Lincoln
The man who needed Nevada

 

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Christine Aker-Minetto

 

Lincoln: The man who needed Nevada

 

1860 – 1864: Nevada’s move from Territory to Statehood

 

Nevada Standards:

Nevada History Standard 6.8.22 Explain the events that led to Nevada statehood, including: Comstock Lode and Election of 1864.

Nevada History Standard 6.5.22 Explain the symbols, mottos, and slogans related to Nevada, including: “Battle Born,” state seal, Silver State, and state flag.

Nevada History Standard 6.8.21 Identify the causes, key people, events, and outcomes of the Civil War, including: states’ rights and slavery, President Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation, Vicksburg and Gettysburg, Gettysburg Address, and Generals Grant and Lee.

Nevada Reading Standard 2.4.4 Use note taking, outlining, and summarizing to organize and understand information from text.

Nevada Reading Standard 4.4.2 Compare and contrast main ideas and important concepts of various texts.

Nevada Reading Standard 4.4.4 Draw conclusions about text and support them with evidence from a variety of sources, focusing on main ideas and details.

Nevada Reading Standard 4.4.6 Read and follow multi-step directions to complete a task.

Nevada Writing Standard 5.4.2 Write organized friendly letters, formal letters, thank you letters, and invitations in an appropriate format for a specific audience and purpose.

 

Background:

I became intrigued in this time period when I discovered that a lot of my “common Nevada knowledge” of Nevada’s statehood turned out to be false.  Growing up in Nevada, I had all the usual history and Nevada Day projects that are still being used today.  However I’m shocked as a teacher that we are still spreading misinformation about why Nevada became a state, how Nevada became a state, and the true meaning behind a lot of the state symbols.

 

President Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War did a lot more for Nevada than I every realized.  I knew that we were invited into statehood because of our pledge to be a free state.  Lincoln wanted our votes for re-election and to pass future legislation on slavery.  Most people think our statehood came out of monetary reasons, but they were mainly political reasons.  Nevada was seen as a Union sympathizer – although there were small, but vocal, Southern supporters, too. 


 

 

Table of Contents

 

Activities and Learning Goals

Activity 1:  Primary Source – Compare/Contrast Communication

 

Learning Goal:  Students will look at a copy of Nevada’s Constitution and then read President Lincoln’s Proclamation of Statehood.  They will compare costs of telegraph to today’s dollar.  They will also think of other ways to send communication to Washington D.C. in today’s world.

 

Activity 2:  Vocabulary – P.A.D.S. for Statehood

 

Learning Goal:  Students will select one of 4 ways to solidify and demonstrate knowledge of the specific terms needed for this unit.

 

Activity 3:  Literature Connection – Grace’s Letter to Lincoln by Peter and Connie Roop

 

Learning Goal:  Students will listen to/read the story about a girl’s letter to Lincoln.  They will then write their own letters to Lincoln pledging support to him and the circumstances of Nevada receiving statehood. 

 

Activity 4:  Technology Option 2 – What’s going on?

 

Teacher will use a flipchart (Activboard) presentation to give students the nuts and bolts of the Civil War, Lincoln, and the country in the given time period 1860 – 1865.  Click here for ActivBoard presentation.

 

Students will reflect the knowledge through interactive activities and when during the student project.

 

Activity 5:  Foldable – Fact or Phooey!

 

Learning Goal:  Students will create a concept map foldable to present the common myths surrounding the reasons for Nevada’s statehood and then portray the correct information and circumstances.

 

Activity 6:  Student Project –“October 31, 1864 - Here is your Life…”

 

Learning Goals:  Students will collaborate to create multiple choice questions about Lincoln’s role and the circumstances about Nevada’s gaining statehood.  Students will work in small groups to develop questions and answers.  They will then put their question(s) into the Activote format through teacher facilitation.

Detailed Explanation of Activities

 

 

Activity 1:  Primary Source – Compare/Contrast Communication

 

Learning Goal:  Students will look at a copy of Nevada’s Constitution and then read President Lincoln’s Proclamation of Statehood.  They will compare costs of telegraph to today’s dollar.  They will also think of other ways to send communication to Washington D.C. in today’s world.

 

Sources used:

The Constitution of the State of Nevada at www.leg.state.nv.us/Const/NVConst.html

 

President Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation of Nevada Statehood, 1864

From Uncovering Nevada’s Past edited by John B. Reid and Ronald M. James, pp 30 – 31.

