Civil War Comprehensive Unit: Interactive Slides, Student Questions, & Primary Source



Unlock a comprehensive and engaging learning experience for your American history students with this must-have PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation on the Civil War. Immerse your class in the causes and consequences of one of the bloodiest wars in American history, and explore the most pivotal battles including Fort Sumter, Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and the March to the Sea. Enhance student understanding and deepen their knowledge with a dynamic and interactive teaching tool, perfect for any American history teacher. Don’t miss out on this top-notch resource – get your Civil War PowerPoint today!

To make the lesson more interactive, this resource includes the primary source Gettysburg Address. This slide includes questions (with answers) that students can answer in groups and be turned into a class discussion.

This is a useful PowerPoint (or Google Slides) you can use to present to your class or give to them to study on their own (students could read the slides and the notes). The design is professional and with the right amount of words on each slide (i.e. NO death by PowerPoint). The content is very detailed in the notes, so if you are busy, you can simply open the slides in front of the class and read the notes (it is suggested you review the slides before class though). Furthermore, it includes a guide sheet that you can print and use when presenting. The information in the guide sheet and PPT notes include additional information that is not on the slides (in other words, it will make you look smart!). This way, the teacher can add interesting little comments or data to each slide. You can either print the whole guide sheet, or just the pages you need help with.

You can make changes to the PPT, if you deem it necessary. This presentation can be used in Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides (if you want to use Google Slides, just click the link which is found in the first slide).

Content in PPT includes:

  • Election of 1860
  • Union and Confederacy Map (including Border States)
  • Confederate States of America
  • Lincoln’s Inauguration
  • Anaconda Plan
  • Strengths and Weaknesses for Union and Confederacy
  • First Modern War
  • Contraband Camps
  • Copperheads
  • Military Life
  • Battlefield Map
  • Battle of Bull Run (Manassas)
  • Homestead Act
  • Land-Grant College (Morrill Act)
  • Pacific Railroad Act
  • Greenbacks
  • Peninsular Campaign
  • Fort Henry
  • Fort Donelson
  • Battle of Shiloh and capture of New Orleans
  • Confiscation Acts
  • Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg)
  • Emancipation Proclamation
  • Battle of Chancellorsville
  • Siege of Vicksburg
  • Battle of Gettysburg
  • Gettysburg Address
  • New York Riots
  • Richmond-Petersburg Campaign
  • March to the Sea
  • Election of 1864
  • Appomattox Court House
  • Lincoln’s Assassination
  • and more!

This presentations touches on all of the above topics and adds more detail. Students will understand the causes and consequences of the war as well as how the Union defeated the Confederacy.

This PPT follows standard American history textbooks.

How to use this product:

  • Present the PowerPoint (or Google Slides) in the classroom; one slide includes an interactive activity for students to complete
  • Present the Google Slides via Zoom (if distance learning)
  • Present and discuss – while presenting, get students involved and create discussion questions that get students thinking like a historian and comparing historical events to current events. Some discussion questions are included in some of the slides.
  • Print presentation with notes and let students read the slides (and notes)
  • Alternatively: have students view the slides, and they present the material in groups

How to use the historical interactive activity:
One slide has a primary source that is an interactive activity. This makes the class more interactive. Here is the suggested use:

  • Have students view the primary (it can be viewed on the slide, but you could print the slide for students)
  • Put the students in pairs
  • Ask the provided questions (questions can be found in the notes of the PPT or in the Guide Sheet)
  • Alternatively, you could print the questions on small slips and hand them out
  • Discuss the answers as a class (suggested answers are provided)

Additional information

Grade Level

8th, 9th, 10th

Resource Types

Full Units, Homeschool, PowerPoints, Google Slides


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