Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park

Just For Kids

Traveling Trunks

"The Life of the Civil War Soldier" Traveling Trunks

If your class cannot get to the battlefield, bring Gettysburg into your classroom. Gettysburg National Military Park is pleased to offer you and your students our Civil War Traveling Trunk. Through various clothing items, military accoutrements, pastime activities, photographs, literature and music, students will be able to appreciate what the daily life of a Civil War soldier was actually like. The curriculum and clothing that is in the trunk is targeted for the 5th Grade student but it can be made adaptable for students in grades 4 to 8 and we do have a trunk specifically for the 8th Grade. You may set up the six learning stations in your classroom or use a common room so that the whole school can become involved. So, how do you reserve one of our trunks?

Schools in Adams, Franklin or York, Pennsylvania - You can reserve one of our Traveling Trunks through the Lincoln Intermediate Unit's Instructional Services Division, and it will be delivered to your school. For reservations, call Barbara Wantz at (717) 624-6447

Schools Across The Region and Country - The trunks have been shipped and used successfully in Florida, Washington . . . even Hawaii!! The trunk is available for a two-week time frame throughout the school year for a requested donation to cover the cost of shipping and handling.

For information and questions, contact Barbara Sanders, Education Coordinator at (717) 334-1124 extension 420.

ACT NOW! Once the slots are filled, you may be placed on a waiting list.

Note: The heaviest demand for the trunk is usually during spring, so you should consider requesting the trunk for the fall or winter.

 

Be A Junior Ranger

The Junior Ranger Program at Gettysburg

Discover the history of Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site through the Junior Ranger Program, a project for our young visitors to have fun while they learn about the parks at Gettysburg.

How does it work?

When you visit GettysburgNationalMilitaryPark, ask for the Activity Guide for Junior Ranger Candidates at the information desk in either the Visitor Center or Cyclorama Center. Complete at least three of the seven activities in the booklet during your day at the park. These activities include answering questions about the park's "Electric Map Orientation Program", the Museum of the Civil War in the park Visitor Center, the Gettysburg Address and President Lincoln's visit to Gettysburg, attend a ranger-guided program, questions and puzzles from your tour of the battlefield, and questions from your visit to Eisenhower National Historic Site.

Return the booklet to the information desk in either building where a park ranger will review your book with you. If you have successfully completed three of the activities, you'll receive a patch and certificate making you a Junior Ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park!

Through the Junior Ranger program, children and their families are engaged together in fun, hands-on, self-directed learning activities that enhance their park experience, create fond, long-lasting memories and promote new appreciation for our national treasures. The National Park Service created the Junior Ranger program in the early 1960's to connect children and their families with the natural and cultural history found in our national parks. The program serves nearly 330,000 children annually in 286 parks across the country.

Ranger Guided

There are two different ways for you to plan your visit to Gettysburg National Military Park. The first would be to take advantage of ranger guided programs for school groups that touch on the various aspects of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War. Student Education Programs are designed for 4th through 12th graders and will get the students directly involved in the historic story of the people, places and event that was the Battle of Gettysburg. These programs are two hours in length.

STUDENT EDUCATION PROGRAMS AT GETTYSBURG

Pre-visit materials are available to teachers by calling the Student Education Coordinator at (717) 334-1124, extension 420.

For Students in Upper Grades

Students in the 9th to 12th grade levels may prefer a visit to the museum and Electric Map Program, followed by a guided tour of the battlefield with a licensed battlefield guide. Reservations for tickets to the Electric Map Program, the shuttle bus to Eisenhower National Historic Site and guided battlefield tours should be arranged in advance. Group leaders may call and make reservations for any of these programs and services. We highly recommend that arrangements be made at least seven (7) days ahead of time for a two-hour battlefield tour with a Licensed Battlefield Guide for your group.

Reservations may be scheduled for any date and specified time during the year except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day when the park buildings will be closed. Call 1-877-874-2478, or 1-866-889-1243 and one of our reservation specialists will personally assist you in planning your group's visit to Gettysburg. Reservations fax (717) 338-1244 or by e-mail to reservations@gettysburgfoundation.org. Group leaders may also call (717) 334-1124, extension 422 for further information and schedules.

