Teacher's Guide for COBBLESTONE ® Cavalry of the Civil War
Teacher Guide prepared by: Martha Kennedy-Lindley, presently a recalled Naval Reservist - she is a teacher in her civilian life.
Pre-reading and eliciting prior knowledge:
Note on the Editor's Note:
- Ask the students if they know what the Cavalry is or was.
- Ask students what they know about the cavalry - both past and present. Record the responses for post-reading comparison.
- Ask if the U.S. Army has a cavalry today and if the Army still uses horses today. Note: the answer is yes to both.
- Ask if the students can name any famous cavalry members - and Rin-tin-tin does not count!
In the editor's note she refers to the "War Department" - ask the students what the War Department is called today. Hint: Department of Defense
Keep a running list of new and unfamiliar words and their meaning.
"Army Hoof Beats"
Have the students read the article or read it aloud.
"Union and Confederate Cavalry Leaders"
If horses and horsemanship are unfamiliar to the students, have several books on the subject available for reference. If a student or students own horses or are very familiar with horses ask them to be the "resident expert."
Questions for discussion:
- How were the horses treated?
- How did the Confederate Army obtain their cavalry - both men and horses?
- How did the Union Army obtain their cavalry - both men and horses?
- Which method do the students feel works best - why?
If time permits, have the students, individually or in small groups, create a T-chart with the headings Confederate Cavalry and Union Cavalry. Ask the students to keep a running list so they can compare and contrast the cavalries. This can be done for this article only or for all the articles.
If time permits, have the students make a paper horse (as simple or a elaborate as they want). Then determine the length of time for the activity and the activities the students must do to maintain their horse. Have them keep a simple journal where they list the things they do each day to maintain their horse - grooming, feeding, training, travel, battle time, etc. At the end of the day the students bed the horses down for the night and turn in their journal page. If the teacher chooses add items like - rain storm today or 8 hours of travel - this would impact on the grooming and feeding time and amounts, etc.
After reading through this article ask the students (individually or in small groups) to adopt a leader - find out more about that person - what they did before and after the Civil War.
"The Battle of Brandy Station" and "Glory Riders at Gettysburg"
If time and space permits make a learning and activity area. Put books and articles about the cavalry and the leaders in the area. Also put the findings of the students' research in the area.
Read both articles and discuss each individually.
"The Cavalry Rides On!"
Make a T-chart with the headings: Gettysburg and Brandy Station. Use this graphic organizer to compare and contrast the two battles.
After reading and discussing the article, use a map of North America to plot the locations of Cavalry outposts and additional battles where the Cavalry participated.
Make a timeline showing uses of horses in the military. If time permits do not limit the timeline to U.S. Cavalry - include ancient history, the Middle Ages, up to present. Hint: Horses were used in Afghanistan.
Use the running list of vocabulary words to create a new story - see if it can be done on a topic other than the cavalry in the Civil War.
Invite a veteran to visit the classroom to talk about his or her experiences with the mechanized cavalry of today's Army.
After discussing the Cartoon Connection, ask the students to create their own cartoon using information in this issue.
The back cover has a photo of a statue from the Cavalry Museum - have the students create their own statue to honor the cavalry - both horses and men. Experiment with different mediums - clay, paper mache, wire, or a combination of mediums.
Write an Ode to a Cavalry horse.
Search the web for other uses of horses in the military. Hint: Try the Old Guard website at www.mdw.army.mil look for The Old Guard Caisson Platoon.