African Americans played a significant role in the American Civil War. In this activity, you will use what you have learned about writing informational/explanatory text to write an essay explaining the role African Americans played in the Civil War and the difficulties they faced as Union soldiers.
Carefully read the two online resources below to learn about the role of African Americans in the Civil War.
African Americans played a vital role during the Civil War.
Image Credit: National Park Serviceopens in new window
Library of Congress: Civil War and Reconstruction Opens a new window
National Archives - Teaching With Documents: The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War Opens a new window
Using your own paper or software, write an essay that explains the role of African Americans during the Civil War and the difficulties they faced as Union soldiers. Your essay needs to include an introductory paragraph, at least one paragraph providing support for your main idea, and a concluding paragraph.
As you write your essay, use the following key questions to help you explain the role of African Americans during the Civil War and the difficulties they faced as Union soldiers.
- How did African Americans help the Union win the Civil War?
- What prevented African Americans from serving as Union soldiers at the beginning of the Civil War?
- How did the role of African Americans change after the Emancipation Proclamation?
- What special difficulties did African American Union soldiers face?
You may use the Explanatory Writing Diagram and Graphic Organizer or the Project Write Graphic Organizer to guide your writing.
Middle School Explanatory Writing Diagram and Graphic Organizer
Project Write Graphic Organizers
When you have written your informative/explanatory draft essay explaining the role of African Americans during the Civil War and the difficulties they faced as Union soldiers, use the following writer’s checklist to review your work. Use your checklist as a guide to revise your draft and submit your final copy to your teacher.