The setup, materials, and technology for this activity will be different for everyone. So please read through the description below and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask!
Welcome to Gettysburg!
Hey there Yanks and Rebs! Think you've got what it takes to be a Civil War Soldier? I thought so :) The classroom has been transformed into the battlefield of Gettysburg! You and the rest of your regiment will visit five different stations throughout the day. At each station, you will complete various tasks, examine written, visual, and hands-on information about many aspects of the Civil War, such as military tactics, technology, medical care, combat conditions, postal service, photography, food (if that's what you call it), plus much more! So get on your feet soldier! Fasten that bayonet, swallow that yucky hardtack, take a slurp of weevil coffee, and let's be a part of the biggest battle ever fought on American soil!
Prep Tasks and Procedures:
1. On a sheet of paper, draw your soldier self! Answering each of the following questions, will give you ideas for what you can draw!
First you have to decide what side you're on! Are you a Yankee or a Rebel? Color your uniform blue or gray, then sketch the correct flag next to your soldier.
What type of soldier are you? Expert Sharpshooter from the Iron Brigade, Member of the 20th Maine Regiment, Rhode Island Artillery Unit, 20th Alabama Regiment, Spy, Nurse, etc. Depending on what you choose, accessorize!
What rank are you? Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, General? Examine the image of army ranks, and decorate the sleeves of your uniforms with the appropriate symbol.
Are you part of a cavalry unit? If so draw a horse!
Do you have a beard? If not, you should think about growing one :)
Shoes are precious items at this point in the war. Does your soldier have any?
2. You will be rotating from one station to another with five other soldiers. No matter what happens, stick together! Following orders is arguably the most important quality of a good soldier, so read the instructions!
3. When you hear the bell ring it's time to rotate. Please make sure you have left the station in better condition than how you found it!
General Meade’s Headquarters!
Attention! You are in the presence of General George Meade, Union army commander! This is where General Meade will direct the actions of the more than 85,000 Union soldiers under his command at Gettysburg. Show respect for General Meade by standing upright and saluting him. Now get down and give him ten push ups and ten sit ups! Okay, now you can watch a video about Civil War Troop Training! http://dev.history.com/videos/extreme-history-civil-war-troop-training#extreme-history-civil-war-troop-training
The Rebels are coming! The Confederate army, led by General Robert E. Lee, is invading the North for the second time. General Meade knows that a large defeat on Union soil could end this war. The fate of the Union will depend on the decisions he makes over the next three days. Check out this awesome website to find out how it all went down! http://www.civilwaranimated.com/GettysburgAnimation.html
Let's talk tactics! Day one was crazy! The Rebels have pushed the Union troops out of the town of Gettysburg, and into the hills surrounding Cemetery Ridge (forming the shape of a fish hook). Using the little soldier figurines, position both sets of troops in the correct locations on the map. Now hold a discussion with your fellow soldiers, and advise General Meade what you think he should do next! You can also watch some videos and analyze the maps and tactics available on edmodo.
Watch any of these videos about the following Civil War Generals:
Stonewall Jackson: http://www.history.com/topics/stonewall-jackson/videos#stonewall-jackson
Military Technology, Combat Conditions, & Staggering Statistics!
Dig in! You and the rest of the Union soldiers in your regiment must prepare to defend Cemetery Ridge! 12,000 Confederate troops are about to launch a serious attack known as Pickett's Charge! General Meade has ordered you to complete the following in this order:
Reinforce your position by taking cover behind your desks!
Using the props available load your rifles, and set up your artillery!
Now prepare for the defining moment of the Civil War!
Have someone push play on my projector computer, and as soon as the Rebels get close enough, open fire!
Walk over to the station poster and examine a real Civil War cannon ball! Don't worry, it's not active anymore :) Now skim History Alive 19.4 and 19.5, then watch a video about military technology during the Civil War
Analyze the staggering statistics of the hundreds of thousands of casualties in the Civil War by clicking on this link: http://www.army.mil/gettysburg/statistics/statistics.html
Make your way over to the Abraham Lincoln poster and honor the fallen soldiers at Gettysburg by delivering the Gettysburg Address aloud!
Write your own eulogy to the fallen soldiers at Gettysburg including the following:
Description of the conditions under which Union and Confederate soldiers fought.
These terms: Freedom, Pickett's Charge, Trenches, Wounded, Shortages, Declaration of Independence
Serious dramatic tone
Task 1: Upon entering the Surgeon's Tent, assign roles or draw out of the Magic Sombrero to determine if you're a surgeon, soldier, surgeon's assistant, or photographer
Task 2: Create/gather tools, materials, and props (saws, tourniquets, rags, splints, tent)
Task 3: Soldier draws a wound card from Magic Sombrero to determine wound, injury, illness, etc.
Task 4: Surgeon and assistant perform medical procedure while photographer snaps pics and takes video.
Task 5: After the operation, the surgeon's assistant draws a fate card from magic sombrero to determine whether or not the soldier lives.
Task 6: Read History alive 19.6 and info about Clara Barton and the American Red Cross!
Task 1: Read History Alive 19.7 and watch these videos!
Task 2: Create/gather stuff like construction paper for fire, coffee, hard tack, bugs, etc.
Task 3: Sit around the campfire, play some poker, and sing along to any/all of the Civil War Songs below...
"Hard tack come again no more"
"Battle hymn of the Republic"
Bonus: Write/Sing your own Civil War Song!
Task 1: Read History Alive 19.8
Task 2: Check out these links, for information about the growing postal service, news coverage, newspapers, and photography during the Civil War!
Task 3: After reading the letters attached to the station poster, choose two of the following options:
Write a letter home detailing your experiences as a soldier.
Pretend you're a reporter and write a news story about the events taking place at the Battle of Gettysburg (think current event report).
Take a photograph of a fallen soldier!