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Civil War Diorama


Congratulations! You have just been hired by the Smithsonian History Museum to create a diorama on one of the main Civil War battles. Your job will be to create a diorama on a battle from the ones listed below. Dioramas need to be the size of a poster board, appoximatly 22x28 inches. No pre-created items can be purchased from the store such as buildings, army men, trees, bushes, fencing, weapons, and animals. Instead students should use their creativity and create their own items to depict the battle.

To create your items you can use the following salt dough recipe:

Ingredients: 1 cup salt, 2 cups flour, and 3/4 cup water

1. Mix all flour and salt in a large bowl.

2. Gradually stir in water. Mix well until it forms a dough like consistancy.

3. Place dough on flat surface and kneed with your hands until smooth and combined.

4. Make your creations (i.e. Soldiers, Horses, Boats, ect.)

5. Place your salt creations into the oven at 180 degrees. Cook 10min+ as the amount of time needed to bake your items depends on the items thickness and size. 


Battle of Antietam

Battle of Gettysburg

Battle of Fredericksburg

Battle of Chancellorsville

Battle of Bull Run

Battle of Shiloh

Battle of Vicksburg

Naval Battle: The Merrimack v The Monitor

You also need to design a poster board to place with your diorama that demonstrates your groups knowledge of the Civil War and more specifically the battle you chose for your diorama. Each poster board must be creatively designed to include images and facts that directly relate to your battle of the Civil War. Battle Facts would include but not be limited to dates/locations the battle took place, General names for the Confederate and Union forces, casulties, and which side won. In addition, to complete the poster board each person in the group is responsible for researching one topic to discuss and place on the poster board. Each group member will use their research to write a 250-500 word summary of the topic they have researched. Students can discuss anything about the battle including but not limited to uniforms, weapons, generals leading the battle or strategies. What you choose to report is up to you! Each student will need to also complete a works cited page for their research. Without a works cited page it will be considered plagerism. Each students summary must be presented on the poster board creatively for example by using foldables (You will be given directions on how this foldable can be completed by Miss. Strudas in English class). Last but not least you must make a second copy of your research and works cited to hand into Mrs. Schnabel and Miss Strudas the day of the presentation.    

Dates & Deadlines

This project is interdisciplinary between both English and Social Studies. Groups will be chosen within your classes by Mrs. Strudas and Mrs. Schnabel. Once in your groups you will choose the battle you will create a diorama for. Each group in a class must choose a different battle. Once you have chosen a project you may not switch projects. Each project is worth 100 pts.

The Final project will be due the morning of Wednesday May 29th, 2018. You will be presenting this in front of the entire 8th grade. 




Red Cross

Jefferson Davis

Abraham Lincoln

General Robert E. Lee

General Thomas Jackson

General Ulysses S. Grant



54th Massachusetts Regiment


Union Blockade

Women in the War

Fall of Vicksburg

General George Pickett

Total War

General George McClellan

General Phillip Sheridan

General William Tecumseh Sherman





Names of group members:



Date: _______________________


Complete the following about your group work:


1.We encourage everyone as a group.


2.We shared out ideas.


3.We responded to each others' ideas even if we did not agree with them.


4.We checked with other group members to make sure they understood what we said and our reason for saying it.


5.We used our time efficiently to complete our tasks.


6.If you had to give your group a letter grade (A,B,C,D) what would it be? And why? Please support your reasoning with examples.









Individual Work

Each group member will be responsible for creating at least one part of the diorama and assisting in the creation of all the other parts of the diorama for your group.

Part of diorama you create= 30%

You must create one aspect of the diorama yourself and be able to explain its historical significance.

Historically Accurate

Part of the diorama you assist in creating = 10%

Assist in a clear introduction of topic and conclusion on plaque

Should be free of spelling/grammar errors

Bibliography on separate piece of paper attached to diorama

Historically Accurate

Research = 10%

Website Credibility Evaluation Form

2 of your sources must be from a credible website

Group Work

Groups will create a diorama and plaque as their final product. They will be asked to assess their group work, on how well they shared ideas, and balanced responsibilities.

Diorama and Plaque = 40%

Diorama Layout - Must be the size of a poster board if laid down flat (22 in by 28 in). It should look/feel like battlefield. Complete with historical accuracy of the land the battle was fought on, the uniforms soldiers wore, and the weapons being used.

Plaque Layout - Needs to be 500 words written in paragraph form, no grammatical errors, neatly typed


Original Name

Group Evaluation = 10%

Team Work/ Cooperation

Sharing Ideas

Respecting each other opinions