LOCAL LESSONS: Oakland County and the Civil War

Students to learn about Civil War with NEW hands-on, local history lessons…

“These lessons help students connect with their own local history, with real individuals who served in the Civil War. This curriculum requires students to grapple with primary source materials, the real stuff of history, instead of a textbook. It requires a student to think and read like a historian.” ~ Dr. Vickie Markavitch

Sept. 18 – Deputy County Executive Matt Gibb, on behalf of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, and Oakland Schools Superintendent Dr. Vickie L. Markavitch formally introduced a new instructional curriculum centered on the county’s Civil War map.  The curriculum offers teachers detailed lessons and visual artifacts that will enhance students’ understanding of local history.Oakland SchoolsPatterson unveiled the amazing “Oakland County in the Civil War” map in 2011 to mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Two years later, Waterford School District staff development consultant Carol Bacak-Egbo developed lessons which Patterson and Markavitch plan to introduce into social studies classrooms.

“Oakland Schools will be working with the Civil War Project team to deliver an “Oakland County in the Civil War” map to every public school building in Oakland County in the coming weeks,” announced Markavitch. “With this map will be the directions on how to access the instructional curriculum for this project. The lessons are posted on the Oakland Schools website at www.oakland.k12.mi.us.”

Oakland Schools

Dr. Markavitch, Superintendent of Oakland Schools

The fascinating local curriculum for the Civil War map goes beyond the traditional history lesson.

““The Civil War map allows students to encounter history first hand,” Gibb commented. “Instead of just reading about it from a textbook, they can experience historic sites and buildings right here in Oakland County.”

Local Heroes & History!

Some of the local Civil War history on the map includes: a remarkable story of a woman from Rose Township who enlisted disguised as a man and later became a spy for the Union; a Rochester soldier spared from a Confederate hanging because of the intervention of a confederate family with whom he had shared his food rations; and a Lake Orion teacher who became the Commander of Michigan’s 102nd Colored Regiment.

Oakland Schools

Enlistee Sarah Emma Edmonds of Rose Township

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Michael Warren joined Gibb and Markavitch at Franklin Community Church in Franklin, Michigan for the announcement today. Warren co-founded Patriot Week (Sept. 11-17) with his daughter Leah. It celebrates America’s first principles, founding fathers and other patriots, vital documents and speeches, and flags.

“Patriot Week encourages Americans of all ages to explore the individuals, documents and words that are the foundation of our great nation,” Warren said. “These Civil War lessons will inspire our students to engage our past through contemporary sources rather than just rely on a textbook.”

The lessons allow teachers to meet the Michigan Social Studies Content Expectations, as well as the new Literacy Standards for History and Social Science, in a creative way. Bacak-Egbo developed them in partnership with Bruce Miller and the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War.

“I would like to personally thank Carol Bacak-Egbo for her dedication to this project,” said Dr. Markavitch. “Carol led the effort to create the curriculum for this project and she worked with Oakland Schools consultants to publish and share this engaging curriculum with all Oakland County teachers.”

Civil War in Oakland County MAP Available to History Buffs

The general public may purchase the “Oakland County in the Civil War” Heritage map poster for $20. For more information about obtaining the map, call Oakland County’s One Stop Shop at 248-858-7647.

Oakland Schools

Oakland County students at the Oakland County-Oakland Schools Civil War Project Press Conference in Franklin


Oakland SchoolsOriginal Press Release by Bill Mullan, Oakland County Media & Communications Officer

Blog Editor: Jean MacLeod, Communications/Oakland Schools


 Oakland Schools • 2111 Pontiac Lake Road • Waterford, MI 48328-2736 • 248.209.2000

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