 

Procedure for lesson:

  • Give students background information provided with the Proclamation of Nevada's  Statehood.  Discuss the circumstances around the difficulties when the first state constitution was lost in Washington D.C.  Discuss - How is that more of a problem back then verses today? 
  • Discuss how a miner’s wages in 1860’s were $4.00 a day.  And figure out how many days of work it would take to pay the cost of the telegraph.
  • Contrast 1864 with contacting Washington D.C. today.  Discuss – How do we communicate today and what are the costs?  How much does the average American make? ($739/week – according to Robert Longley on 7/17/2003 http://usgovinfo.about.com/b/2003/07/17/how-much-does-the-average-american-worker-make.htm)
  • Read the proclamation with the students, after thumbing through a copy of the current Nevada State Constitution – all 55 pages of it. 

 

Student Evaluation:

Informal teacher observation throughout the discussion, and further understanding shown through activity 6 – student project.

 


Activity 2:  Vocabulary – P.A.D.S. for Statehood

 

Learning Goal:  Students will select one of 4 ways to solidify and demonstrate knowledge of the specific terms needed for this unit.

 

Vocabulary words:  statehood, constitution, telegraph, abolish, reconstruction, myth, motto, bonanza, boraska, and territory

 

Activity:  P.A.D.S.

The acronym stands for Picture, Antonym, Definition, and Synonym.  Students choose one of the following for each vocabulary word.  P- draw a picture, A- write an antonym, D- write the definition, or S- write a synonym.  After they have used each one once, they may do the rest as they choose. 

 

Evaluation of the learning will be done by looking at the students work and determining if knowledge of the words is satisfactory.   Students will receive a check, check plus or check minus. 

 

 

 

 Activity 3:  Literature Connection – Grace’s Letter to Lincoln by Peter and Connie Roop

 

Learning Goal:  Students will listen to/read the story about a girl’s letter to Lincoln.  They will then write their own letters to Lincoln pledging support to him and the circumstances of Nevada receiving statehood. 

 

Strategies:

  • Read aloud the novel to the class and discuss the accuracy of the general knowledge given surrounding Lincoln as you read.
  • Show students copies of the actual letters exchanged between the girl, Grace, and Abraham Lincoln. 
  • Instruct students of Nevada’s status and role in the West in 1860. 
  • Brainstorm reasons for a young Nevadan to write to Lincoln. 
  • Require students to draft, proofread and send (pretend, of course) a letter to Lincoln encouraging him to do something for the state of Nevada (the aforementioned brainstormed reasons.)  Stress the beautiful cursive writing that was used for communication in those days.

 

Evaluate student learning by self-scoring and teacher scoring of the letter using the Nevada State Writing Rubrics for the chosen traits of Ideas, Organization, Voice, and Conventions.

 

Activity 4:  Technology Option 2 – What’s going on?

 

Teacher will use a flipchart (Activboard) presentation to give students the nuts and bolts of the Civil War, Lincoln, and the country in the given time period 1860 – 1865.  Click here for presentation.

 

Students will reflect the knowledge through interactive activities and further understanding shown through activity 6 – student project.

 

Software is Activstudio on CD.

A hard copy print out may be included in the binder portfolio.

 

 

Activity 5:  Foldable – Fact or Phooey!

 

Learning Goal:  Students will create a concept map foldable to present the common myths surrounding the reasons for Nevada’s statehood and then portray the correct information and circumstances.

 

The foldable will reinforce the truths behind the myths of why Nevada Became a State.  We will base our information on the article by Guy Rocha, “Why Did Nevada Become a State?” Historical Myth a Month found in the Nevada State Library and Archives.

 

Students will put the myth on the top tab and the truth under the flap.  They will stress that Nevada became a TERRITORY for it’s minerals to help the Union and not the Confederates, and did not become a STATE to pay for the war with our silver.  Also, that Nevada did change from Territory to statehood to help the union, but it was not alone.  They also wanted Nebraska and Colorado, too.  Nevada was just the only one to support a constitution.  And lastly, Nevada was made a state to support Lincoln’s anti-slavery legislation, in truth, 2 senators arrived too late to vote for the 13th Amendment.  Our senator, William M. Stewart, did more for the 15th Amendment than the famous 13th one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activity 6:  Student Project –“October 31, 1864 - Here is your Life…”

 

Learning Goals:  Students will collaborate to create multiple choice questions about Lincoln’s role and the circumstances about Nevada’s gaining statehood.  Students will work in small groups to develop questions and answers.  They will then put their question(s) into the Activote format through teacher facilitation.

 

Strategies:

  • Students will break into teams of 3 to develop 3 possible question and multiple choice answers to collaborate into a class assessment of the unit. 
  • Students will draw subjects from a hat or pick their favorite activity to develop their questions from. 
  • The questions/answers will be turned in for final approval from the teacher.
  • Each team of students will then enter their question(s) into the Activstudio format of creating an Activote lesson/flipchart.  This will be done on computers in the Computer Lab and then transferred into the teacher’s database.
  • Teacher will arrange the questions into a proper order and give the assessment to the students, or another 4th grade class.