Social Studies Back in the day


  • Map the journey of Edgewood.
  • Trace your roots by creating a family tree.
  • Scrapbook history, literally.


Writing-Based Questions

  • If your house, like Edgewood, could talk, what stories would it share?
  • Throughout the film, it becomes obvious that women and African Americans often suffered unrelenting oppression. Can you recall a time when you felt oppressed? What emotions did you experience? How did you respond?
  • Describe the “Planter Class” of the South. What were some traits and behaviors characteristic of this group of Southerners?
  • The Civil War was a series of one bloody battle after another. List and briefly describe two of the causes of the Civil War. Variation: Divide students into cooperative groups, instructing each group to create a timeline of four or more events leading to the war.
  • Imagine you were growing up during the time of the Civil War. Compare and contrast your life today with what it would have been like during that time.
  • What was the significance of the ratification of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution?
  • Eulalie Salley played a key role in sustaining the life of Edgewood. What is the importance of preserving historical objects such as this remarkable house?

In-Class Questions Using Venn Diagrams or T-Charts

  • Imagine you were growing up during the time of the Civil War. Compare and contrast your life today with what it would have been like during that time.
  •  Lucy’s daughter Douschka joined an anti-Reconstructionist group called the Red Shirts. Explain the ideals (beliefs) of those supporting the Reconstruction. How did these beliefs differ from those of members of groups such as the Red Shirts?
  • List some of the effects on daily life instigated by the Reconstruction. Be sure to consider the perspectives of plantation owners, local farmers, women, and freedmen.
  • Consider the differing viewpoints of two individuals, such as a plantation owner and a former slave, living in the South during Reconstruction. Compare and contrast their points of view regarding events such as the passing of the 13th, 14th or 15th Amendments, the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln or the formation of the Red Shirts.
  • What notions of power — or powerlessness — do you see throughout the movie?

Discussion-Based Questions Using a Discussion Circle Model

  • Under a few conditions, Lucy Pickens made a sacrifice in agreeing to marry General Francis Pickens, a man who was twice her age. Why was she willing to make such a sacrifice? Would you have acted the same way?
  • Governor Francis Pickens was the man who called for secession. Would you have made the same decision? Why? If not, what action would you have taken?
  • Was “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman a product of his time? Did he represent the beliefs of the majority of Southerners?
  • Edgewood was a grand house, filled with laughter, opulence, and grandeur. Yet the African Americans who work in it (and for it), did not experience Edgewood’s splendor. Do you see any contradictions in this?
  • Lucinda, or Cinda, was a wedding gift to Lucy Pickens from her mother. Edgewood says that while she could not understand why some people were viewed as property and not others, those individuals living within her walls supported one of two quite differing opinions regarding this practice. Explain the two opinions, providing a justification for each of them. Do you, like Edgewood, have a hard time understanding why some people were viewed as property? Do you think this is right? Why or why not?
  • Was Eulalie Salley just as passionate about universal rights and privileges as she was about those for women?
  • Just as Edgewood has changed over time, how do perceptions, beliefs, and practices change over time as well?
  • Edgewood states the belief that humans are more alike than they are different. Do you agree or disagree? Cite at least two reasons that support your stance.


Two Hundred Year Timeline (overview of the historical events from circa 1800-2000)
Using the dates provided in the Edgewood film, create a timeline of events beginning with the construction of the house in the year 1829**. Follow characters such as Colonel Francis Pickens, Lucy Pickens, Douschka Pickens, Eulalie Salley and others as they live out their lives in and around Edgewood. Be sure to include events such as the Pickens’ trip to Russia, the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments, the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, and the end of World War II. End the timeline with the relocation of Edgewood to her permanent home on the University of South Carolina Aiken campus.

Note to teachers: To span the full 200 years, have your students begin with any year between 1800 and 1829 and end with the date 200 years later, between 2000 and 2029. Not only does this allow the full time span but it will also provide you with a slight variety in timelines. Regardless of the year selected, the events on the timeline should remain the same.

Scrapbook for the Ages (overview of the historical events from circa 1800-2000)
Pretend you are a child or young adult growing up in South Carolina during the time represented by the first half of the film. You may choose to be a boy or girl, slave or free, enlisted to fight or home caring for your siblings. Using the information (people, places, events, dates, etc.) from the timeline created above, each student should create a scrapbook chronicling this period in Southern history. Be sure to include pictures, both photographs and hand drawn, newspaper clippings, personal thoughts, and other artifacts from the time period.


