Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
With the cut in funds and living on the West Coast making the Civil War come alive for students is challenging. As many teachers around the nation and worldwide, I decided to bring the history of the war to the students. Yesterday’s virtual field trip via Skype brought the National Civil War Museum to one of my US History classes. Bryan Guerrisi from the museum provided a overview of what it was like to be soldier.
From the weaponry to the food students were able to see an actual uniform of both a Union and Confederate soldier along with the accessories such as the haversack, the mess kit, the sewing kit and of course the weapon of choice, the Enfield rifle. Bryan also talked about the loading process for the rifle and the types bullets that were utilized which piqued the interest of students who had a fascination with military weapons.
The discussion of poor sanitation and medical conditions also brought student reactions as most students had no inkling that medical instruments were used and reused with out any type of sterilization taking place. Although the presentation was only twenty-eight minutes in duration, students benefitted from another perspective other than a history text or video. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the presentation was Bryan’s explanation on the causes of the war. Most of my students know of the issue of states rights and slavery, but Bryan introduced them to the economic and culture clash arguments.
I feel this is the way of future when it comes to field trips, especially in the area of history. This being said I am in constant search of other learning and connection opportunities. If you have participated in anything history related whether a Skype session or a web conference with a historian feel free to forward me the information.
Check out a segment from yesterday’s session below.