Money from the Past

During the Civil War, each of the Confederate states produced its own currency. Each state designed, printed and licensed banks to print money. Most of the banks in the South did not have the funds necessary to back the paper money with actual gold or silver. At the conclusion of the Civil War, the money produced in the Confederacy was worthless.


Activity 1: Reading Currency
Upon completion of this activity, students should be able to:
  1. Compare and contrast Confederate currency with modern United States currency.
  2. Discuss the symbols used in the designs of currency.
  3. Demonstrate creative writing skills using historically based information.

QCC Objectives:
Grade 4: Topics/Contents: A16, Skills: A1, A2, A3, B12, B13, D24, D29,
Grade 8: Topics/Contents: D20, D21, D22, Skills: A1, A6, A9, A10, B15, C26, D34, D38, D39

For this lesson, you will need the following images:
Suggested Lesson:
  1. Make a copy of each of the bank notes for each student.
  2. Ask the following questions:
    1. Where was the money printed?
    2. What are the dates on the money?
    3. What are the denominations on each of the notes?
    4. What are some of the symbols or pictures on the notes?
    5. When will the amount of the one hundred dollars be paid to the bearer of the note?
    Compare the Confederate money to United States currency.
    1. What symbols are used on United States money?
    2. Are there dates on the money?
    3. Who prints the money ?
    4. Is the name of a city on the money? If so, which city is it?
  3. Allow the students to use research resources to locate information on the Treasury of the United States or on the production of currency in the United States. They should find some information on the symbols used in the design of money. ***Reminder: Many times a student will have a parent or a grandparent who is a coin collector. Invite a collector to class to explain his/her collection and to be interviewed by the students.
  4. Ask the students to think about the twenty five cent note. Ask the students to write a paragraph describing when paper might be more convenient than coinage.

Activity 2: Creating Money
Upon completion of this activity, students should be able to :
  1. Create a symbolic document based upon historical knowledge and research.

QCC Objectives:
Grade 4: Skills: A1, A2, A3, B12, B13, D24, D29,
Grade 8: Topics/Contents: D20, Skills: A1, A6, A9, A10, D34, D38, D39

Suggested Lesson:
  1. Give each student several sheets of plain, white paper.
  2. Allow the students to create their own symbols for their state and city in order to create a Confederate one dollar bill.
  3. Attached to the created money should be a list explaining the symbols that were used on the currency.

Click here for the Ninth Lesson, The Actual Enumeration

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