The University of Alabama
CSS Alabama Teaching Resource
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CSS Alabama Digital Collection 

Page 3 


Activity 1 - "The Captain's Journal"

Goal/Purpose: The student will gain an appreciation of the history of the CSS Alabama, and use the Internet site to form basic critical historical thinking skills.

Grade Level: 9-12th grade History or English class

Evaluation: Based on creativity, content, sentence structure, and grammatical correctness.

Concept/Skill Taught: Critical, historical thinking; abstract reasoning.

Instructions: Imagine yourself as the captain of the CSS Alabama. Your standing orders are to stop all Yankee traffic, taking prisoners and sinking merchant ships. Using the "Virtual Journey" page, and the information from the rest of the site, write a journal to your superior officers telling of your successes and failures. Use at least 4 entries from at least 4 different encounters. Remember to think of your intended audience as you write, and it needs to be historically accurate. Each entry should be about a page long.

Next, write a couple of paragraphs stating your view of the purpose of the CSS Alabama. Did they serve a military purpose, or were they simply pirates? How did the success of the CSS Alabama change the strategy of both sides? Was it truly historically important? Support your arguments with information from the site.
(Submitted by Scott Thornbro)

Activity 2 - "The Sinking of the Hatteras"

Goal/Purpose: In this activity students gain experience interpreting historic documents by reading primary materials for content. The activity uses the documents associated with the sinking of the U.S. warship Hatteras by the CSS Alabama off the coast of Galveston, Texas on January 11, 1863.

Grade Level: Ninth grade, Alabama History

Evaluation: Based on correctly completing the puzzle.

Concept/Skill Taught: Critical thinking, interpretation of primary materials, and information seeking.

Instructions:Use the provided journal from the C.S.S. Alabama web site to complete the crossword puzzle.

First, read the journal carefully. Then fill in the blanks to the crossword puzzle. You may need to refer back to the journal to find the answers. 
(Submitted by Geri Hughes)