 

For Kids

Gettysburg National Military Park is not just for adults! There are many activities for our younger visitors to partake in during their visit to the park apart from exploring the museum and park with the family. During the summer months, the park offers special programs designed just for children:

JOIN THE ARMY! Children enlist in the army and learn something about what it meant to be a soldier in the Civil War in this one-hour program. For ages 7-12. Sign up at the Cyclorama Center information desk (Limited to 25 participants). Daily at 11:00 A.M. from mid-June through mid-August.

CIVIL WAR STORYTELLING: A program for our younger visitors (ages 4 to 10) and their families. Come and hear about a drummer boy, a girl who really wanted to be a soldier, the most famous citizen of Gettysburg, Captain John Bigelow and his Bugler, and how George Nixon was saved - all TRUE and adventurous stories told with tons of interaction. This program offered intermittently throughout July. Inquire at the park information desk for day and time, mid-June through mid-August.

JUNIOR RANGER PROGRAM

Discover the history of Gettysburg National Military Parkand Eisenhower National Historic Site through the Junior Ranger Program, a project for our young visitors during which they can have fun while they learn about the parks at Gettysburg. By completing three activities in the Activity Guide for Junior Ranger Candidates, available at the park information desks, kids will receive certificates making them official Junior Rangers. It's a great activity for the whole family that will not only enhance your park visit but make for fond memories as well.

FOR SCHOOL GROUPS VISITING GETTYSBURG

During the school year, Gettysburg National Military Park is the place to visit for school groups to visit and participate in Student Education Programs, offering a variety of subjects from Civil War Soldier Life to the experience of being in "Pickett's Charge." These programs are scheduled annually for September-October and again for March through May by reservation only.

While At The Park

Student Education Programs

Gettysburg National Military Park offers a series of education programs for school groups that visit the park, designed for the enrichment of your students' understanding of the battle and its consequences. These ranger guided programs are only available for approximately six weeks in the Fall (October through November) and eight weeks in the Spring (March through May), and require participation in our September program lottery drawing. If you are interested in being included on our mailing list, send a request on your school's letterhead to the Education Coordinator, Gettysburg National Military Park, 1195 Baltimore Pike, Suite 100, Gettysburg, PA 17325. And remember that preparation of your class with pre-visit activities is essential to a complete and successful program!

 

CORE PROGRAMS

Care of the Wounded
Purpose: To show the damaging effects of the Civil War upon soldiers and civilian life as seen through the eyes of an army doctor. To present the function and operation of the Union Army Medical Department.
Grades: 5 to 12 Class size: 30 max./10 min.
Length: two hours
Procedure: Students will participate in discussion/activities which demonstrate the function ad operation of the Army Medical Department, including the set up of a temporary field hospital on a civilian farm. Physical activities include walking, sitting and carrying.

Impact of War: The Slyder Farm Family
Purpose: To focus on a farm family that lived in Gettysburg at the time of the battle and the impact the war had on both civilians and soldiers. The program will introduce students to 19th Century farming practices and to the townspeople of Gettysburg, before, during and after the great battle.
Grades: 5 to 8
Class size: 30 max./10 min.
Length: two hours
Procedure: Students will hike approximately 1/4 mile down a trail on the western slope of Big Round Top to the Slyder Farm. Several students will roleplay the Slyder family and others will portray the soldiers they encountered on July 2, 1863.

Civil War Soldier
Purpose: To present the motives for joining the Union Army and the hard, unpleasant, dangerous, and often boring life of a soldier during the Civil War.
Grades: 2 to 6
Class size: 35 max./10 min.
Length: two hours
Procedure: Students will participate in discussion/activities that present the training, equipment, life and feelings of the volunteer soldiers. Physical activity involves running, walking, sitting, and standing in formation.

Note: This program is NOT recommended for students who have participated in the Traveling Trunk program, since the purposes and equipment are similar.

