Welcome Teachers & Educators! Come in and take a look at how the Kansas-Missouri border wars can now raid YOUR classrooms through lesson plan curriculum ideas that bring the stories and events right into your schools! The QSCR now has over forty Civil War lesson plan and curriculum books, along with books on Quantrill and the border wars, to help adapt overall Civil War lesson plans to the border wars. Here's a saddlebag full of different ideas that might get you started!

*Reunion In Geography:  Study geography by pinpointing the gravesites of Quantrill men by using "A Reunion In Death: The Gravesites of the Quantrill Men and the James Gang, Volumes I, II & III" by Duncan Hansen.

*Order Number Classroom:  Teachers can do this as a whole classroom or by groups. Have the class or each group write and design their own "Order No. 11!" They are sending all Southern sympathizers out of the county / counties! Will they give No Quarter to any man over sixteen years of age? Does the families get to take their furniture? Is ALL livestock or money to be turned over to the government? How long do they have to get out of the county? Three days? Five days? Two weeks?

*The Rebuilding of Lawrence:  The rise of Atlanta, after Sherman's march, has been discussed and studied as a broad subject in the classrooms. But what about Lawrence, Kansas after Quantrill's raid? How did they recover? What was the mental and financial recovery? What measures did the citizens take against another attack? How many people left and how many stayed?

*Join the Partisan Rangers: Have students take on the life of one of Quantrill's men! How did they live before the war? What property, livestock, pets, belongings and family members did they lose to the Jayhawker raids? What Quantrill fights were they in on? Were they at Lawrence or Baxter Springs? Did they ride more with Quantrill or Anderson or Dave Poole or George Todd? Were they wounded at anytime? Did they surrender in Louisiana or did they go to Mexico with General JO Shelby? How did they live after the war?

*Diary of the Border: This involves students in using resources to create a personal journal. Students write journal entries as if they were one of a handful of border war characters (a Union soldier, a Quantrill partisan, an individual that has been harrassed by Jayhawkers over and over, ). Older students might use some actual journals or diaries of real people of the Civil War era to guide their journal writing.

*From Walker to Wakefield: Students create a timeline of the events during the partisans movements and battles, starting with the Morgan Walker raid and ending with Quantrill's death in Kentucky. This timeline will have illustrations and descriptions. Students then write a paper detailing a Quantrill battle, fight or raid that they pick to write about.

*The Border Line Is Drawn: Students study Quantrill's partisans and Lane's Jayhawkers for an extended period of time. The teacher or students then pick one student to be Lane and one student to be Quantrill. Next, the class is evenly divided into two camps. One half are Quantrill's partisans and the other half are Lane's Jayhawkers! The two students, portraying Lane and Quantrill, each give a timed speech (length of time for each speech is determined by teacher with actual time or so many words). Then, the line is drawn! Let the class have it with passionate debate!

*CSI:Kansas City: On August 13, 1863, three women and one young girl was killed when the "makeshift" Union Jail collapsed in Kansas City, Missouri. Hotly contested to this very day is the question of whether the Jail was purposely weakened by Union soldiers who guarded the women or it was never a sound structure to begin with and negligence was shown by the Union for jailing the women in an unsafe place. Investigate the tragedy by using primary, secondary and internet sources and compiling the facts from witnesses, testimony, stories and affidavits to see what conclusions can be made.

*The Women of the Border: Learn about the trials and tribulations of the "women folk" along the border. These women served as nurses, shelter, messengers and had their own worries about Jayhawks and Partisan raids while also worrying about the safety of the male members of their families. Using photos, letters and diaries, students can examine these many roles the women played and their impact felt through the war.

*Border War Trading Cards: Have the class make border war trading cards from the personalities and events of the border wars. Partisan rangers cards like William Quantrill, Dave Poole, Bill Anderson. Union men like James Lane, James Blunt and Charles Jennison. And events like the Union Jail collapse, the Lawrence raid and Quantrill's death in Kentucky can be made with pictures of the person or event on the front of the card and stats with fights or battles the person was in, who they rode under and a small paragraph about them on the back. Event cards can be the same with a picture on the front and small description of the event on the back with date and place.

*Letters from the Border: Students write letters as a partisan writing home or loved ones writing their men out in the battlefields on paper from the time period. Start by dipping plain computer paper into very strong tea. Next, let the papers dry flat. When papers are dry and ready to be used, students write their letters and can decorate them by using brown markers to make the edges look older or red marker to dot it with blood marks. This project makes a great bulletin board display.

