Target Skills of a Civil War GBS

The first step in building a GBS is to lay out the target skills. What target skills might we identify for the Civil War GBS? By taking as our model the skills a historian employs, here is a set of skills we might want our students to learn:

Explaining Phenomena from the Period

- Recognize the major players in the period, and their motivations
- Know important roles (e.g., President)
- Reason from own motivations
- Describe the rise and fall of slavery
- Identify the differences between the North and the South
- Specify the relationship between geography and politics in American history
- Reason about the period using analogies from personal experience


- Develop an argument about a failure of Lincoln's
- Suggest how the South might have won
- Relate aspects of the Civil War to current events (e.g., Super South Primary, Martin Luther King, Los Angeles riots)

Historical Data Gathering

- Read news accounts from the data
- Recognize biases
- Read maps
- Develop strategies of information gathering
- Use bibliographies, library search, reader's guide, etc.
- Find economic data
- Piece together information to form an account of a scene
- Reconcile multiple viewpoints
- Hypothesize about missing detail
- Relate specific stories to abstract principles (such as the release of the Emancipation Proclamation)

Next Story A Mission in a Civil War GBS

Outline Where am I in the content of the book?

Give Me An Example

Give Me Alternatives

What Is Next?

What Led To This?

What Can Be Done?

Give Me Background

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