Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Jayhawkers and Bushwhackers Raiders
Kevin Harmon
American History
Time Frame:
5-8 days
Civil War

Grade Levels:

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
  • In this lesson students will work in teams to create a time line of raids during the Border War before watching the movie Ride with the Devil to learn information about the Missouri-Kansas Border War.


  • To teach students the history of the Border War in Missouri and Kansas and how it relates to the American Civil War.

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:

  • Kansas Performance 11- Events that lead to sectionalism and the Civil War
  • District Performance 6- Causes of and the Civil War


Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • Movie, "Ride with the Devil", based on events during the Border War, specifically with the raid on Lawrence, Kansas.
  • Text giving students information on the background of the Missouri Kansas Border War


Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • Students will research online to find information, including primary documents to create a time line of Border War events.

Technology Required:
  • DVD player and television.
  • Computers for group assignment

Full description of activity or assignment.
  • Read Bleeding Kansas and  Civil War chapters  in textbook
  • While students read material assigned, student will create a Concept Map for each section (mapping allows each student to arrange information the way they “think”) This assignment will be graded at end of class.
  • Team and partner assignments
  • Team J-Jayhawkers, Team B- Bushwhackers- will create an list and time line of raids into Kansas and Missouri based on which team they belong to.
  • Each team will be divided into partners and the teacher will assign what years that each partner group will cover(54-55, 56-57, 58-59,60-61, 62-63, 64-65)
  • Student will use online research to find events pertaining to their year and group, either Jayhawker or Bushwacker.
  • Each team will cite sources for their timeline.
  • Each team will present their findings to the class for others to take notes to create a "Classroom Time Line of the Border War"
  • Students will end lesson by watching "Ride with the Devil" to picture the events of the Border War.
  • Students should write down events discussed in the film, important historical characters, towns, and other information.

Following these activities students will write an essay on the Border War events using the timeline created in class.

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
  • Concept maps – each section of the chapter- graded at end of class- 50 pts.
  • Group/ partner work-Web research and  on task- 20pts., on task most of class-16 pts., some research, little team/group work-12 pts
  • Teams will assemble group work and lists the raids for the years assigned- every year 100 pts
  • Each student will write an three paragraph (4-6 sentence/paragraph) essay based on both teams timelines-60 pts.
  • Chapter test- MC, Matching, T/F, Essay-100pts.