With the one hundred and fifty year anniversary of the Civil War upon us, and the anniversary of World War I approaching, teachers across the nation will be educating their students about the triumphs and sacrifices of war. As any good educator knows, it is always important to teach multiple aspects of history, not just the contents of a textbook. This unit plan does just that.
Thread, Band Aids, and Steel is a unit plan designed to teach high school students about women’s roles during the Civil War and World War I. This unit plan is unique in the fact that it teaches students about women’s history through the use of visual sources. Not only will students learn what women did during wartime, but they will also learn about primary visual sources and how historians use these sources to piece together the past. To teach this unit plan, all three lessons come with activities, worksheets, and classroom discussion questions. This unit plan opens up a range of classroom learning from the causes and effects of the women’s movement in the United States, the similarities and differences of women’s roles over time, and the pros and cons of using primary visual sources to understand the past.