in Arkansas and learn how to make your own fan.

Make Your Own Ink: Learn how Civil War soldiers communicated with their loved ones, even when staples like paper and ink were scarce.

Making Civil War Food: Eating right was a big challenge for Civil War soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Learn how to make two staples of the war, hardtack and Johnny cake.

Suggested Books for Children Learning About the Civil War

These books, fiction and non-fiction, have been suggested by educators and others as appropriate for children K-12 who want to learn about the Civil War era. Please let us know of any other titles that should be added to this list.

Aaronson, Billy. Ulysses S. Grant.

Allen, Thomas B. Mr. Lincoln's High-Tech War.

Anderson, Maxine. Great Civil War Projects You Can Build Yourself.

Bartoletti, Susan Cambel. No Man's Land: A Young Soldier's Story.

Billings, John D. Hardtack & Coffee or the Unwritten Story of Army Life.

Bobrick, Benson. Battle of Nashville.

Bolotin, Norman. Civil War A to Z: A Young Person's Guide to Over 100 People, Places, and Points of Importance.

Burgan, Michael. Hot Iron.

Calkhoven, Laurie. Will at the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863.

Collier, James. With Every Drop of Blood: A Novel of the Civil War.

Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage.

Ernst, Kathleen. Hearts of Stone.

Forten, Charlotte. A Free Black Girl Before the Civil War:The Diary of Charlotte Forten, 1854.

Giblin, James Cross. Good Brother, Bad Brother: The Sory of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth.

Herbert, Janis. The Civil War for Kids: A History with 21 Activities.

Hemphill, Michael, and Sam Riddleburger. Stonewall Hinkleman and the Battle of Bull Run.

Hopkinson, Deborah. From Slave to Soldier: Based on a True Civil War Story.

Hughes, Pat. Seeing the Elephant.

Hunt, Irene. Across Five Aprils.

Jerome, Kate Boehm. Civil War Sub: The Mystery of the Hunley.

Keith, Harold. Rifles for Watie.

King, David C. and Cheryl Kirk Noll. Civil War Days: Discover the Past with Exciting Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes

McPherson, James M. Fields of Fury: The American Civil War.

Moss, Marissa, and John Hendrix. Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, A Civil War Hero.

Lyons, Mary E. and Muriel Branch. Dear Ellen Bee: A Civil War Scrapbook of Two Union Spies.

Murphy, Jim. Savage Thunder.

Myers, Laurie. Escape by Night.

Nardo, Don. Nation Divided.

Paulsen, Gary. Soldier's Heart: Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers.

Philbrick, Rodman. True Adventures of Homer P. Figg.

Poe, Marshall. House Divided.

Price, Sean Stewart. Nation Torn Apart.

Polacco, Patricia. Just in Time, Abraham Lincoln.

______. Pink and Say.

Porter, Connie Rose. Meet Addy: An American Girl; Addy Learns a Lesson; Happy Birthday, Addy!; Changes for Addy; Addy's Surprise; Addy Saves the Day.

Rabin, Staton. Mr. Lincoln's Boys

Rappaport, Doreen. United No More!: Stories of the Civil War.

Rinaldi, Ann. Leigh Ann's Civil War.

Roche, Tim. Soldiers of the Civil War.

Rosenberg, Aaron. Civil War.

Silvey, Anita. I'll Pass for Your Comrade.

Stanchack, John. Eyewitness: Civil War.

Stark, Ken. Marching to Appomattox.

Sullivan, George. The Civil War at Sea.

Vander Hook, Sue. Civil War Spy: Elizabeth Van Lew.

Wells, Rosemary. Red Moon at Sharpsburg.

Winnick, Karen B. Mr. Lincoln's Whisters.

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