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Cast Your Vote: The Civil War’s Great Border State Debate

from Maryland Historical Society (Timeline Studios)

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During this live, interactive distance learning program, students will take a side on the great border state debate during the Civil War! Using letters, cartoons, broadsides, and census records to craft their arguments, students will try to convince the group to vote, using live polling technology, to secede or remain in the Union.

Program Rating

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About This Program


Point to Point: $125.00
By Request: $125.00


45-60 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Social Studies/History, Language Arts/English, Literacy, Reading, Gifted & Talented

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)
Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Skype, iChat, Vidyo, Movi/Jabber, Blue Jeans, etc...)

Booking Information

Programs are offered Tuesday through Thursday.

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We will not charge for programs cancelled due to nature i.e. snow days. The full fee will be charged to sites which cancel with less than 48 hours notice.

About This Provider

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Maryland Historical Society (Timeline Studios)

Baltimore, MD
United States

Timeline Studio offers dynamic, interactive programs on topics in United States history for K-12, collegiate, and adult audiences. By exploring and discussing original historical evidence, including documents, images, artifacts, and audio and video clips, participants draw conclusions about important compelling questions about our nation's past.

Bethany Nagle

Program Details


1.This program begins with an introductory discussion about the Civil War.
2.We then discuss the events leading up to the 1861 special session of Maryland’s State Legislature.
3.Students are divided into Northern and Southern Sympathizers and navigate to their respective webpages.
4.Participants review their sources about Marylander’s social ties to the North and South and craft their arguments.
5.The students debate the topic citing evidence from their sources.
6.Students then anonymously poll in their vote.
7.This process is repeated for two more rounds that focus on the economic and political ties of Marylanders.
8.The students then engage in one last overall discussion and cast their last overall vote.
9.Participants will then learn about how divided the state remained throughout the war.
10.Time is allowed for questions and answers.


The participant will:
Learn about what it meant to be a border state during the Civil War
Engage in a discussion about how border states were extremely divided leading up to and during the war
Synthesize information from a variety of sources
Construct and present an argument
Evaluate and compare the arguments presented by their classmates

Standards Alignment

National Standards

ELA-LITERACY -- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.9-10.RI.1 -- Reading: Informational Text
ELA-LITERACY -- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.9-10.RI.5 -- Reading: Informational Text
ELA-LITERACY -- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.9-10.RI.6 -- Reading: Informational Text
ELA-LITERACY -- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.9-10.RL.4 -- Reading: Literature
ELA-LITERACY -- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.9-10.SL.1 -- Speaking and Listening
ELA-LITERACY -- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.9-10.SL.4 -- Speaking and ListeningThis program can be adapted for various grade levels. Outlined below are the 9th – 10th grade benchmarks and standards met by this program

Era 5 -- Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)
-- Standard 1: The causes of the Civil War
The student understands how the North and South differed and how politics and ideologies led to the Civil War.

D2.Eco.1.9-12. Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
D2.Geo.2.9-12. Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their political, cultural, and economic dynamics.
D2.His.4.9-12. Analyze complex and interacting factors that influenced the perspectives of people during different historical eras.
D2.His.5.9-12. Analyze how historical contexts shaped and continue to shape people’s perspectives.
D2.His.14.9-12. Analyze multiple and complex causes and effects of events in the past
D2.His.16.9-12. Integrate evidence from multiple relevant historical sources and interpretations into a reasoned argument about the past.
D4.1.9-12. Construct arguments using precise and knowledgeable claims, with evidence from multiple sources, while acknowledging counterclaims and evidentiary weaknesses.
D4.2.9-12. Construct explanations using sound reasoning, correct sequence (linear or non-linear), examples, and details with significant and pertinent information and data, while acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the explanation given its purpose

RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RI.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone
RI.9-10.5 Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text.
RI.9-10.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.
CCR.S&L.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCR.S&L.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

State Standards

2.C.1.d Describe how cultural, economic and political differences contributed to sectionalism
3.A.1.a Use thematic maps to locate places and describe the human and physical characteristics, such as settlement patterns, migration, population density, transportation, and communication networks
3.A.1.c Analyze thematic maps to determine demographic and economic information about a region
4.A.4.a Describe how differences between the agrarian South and the industrial North heightened tensions
5.C.4.a Describe pro-slavery and anti-slavery positions and explain how debates over slavery influenced politics and sectionalism.
5.C.5.c Explain why the 1860 election led to the secession of the southern states.