My advice to educators looking to use the Civil War/Reconstruction lesson/assignment plan is to be as patient as possible with your student. My personal approach is to create an iMovie of my own with my students as a guide to help them gain a better understanding of what the assignment is aimed to do. This is not a one day or one week assignment. This assignment will take up to 2-3 weeks depending on the availability of resources as your perspective school. Allow your students ample time to research their topics, and provide them helpful references along the way such as primary/secondary source databases.
This project will consume the Civil War standard section of the NC Curriculum (American History 1). As your students select their topics, a vast majority of the curriculum standards will be covered in their research. In presenting their topics to classmates, (especially the introduction component of the assignment) students will be able to share their findings and acknowledge the findings of others in order to contextualize the chronological events of the Civil War. As a suggestion to your students' success, request that they take notes on the "Commonly discussed narrative" section of the presentation introduction.
Have fun! Be creative with your presentation and allow your students to be creative with theirs!