Teacher's Guide for COBBLESTONE ® Jefferson Davis
Teacher Guide prepared by: Kelly Clark, an educator at the Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia.
Have students create a timeline of the life of Jefferson Davis. Instruct students to draw a line lengthwise through an 8 ½" by 14" sheet of paper. Have students use the top half of the timeline to mark key events in the life of Jefferson Davis. Along the bottom half, have students mark important national events.
Divide the class into small groups. Have each group create and label a map showing important places in the life of Jefferson Davis. The map should include the following:
- Davis's birthplace
- Homes: Rosemont, Brierfield, and Beauvoir
- Schools:St. Thomas College, Transylvania University, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point
- Places related to Davis's military and political careers: Washington D.C., Montgomery, and Richmond
- The site of Davis's capture and imprisonment
- The site of Davis's death
Have students write a diary entry about the Battle of Monterey or Buena Vista from the viewpoint of a soldier serving under Colonel Davis during the Mexican War.
- OR -
Write a diary entry about living in the Confederate White House in Richmond during the war from the viewpoint of one of the Davis children.
Have half of the class research arguments in favor of secession; have the other half research arguments against secession. Allow students to work in pairs or small groups to devise arguments. Have each half of the class choose three students to advance there arguments. Then, hold a class debate.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST
Allow time for the students to research the life of Abraham Lincoln. Then, make a class list of similarities and differences between Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln. Using the information in the list, have students write a one-page essay comparing and contrasting the two men.
Have students work in pairs to develop a presentation about one of the men listed in "What a Cast of Characters!" page 36 - 37. Encourage students to use encyclopedias, the library, and the Internet to research their character. Have students design a poster to go along with this research. Then, allow students to present their information to the class. Students may wish to role-play as a means of presenting their information.