  • First page of the scrapbook should introduce you. (What is your name? Are you a girl or boy? What is your family like? What is your role? Include a picture of yourself, lock of your hair, piece of your clothing, etc.)
  • Scrapbook must include at least 12 pages.
  • Scrapbook should include:
    • 15 photos (drawings, photographs from a camera, or pictures from a magazine)
    • 3 different historical events
    • 2 newspaper clippings (real or written by you)
    • 1 letter/journal entry (written by you)
  • Be creative. Include things such as a letter from someone fighting in the war; a sample of the cotton grown on your family’s plantation; a piece of tattered clothing; the fuzz from your favorite stuffed animal; or labels from cans/boxes of food

Journey with Edgewood (follow the relocation of Edgewood)
Using a program such as MapQuest, follow Edgewood as she journeys from her original location in Edgefield to Kalmia Hill and eventually to her permanent home on the University of South Carolina Aiken campus.


  1. Enter Edgewood Road [1-34], Edgefield, South Carolina, as your starting location.
  2. Enter Pickens Avenue NW [1100-1199] as your ending location.
  3. Enter 471 University Parkway, Aiken, South Carolina, as your final destination.


Print the directions and map or project it on the wall for the students to observe. Discuss the preparations required to move it each time. Was it transported the same way both times? (Hint: horses vs. trucks) Ask the students to share a time when they have seen a house being relocated.

Note to teachers: Save the distances and travel times from the two legs of the trip if you wish to incorporate them into the dimensional analysis (mathematics) lesson plan. The measurements used in that activity will be based off of these calculations.

Family Tree (in collaboration with the Pickens family genealogy)
Trace your family history back at least 3 generations (parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents). Construct a family tree that includes your family members from your great-grandparents through your generation (including your siblings/step-siblings/cousins/etc.). For each family member you list, include the years of their birth and death.

Note to teachers: You can electronically access the Pickens family tree.

Educational Standards

Grade 8: South Carolina History


Standard 8-3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the American Civil War—its causes and effects and the major events that occurred during that time.


  • (8-3.1) Explain the importance of agriculture in antebellum South Carolina, including plantation life, slavery, and the impact of the cotton gin. (H, G, E)
  • (8-3.4) Compare the attitudes of the unionists, cooperationists, and secessionists in South Carolina and summarize the reasons that the members of the South Carolina secession convention in 1860 voted unanimously to secede from the Union, including concerns about states’ rights and fears about abolition. (H, P, G, E)
  • (8-3.6) Compare the effects of the Civil War on daily life in South Carolina, including the experiences of plantation owners, women, Confederate and Union soldiers, African Americans, and children. (H, E)


Standard 8-4The student will demonstrate an understanding of the impact of Reconstruction on the people and government of South Carolina.


  • (8-4.1) Explain the purposes of Reconstruction with attention to the economic, social, political, and geographic problems facing the South, including reconstruction of towns, factories, farms, and transportation systems; the effects of emancipation; racial tension; tension between social classes; and disagreement over voting rights. (H, G, P, E)
  • (8-4.2) Summarize Reconstruction in South Carolina and its effects on daily life in South Carolina, including the experiences of plantation owners, small farmers, freedmen, women, and northern immigrants. (H, P, E)


Standard 8-5The student will demonstrate an understanding of major social, political, and economic developments that took place in the United States during the second half of the nineteenth century.


  • (8-5.1) Summarize the political, economic, and social conditions in South Carolina following the end of Reconstruction, including the leadership of Wade Hampton and the so-called Bourbons or Redeemers, agricultural depression and struggling industrial development, the impact of the temperance and suffrage movements, the development of the 1895 constitution, and the evolution of race relations and Jim Crow laws. (H, P, E)


Standard 8-6The student will demonstrate an understanding of South Carolina’s development during the early twentieth century.


  • (8-6.3) Summarize the political, social, and economic situation in South Carolina following World War I, including progress in suffrage for women, improvements in daily life in urban and rural areas, and changes in agriculture and industry. (H, G, P, E)


Standard 8-7: The student will demonstrate an understanding of South Carolina’s economic revitalization during World War II and the latter twentieth century.


  • (8-7.5) Explain the economic impact of twentieth century events on South Carolina, including the opening and closing of military bases, the development of industries, the influx of new citizens, and the expansion of port facilities. (E, H, P, G)