Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Bushwhacker or Jayhawker?
Holly Gemes
American History
Time Frame:
2 Weeks
Civil War

Grade Levels:

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:


  • Go over relevant vocabulary
  • Go over main people involved in the Massacre, Jail collapse, and Raid
  • Go over rubric for the biographical essay



  • Short vocabulary quiz on relevant vocabulary
  • Short review on who was involved in what event
  • Create a two page biographical essay on a participant in the events discussed using sites provided

  • To help students understand the different points of views from the Missouri Bushwhackers and the Kansas Jayhawkers using the Massacre at Osceola, the jail collapse in Kansas City, and the Raid on Lawrence.

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

  • Concept 3a, F.
  • Analyze cultural interactions among groups
    • DOK 3; Standard SS3 1.9, 1.6
  • ·         Concept 3a, I.
  • ·         Interpret political, economic and social causes and consequences of the Civil War
    • DOK 3; Standard 1.6; 3.1
  • Concept 5, B
    • Locate cities and topographic features of the United States
      • DOK 1; Standards SS5 1.4, 1.5
  • Concept 5, J.
    • Use geography to interpret the past, explain the present, and plan for the future
      • DOK 3; SS5 1.6, 3.2
  • Concept 6, E.
  • ·         Analyze how a person becomes a member of a group or institution and what factors that influence inclusion or exclusion from a group
    •  DOK 3; Standards SS6 1.9
  • Concept 6, H
  • ·         Assess how personal and group experiences influence people’s perceptions and judgments of events
    • DOK 3; Standards SS6, 3.6, 3.5, 1.6

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

Full description of activity or assignment.
  • I will show a presentation on the Massacre at Osceola and the reasons that Lane used to justify it.
  •  I will show a presentation about the jail collapse and how many of the Bushwhackers’ relatives were in that collapse.
  •  I will show a presentation on Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence.
  • The students will have a small group discussion on all the presentations.
  • After small group discussion I will divide the class based on their thoughts on who was more justified.

The students will create a biographical essay about a main participate in the Raid on Lawrence.  They will be choosing a Bushwhacker or a Jayhawker.  In their essay they need to be sure to explain their reasoning for choosing that particular participant after including the biographical information.

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
  • Throughout the lesson, they will be give oral quizzes on the information
  • Vocabulary quiz on terms
  • Quiz on people involved in events
  • The students will be tested on recall information during the test on the Civil War.
  • Students will also be assessed on their understanding of the reasons behind the raid based on the side they chose—Bushwhacker or Jayhawker