NAME_____________________________________  CLASS_______


8th Grade Social Studies Homework Assignments

Due Wednesday, NOVember 22, 2006


I.  Portfolio Assignment Due – Student’s Choice!

November 20th for 802

November 21st for 804 & 805


Steps – Check these off as you go!

q       Choose a specific topic within the Civil War Unit or book about the Civil War.

q       Read the book or study about your topic.

q       Choose the type of project to present.

q       Get a rubric or get approval from Ms. Tennant for your project plan.

q       Complete a project that includes at least three paragraphs of writing (See your individual rubrics for specific requirements or ask Ms. Tennant.)


II.  Abraham Lincoln – A Proclamation of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, arguably America's most inclusive and cherished day of family observance, wasn't a national holiday until President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it so in 1863. And that primarily was the result of a 17-year campaign by magazine editor Sara Josepha Hale, who initially thought such a holiday might avert the Civil War and subsequently hoped it would help heal the nation's wounds.  Alas, the war raged on, but the president made the following proclamation, establishing the first official Thanksgiving celebration.

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union… And I …commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.


Based on the reading above, answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.

1.  What is the overall tone of this proclamation?  Explain your judgment using specific examples from the text.

2.  What words and phrases did President Lincoln use to refer to the Civil War?  Why do you think he describes the conflict in those terms?