Presidential Decision Activity: Lincoln and Fort Sumter
In this presidential decision making activity, students take on the role of President Lincoln and his advisors to come to a decisions to 'solve' the crisis at Fort Sumter. A super engaging civil war lesson that gets kids thinking critically and problem solving!
SITUATION: The Confederates have taken control of all federal property except for two military forts and Fort Sumter is running desperately low on supplies. Without reinforcements it will be taken by the Confederates. This will make you look weak as a leader, however any efforts to resupply it will certainly lead to Confederates firing on the fort and could lead to civil war. Federal "aggression" could also lead more states to join the Confederacy. What will you do?
First, you review a timeline of important events that led to the crisis to help students understand factors leading to this issue. Then there is a 'context' overview slide that breaks down the crisis into a very understandable language.Then, students read the 'Presidential Briefing' and complete the 'Presidential Decisions' worksheet in this very engaging, student centered lesson.
The worksheet has students consider important questions a president must consider before coming to a decision- what do we know about this issue, what limitations do I have, what does the Constitution allow me to do, what do I wish the result to be, what could go wrong, how do the American people feel on this issue, and several more.This is such a powerful problem-solving activity for history class that develops critical thinking and active learning!
Then, students write a short speechannouncing their decision and this could be read to the class so students learn how each group approached the crisis. Lastly, you review what the president actually did to handle this situation- which is explained on the slideshow. There is a sheet to record what actually happen and reflect on how well they did in the activity. Trust me, students will be so much more interested in what actually happened, ask questions about it, and think critically about a historical event they might otherwise have not cared a lick about! So get your students in the drive seat in history and engage them in some seriously exciting history!
This has everything you need to complete the activity- no outside resources are needed! And there are links to the Google slides version so you can edit anything you want! Its definitely the most engaging lesson for President Lincoln that I use with my students.👊
Want a civil war lesson plan that students won't forget? Look no further! check out my bundle of Presidential Decision Activities and the Lincoln's Decisions Bundle!