An overnight field trip to Gettysburg helped fifth graders gain additional context for lessons about the Civil War they have been discussing in social studies classes.
At the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, students watched an introductory film called, "A New Birth of Freedom" that described and visualized the impact and importance of the Battle of Gettysburg. They then viewed the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting, which The Gettysburg Foundation describes as follows: “Longer than a football field and as tall as a four-story structure, the Gettysburg Cyclorama oil painting, along with light and sound effects, immerses visitors in the fury of Pickett’s Charge during the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg.” Next, they took a guided tour of the battlefield.
In addition to learning about what life was like on the battlefield, students also learned about the only civilian killed as a result of the infamous battle that took the lives of approximately 50,000 soldiers. In touring The Jennie Wade House, students got a glimpse into an 1863 household. The next morning, students explored the Gettysburg Heritage Center where they learned more about how the battle impacted Gettysburg residents.
The next week at school, students finished up their social studies class for the year by delivering first-person biographical presentations about famous figures from the Civil War. Dressed in character, students shared stories and interesting fact about the iconic figures.