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Iuka: A Strange Civil War Battle in Northeast Mississippi lesson plan

OVERVIEW

The Northeast Mississippi town of Iuka was the setting for a Civil War battle on September 19, 1862. While Union forces were able to secure the area around this small Mississippi town, miscommunication, indecisiveness, and unusual weather conditions affected the field of events that led to a favorable Union outcome. With the Confederate loss of Iuka, Union forces were able to increase their control of North Mississippi. The Battle of Iuka remains one of the more unusual Union victories in Mississippi during the American Civil War.

CURRICULAR CONNECTIONS

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 2, and 4

TEACHING LEVELS

Grades 7 through 12

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT

Mississippi History Now article on the Battle of Iuka
• Classroom board
• Notebook paper

OBJECTIVES

The students will:

  • Determine the factors that influenced the Battle of Iuka.
  • Analyze the historical event.

OPENING THE LESSON

The teacher will ask the students to name the Civil War battles that took place in Mississippi. As the students share their answers, the teacher will record them on the classroom board. If the students do not mention Iuka, the teacher can add this battle to the list. Once the discussion is brought to a close, the teacher will tell the students that they will study the Battle of Iuka, which took place in northeast Mississippi.

DEVELOPING THE LESSON

The teacher will distribute a copy of the bubble map found at the end of the lesson plan, or the map can be placed on the classroom board for students to copy into their notebooks.

The teacher will instruct the students to read the Mississippi History Now article, “Iuka: A Strange Civil War Battle in Northeast Mississippi.” As the students read the article, they should record on the bubble map examples of each of the major factors that influenced the Battle of Iuka. Students can work alone or with a partner for this portion of the lesson.

Once the students have completed their bubble maps, the teacher will ask for student volunteers to share the examples listed on their maps. The teacher can facilitate a discussion about the article as students share their examples. The teacher can record the student examples on the classroom board during the class discussion.

For this portion of the lesson, students should be placed in groups of three or four. In their small groups, students should discuss the following question:

  • Why does the author of the Mississippi History Now article refer to the Battle of Iuka as a strange battle?

The students should formulate a written answer to this question. Once each group has completed their written response, the teacher can ask for student volunteers from each group to read the group’s response to the class. As another option, the teacher can ask the groups to pass around the responses from one group to another. Once the written responses have circulated around the room, the teacher can ask the class if there were any similarities among their answers.

CLOSING THE LESSON

To end the lesson, the teacher will ask the students to create a 3-2-1 chart in their notebooks like the one found at the end of the lesson. Once the students have completed their 3-2-1 charts, the teacher will ask for student volunteers to share what they listed on their charts. Students should be encouraged to locate answers to the questions they still have about the Battle of Iuka (number 1 on the chart). Later in the study, students can share their answers to these questions with their classmates.

ASSESSING STUDENT LEARNING

• Class participation
• Charts and maps
• Written responses

EXTENDING THE LESSON

  • Research the Confederate and Union leaders that played a role in the Battle of Iuka.
  • Use other Mississippi History Now articles from the site’s archive page to create a weeklong unit on The Civil War.

• Write a poem or song about the Battle of Iuka.

• Invite a Civil War re-enactor to class as a guest speaker to describe the life of a soldier from that period.


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