*The Watts-Hays Letters: This is a wonderful place to study actual letters from the border itself. Letters from the family of Missouri Colonel, Upton Hays and his wife, Margaret are posted for research online at http://www.wattshaysletters.com These letters detail the struggles of death, raids and hardship on the border. Mr. James Yeager, buried at Beaty Cemetery in Lincoln, Arkansas, is a third cousin to Quantrill man, Richard "Dick" Yeager. His uncle, Cornelius Yeager is mentioned in these very letters.

*Look Me In The Eyes: Pictures of many of the Quantrill partisans, as well as men from other partisan bands, are posted here athttp://www.canteymyerscollection.com Look at the images of these individuals. What do you see in their eyes? Their faces? Is it anger? Sadness? Revenge? Do they look worn out? Tired? Have students discuss the images and give their opinion on what they see. What impressions are left on the class?

*The Official Reports: Students make out official reports from battles, fights or skirmishes fought by Quantrill's partisans and Union soldiers. Have them study examples like this: http://www.pddoc.com/skedaddle/010/0270.htm
Then, have students pick a Kansas or Missouri Union regiment to represent, that engaged Quantrill or any of his other band leaders like Anderson, Poole or Todd. Or represent a Missouri Confederate unit that fought with Quantrill like JO Shelby, Benjamin Gordon or Sterling Price. The student then writes an official report from research he did on a particular fight, addressing it to his "commanding teacher." and signing it like a soldier. For example....

Butler, October 1, 1864

Major _____________ (teacher's name)

Text of report

I have the honor to be, your obedient student,
John Q. Public

*Quantrill and Beyond: Study the activities of each partisan when they were with regular Missouri regiments. How many of the partisans were with regular Missouri Confederate units. How many regiments did each appear in and where did they fight? Or when Quantrill's men were with General Sterling Price in his raids through Missouri and Kansas. What engagements were the partisans in as they were part of Price's army? A great research tool for this is the Confederate Pension & Confederate Home Applications three volume notebooks in the QSCR at the Benton County Historical Society!

*The Partisans from Primary: This is packed with pictures and original letters of the Lawrence citizens describing the Lawrence raid! This is a great source for going right inside the Lawrence raid! A must see! Go to  http://www.kansasmemory.org/locate.php?query=Quantrill  There are over seventy results to study and read complete with Teachers Notes at the bottom of some entries!

*On To Lawrence!: Split the class in half. One side are the citizens of Lawrence. The other are Quantrill's guerrillas. The side that represents the Lawrence citizens prepare for the imminent arrival of Quantrill's men. What would they do upon hearing rumors? Would they be better prepared then the actual Lawrence people? What steps would they take to be ready? The guerrilla half of the class plans the attack and specific targets. Which way would they come into town? Different route? Different strategy? Then discuss and debate the reasons for the raid. Also, break down the statistics...which parts of town were hit hardest? Who were the guerrillas seeking out specifically and why?

*Recalling Witness: (Lengthy lesson) Have the class research the many horrifying stories during "Bleeding Kansas" and the Kansas-Missouri border wars with torture and killing that affected wives, families and children. There are many events where young boys were hung and dropped to the ground for information, wives seeing their husbands gunned down before their eyes, children seeing their father dead and home burning out of control. Then, have each one pick out a particular person and write about what they experienced. 

*The Union Rampage!: The Union armies were quick with a torch as well as a gun and had no reservations in burning whole towns, homes, residences, businesses and farms along their paths. This lesson is an excellent way to track the path of destruction left by Kansas regiments and other Union armies throughout the border wars! Author Paul Petersen painstakingly compiled the list below (see and use link) with number of structures, names and dates! This is well worth a look and is great for geography or military lessons!http://quantrillsguerrillas.com/en/articles/88-approximate-number-of-missouri-homes-burned-by-jayhawkers-redlegs-article.html

*Jesse James and the Effect of the Missouri Border War: This plan was found online and is a real treat! It is a "reader's theater" and it's goal is to understand the conditions in western Missouri during the border wars. Students get the chance to be an actor and juror. It includes Frank James, Bill Anderson and James Lane! Looks like a lot of fun! Use this link:


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