Trinity Classical Academy’s Celebration Center was transformed into a scene from the 1860s Friday, with generals, spies, abolitionists, soldiers and nurses sharing stories about their experiences during the Civil War.
The annual American Civil War Living History Museum was the culmination of three months of learning and preparation by the school’s 6th grade students.
“We look at the major players of the Civil War and the areas that are really well-known,” said Kaeli Massetto, a 6th grade history teacher at Trinity Classical Academy. “We use those players and the students choose their characters.”
Students spent time in class and at home researching their characters, arranging speeches, creating educational posters and finding authentic Civil War outfits in preparation for the Living History Museum.
“They got to take ownership of their characters and create and memorize speeches based on four questions,” Massetto said.
During the afternoon, students acted as their historical figure, answering questions about their characters, explaining their involvement in the Civil War and discussing their legacy in the country.
Teagan Heinze, 12, said she enjoyed learning about the history, both good and bad, of the Civil War. She chose to study President Abraham Lincoln because she respected his defense of civil rights.
“I just like that he was from the North because I think that slavery wasn’t right because everyone is created equal and should have equal rights,” Heinze said.
Maggie West, 11, chose to research Clara Barton because she already read a book about the independent nurse and wanted to study her life in-depth.
“She inspires me because I want to find the cure for cancer when I grow up,” she said.
The American Civil War Living History Museum also included presentations from five authentic Civil War reenactors who portrayed their lives as soldiers from both the Union and the Confederacy.
At the end of the students’ presentations, the Civil War reenactors fired their Black Powder Guns for the sixth graders.
As a history teacher, Massetto said she hopes her students learn not only about the facts of the Civil War, but also about its impact on the country.
“I hope they learn a lot about what the Civil War was about and the impact it had and the people that were involved in it,” she said. “They got to see how much was put into that war and that it was a tragic war… but they can see all the good that came out of it too.”
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_