Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
A More Perfect Union
Lesson at a Glance
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Grade 8 Home
Chapter 11, Lesson 4: The House Divided (pp. 330-335)
The Big Idea
Framework Concept: Conflict Ongoing conflict over slavery and Lincoln's election as President led Southern states to secede and to the beginning of the Civil War.
- Discuss why antislavery forces opposed the Dred Scott decision and the Fugitive Slave Law. Outline the ways in which antislavery forces fought against slavery, including the many blacks and whites who worked on Underground Railway.
- Create with students a cause-and-effect chain beginning with the debates of 1858, including Lincoln's 1860 election and the secession of the Southern states, and ending with the first shot of the Civil War.
Use the Lesson Outline to preview the content of the lesson. You may wish to print it for your students as a guide during reading.
Check for Understanding
- Have each student write a letter home as an English visitor to the United States in May of 1861, outlining the events and explaining the causes of the recent outbreak of war between the states.
- Have students create a scene that might have taken place along the Underground Railroad. They should use the map on page 333 to choose a location, and then draw a scene showing how an escaping slave might have traveled to remain safe. Students can also include in their scenes other people who might have helped along the way.
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