Civil War Cardboard Cutouts


The Civil War in the United States started in 1861, following decades of simmering tensions between northern and southern states over slavery, states’ rights and expansion in the westward direction. When Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860, seven southern states seceded to form the Confederate States of America, later on joined by four more states. The Civil War was also known as the War Between the States, and it ended in Confederate surrender in 1865. 

To date, the conflict resulting in the Civil War is believed to be the costliest and deadliest war ever fought on American soil. It resulted in death of approximately 620,000 of the total 2.4 million soldiers and millions more getting severely injured. Most of the Southern part of the United States was also destroyed, flattened by forces from the North.

Important Civil War figures

During the Civil War a number of people made significant contributions and remain etched in the annals of history. Some of these prominent names are: Abraham Lincoln (remembered for preserving the Union throughout the war and ensuring emancipation of slaves), Clara Barton (educator, nurse and founder of the American Red Cross), Jefferson Davis (best known as the president of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War), Ulysses S. Grant (U.S. general and commander of the Union armies during the later American Civil War years and later 18th U.S. president), Stonewall Jackson (leading Confederate general during the U.S. Civil War), Robert E. Lee (leading Confederate general during the U.S. Civil War), and William Tecumseh Sherman (U.S. Civil War Union Army leader best remembered for "Sherman's March," in which he and his troops wreaked havoc and total destruction to the South) played notable roles before, during and after the conflict. 

Others include Mary Walker, George Westinghouse, Kit Carson, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Robert E. Lee, William Seward, Jesse James, Frederick Douglass, Mary Todd Lincoln, Franklin Pierce, Buffalo Bill Cody, Newton Knight, George Custer, Thomas Nast, Robert Smalls, Wild Bill Hickok, Stephen Crane, and James Buchanan. All these individuals played an important role in influencing the progress and subsequent impact and end of the Civil War.

Symbols during the Civil War

The Civil War had two major warring factions: The Union, and the Confederate States of America. The Union’s symbol of might and splendours was of course the United States of America flag (the stars and Stripes) and the regimental colours. Confederate States of America on the other hand had its Battle Flag too. Within these two factions, there were smaller parties allied to either side. Of all these, the main distinguishing factor was each faction’s flag which was made of either silk, textile or wool. The flags incorporated elements from the flags of their choice faction, and were carried high when entering and leaving battlefields and hoisted whenever an area was overrun by an enemy faction.

Apart from the flags, there are other smaller symbols including cannons, rifles, boots worn by the soldiers, caps/ helmets, drums and even swords for some.

Cardboard cutouts

In a classroom situation, teaching tools and learning aids go a long way in ensuring that the learners understand the lesson better. Especially if your learners are of a younger age where their attention span is short, any extra teaching aids are welcome! As teaching aids, the cutouts are responsible for building on the mental image of what is being discussed and helping the information sink better. Easily put, children digest visual information faster and recall it more easily in future. 

The good news is that these teaching aids are very easy to get too! They can be purchased and brought to class for each lesson at a moment’s notice. Life size Civil War cardboard cutouts can stand up and stand out in a room. They come folded with an easel attached for quick storage, transportation and setting up in whichever classroom you will be going to. 

You can actually also improvise your own cardboard cutout if you are feeling adventurous! It actually is fun to do and the kids will definitely enjoy helping out! You will need a heavy duty printer to print out the full size picture or you can print it in pieces and then paste them carefully so there isn’t a break in the form. Simply print the picture, paste it onto a cardboard and then cut carefully around the picture. A separate cardboard piece can be attached to the back of the cutout for support, or you can still lean it carefully against the wall.

There are many stores that have them on sale, including: having your own set of cardboard cutouts will allow you to not only teach your learners more easily but also to deliver an interesting and memorable lesson. What’s more, nothing should stop you from letting your learners take pictures beside your cutouts to stick in their scrapbooks!

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