Pickett's Charge
Purpose: To examine the experiences and emotions of the Southern soldiers in battle, using the words of actual participants in "Pickett's Charge".
Grades: 5 to 12
Class size: 35 max./10 min.
Length: two hours
Procedure: Students will walk in formation across the field of Pickett's Charge, approximately one mile in length, replaying the roles of individual soldiers. Group unity and participation are stressed throughout the activities. The program makes use of firsthand accounts of the action, including the soldiers feelings and reactions during this sobering event.

Unfinished Work: Creation and Dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery
Purpose: To convey the significance and relevance of the Gettysburg Address and the Gettysburg Soldiers' National Cemetery. To present the battle of Gettysburg from the perspective of its aftermath, destruction and re-building.
Grades: 8 to 12
Class size: 35 max./10 min.
Length: two hours
Procedure: Students will participate in small group activities that simulate the process of soldier identification following the Gettysburg battle. They will then read the letters of ten soldiers buried in the cemetery and analyze their contents with Lincoln's Gettysburg Address sentiments.

FALL FOOTSTEPS PROGRAMS

COURAGE & THE 9TH MASSACHUSETTS BATTERY
“Retreat by prolonge, firing!” is the order as your unit is sacrificed to buy time for the infantry to plug the gaps along Cemetery Ridge. Follow in the path and harried activity of this courageous artillery unit.
GRADES: 4 to 12
CLASS SIZE: 50 max./15 min.
LENGTH: 1 hour

DETERMINATION & THE 15TH ALABAMA INFANTRY
Climb Big Round Top and attack Little Round Top after a forced march, and without any water! This program illustrates the strength, stamina and determination of these Confederate infantrymen.
GRADES: 4 to 12
CLASS SIZE: 50 max./15 min.
LENGTH: 1 hour

LEADERSHIP & THE 6TH WISCONSIN INFANTRY

“Align on the Colors” with Lt. Colonel Rufus Dawes, on July 1st, 1863 as you rush toward an unfinished railroad cut filled with firing Confederate soldiers. Will the cut continue to serve as their cover, or will it become their trap? Leadership will determine the day.


GRADES: 4 to 12


CLASS SIZE: 50 max./15 min.


LENGTH: 1 hour

 

Group Activity For The New Museum

The park offers a starter museum activity for schools and other youth groups to use while visiting the new Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. The museum gallery offers a wide variety of exhibits that will take the visitor through the Civil War from the pre-war causes of the conflict to its completion in 1865. It also covers the aftermath of the war and how it has affected our nation up to today. Naturally a large portion of the museum focuses on the Battle of Gettysburg and President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, with military and civilian relics of the time period featured throughout. 

Your class can use the attached activity form, which is a list of questions that can only be answered by visiting the museum galleries, and discover special parts of the museum that will help them understand the significance of Gettysburg and the people who took part in this historic event. Teachers should print out a copy for your visit to the park.

There are rules we insist groups follow while partaking of this activity:

 

1. Please make sure your students have a book or clipboard and pencils (no pens) to fill out the activity form while in the galleries.

 

2. Students must NOT lean on the cases while trying to write.

3. Students must be courteous to other visitors in the gallery by not blocking exhibits for unreasonable amounts of time or loud talking.

Plan A Field Trip

There are numerous choices to make when planning your class trip to Gettysburg. The park offers the Electric Map Program (the orientation program to the Battle of Gettysburg) at the park Visitor Center, which also houses a vast museum of Civil War relics and items related to the Battle of Gettysburg. Close by is the Soldiers' National Cemetery, dedicated by President Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863, where the fallen Union soldiers are buried along with American dead from all of this nation's major wars since 1865. Tours of the battlefield park are available in self-guided form or through a Licensed Battlefield Guide.

Gettysburg National Military Park offers a series of education programs for school groups that visit the park, designed for the enrichment of your students' understanding of the battle and its consequences. These programs are only available for approximately six weeks in the Fall (October through November) and eight weeks in the Spring (March through May), and require participation in our September program lottery drawing.

There are several commercial businesses and museums in Gettysburg that welcome groups and several offer discounts to school groups. Visit the Gettysburg Convention and Visitor's Bureau for information on these businesses.