For Teachers

Mapping the Fourth is an innovative, primary source-based teaching tool that brings the experiences of Civil War Americans alive for your students.

Whether you teach at the college or high school level, your students will jump at the chance to learn about how a previous generation of Americans celebrated the Fourth. (Yes, there were fireworks!) These are engaging first-hand documents that open up big themes: North-South differences; the causes and consequences of the Civil War; African American experiences of emancipation.

Our easy-to-use Groups feature allows teachers and professors to provide customized instructions and keep track of the work their students have done.

If you are planning to use the site with your students, please contact us at july4.civilwar-g@vt.edu. We can provide personalized guidance on how to make the most of Mapping the Fourth, and may even be able to discover new primary sources to suit your students' specific needs.

We've prepared a selection of lesson plans and assignment guidelines that make it easy to integrate the site into your courses in the following two sections.

Questions? Suggestions? Please contact us: july4.civilwar-g@vt.edu

High School Assignment Guidelines

These guildelines include the following sample assignments:
  • In-Class Tagging Activity
  • In-Class Primary Source Transcription and Tagging Activity
  • Pre-packaged Documents
  • Homework Assignment
  • Semester Long Project
Please click here for more details.

College Assignment Guidelines

These guildelines include the following sample assignments:
  • Homework assignment and in-class activity for a course in U.S. history
  • Multiple homework assignments and in-class activities for a course on the American Civil War Era
  • Archival research project with document discovery
  • Semester-long research project for an advanced course in U.S. history
Please click here for more details.