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Tip of the Week – Civil War Interactives

I’ve been on a Civil War kick lately. We’ve got the Fort Sumter anniversary, causes of the war, a Lincoln assassination movie coming, re-enactments all over the place. So I’ve gone back to the classics and am re-reading James McPherson’s excellent Battle Cry of Freedom and Tony Horowitz’s Confederates in the Attic.

But earlier this week, I talked about the need for us to go beyond the use of just print materials. We need e-books and interactives, cool maps and videos. So . . . today, a quick list of some 21st century Civil War goodies.

The people have put together an awesome iPad app called The Civil War Today.

Experience the war as it unfolded, one day at a time, with daily updates that let you live the events in “real-time” over the course of four years. The Civil War Today leverages the iPad multi-touch interface to enable app users to feel and explore thousands of original documents, photos, maps, diary entries, quotes, and newspaper broadsheets like never before. also has a couple of other great online Civil War resources:

  • Civil War 150 offers interactive topics in battles, weapons, tactics, economics and people. Students can also explore a wide variety of topics and are asked to vote for one that had the largest impact on the war.
  • They’ve created 38 short video clips and eight photo galleries that are great for starting discussions and hooking kids into content.

HowStuffWorks has some very good Civil War video clips. And Life put together The Best Civil War Photographs online gallery.

The National Park Service put together a nice Then and Now feature that lets kids compare and contrast Civil War events with similar events taking place now. It includes some handy primary sources such as newspapers from the period as well as things like live web cams of Fort Sumter today.

NPS also created a “Civil War Reporter” that updates several times a day via Twitter. Pretty cool!

Some guy in Maryland has collected links, and created others, to many of the 3D Google Earth / Google SketchUp Civil War goodies online. You have to dig around a bit but you can view 3D images of weapons, forts and places using the GE technology.

For younger kids, I really like the Smithsonian’s Who Am I? A History Mystery. Kids use clues and online artifacts to predict the identity of Civil War participants.

Have fun!

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