For many years, Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site have offered programs for schools to participate it. These programs allow students to connect with the stories of the Civil War and World War II as well as the experiences of a president during the Cold War Era. The educational programs offered aren’t limited to just a Social Studies curriculum, but could apply to Science, Character Education, Language Arts, and Art curriculum.
For the 2015-2016 school year the sites are offering several new programs and some that have been presented in previous years that can be presented at the parks, at your school, or in some cases “virtually”.
Many of the programs have downloadable teacher guide books with both pre and post visit activities. These can be found on the education pages of the Gettysburg National Military Park website at www.nps.gov/gett. Just look for “Education Planning Tools” to access the reservation forms for all of the school year offerings.
Here are the ranger field programs to be offered for 2015-2016:
Dates of Programs
Fall 2015: October 5 to November 6 , 2015
Spring 2016: April 4 to June 3, 2016
From Civil War to World War II
Walk in formation across the fields of Pickett’s Charge, about one mile, role-playing individual soldiers.
GRADES: 4 to 12 CLASS SIZE: 15-35 LENGTH: 2 hours (with travel time)
Ike and the Men of D-Day, June 6, 1944
Role play a draftee heading to Europe in preparation for the D-Day invasion, see his equipment and visit the Gettysburg home of his commanding general, Dwight D. Eisenhower.
GRADES: 4 to 12 CLASS SIZE: 10-45 LENGTH: 2 hours (program and site visit)
Students work in small groups simulating the process of soldier identification following the battle of Gettysburg, read letters of the soldiers graveside, and apply to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
GRADES: 7 to 12 CLASS SIZE: 10-35 LENGTH: 2 hours
Leadership and Dwight D. Eisenhower
Tour the Eisenhower National Historic Site while applying lessons of leadership and good character from throughout the life of our 34th president.
GRADES: 3 to 6 CLASS SIZE: 10-40 LENGTH: 2 hours
Climb Big Round Top and attack Little Round Top after a forced march, and without any water… and then explore how your students can apply historical lessons of determination in their own lives.
GRADES: 4 to 12 CLASS SIZE: 15-45 LENGTH: 1 ½ hours
Practice the loading and firing procedure, and then follow in the path and harried activity of this as yet untested artillery unit.
GRADES: 4 to 12 CLASS SIZE: 15-45 LENGTH: 1 ½ hours
“Leaving the Land Better Than He Found It”: Hands-On Field Studies at
Choose between the following modules: soil (geology, soil testing, chemistry); water (water cycle, stream study, invertebrate census); forestry (renewable resources, natural cycles and succession); or wildlife (habitat, adaptations, wildlife management).
GRADES: 5 to 12 CLASS SIZE: 15-30 LENGTH: 2 hours
Gettysburg Parks and the Arts
Explore Gettysburg’s outdoor sculpture, the monuments, along Cemetery Ridge with a park ranger, then visit the home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower to discover 8 of his portraits and landscapes.
GRADES: All grades CLASS SIZE: 10-35 LENGTH: 2 hours
Hike down a trail to the Slyder farm, and then rotate through farming chore stations. Role play the Slyder family and the soldiers they came into conflict with on July 2, 1863
GRADES: 3 to 8 CLASS SIZE: 15-35 LENGTH: 2 hours
Students follow the path of a soldier from camp to campaign to battle to first aid to transport to field hospital and finally to recovery.
GRADES: 5 to 12 CLASS SIZE: 10-35 LENGTH: 2 hours
What is it?
Inquiry-Based Virtual Lessons for 7th -12th Grade Students
When will programs be offered?
January and February, 2016
Length of program
Want your students to learn directly from primary sources, and from the fields of battle, but cannot get to Gettysburg? Looking for a good President’s Day or leadership lesson, and want your students to discover the life and times of President Dwight D. Eisenhower? Our new Virtual “Ask a Ranger” opportunities allow your students to direct what they want to learn and see and ask… right from your classroom!
Your students can choose their program, and will be sent after-action reports, diary entries and letters, and other primary source materials in advance to help them create document and place-based questions for the rangers. All you need is the capability to project the film clip and ranger to entire class on large screen, and we’ll do the rest!
Your class can choose to explore any one of the following themes and places:
What if…? — The Battle for Little Round Top
Explore through the eyes of Joshua Chamberlain, 20th Maine Infantry and William Oates, 15th Alabama Infantry, opposing forces at the extreme army flank, July 2, 1863.
A New Birth of Freedom? — Lincoln at Gettysburg
Explores Lincoln’s November 1863 visit to Gettysburg to dedicate the Soldiers’ National Cemetery and deliver his 10-sentence Gettysburg Address. “Visit” the Gettysburg Train Station, David Wills House and/or the National Cemetery.
Was it worth it? — Causes and Consequences
Remembers the lives of three unique individuals before, during and after the battle and the war: Basil Biggs, a free black farmer who assists with the soldier reburials; Cornelia Hancock, who travels to Gettysburg to assist the wounded soldiers; and General Robert E. Lee.
Farm or Folly? — Eisenhower, Nehru and Khrushchev
Examine Eisenhower’s diplomatic skills and use of the Gettysburg farm for that purpose by “planning”, using primary source documents, the 1956 and 1959 visits by these world leaders.
What is it?
A career day presentation and/or stand alone assembly by a park ranger
When will program be offered?
January through May 2016
Length of Program:
45 minutes to 1 hour
To celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service in 2016, a park ranger can be available to visit schools within a one-hour drive of Gettysburg to talk about their local National Parks (Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site) as well as the value and importance of the entire national park system.
How to Sign Up
Got to nps.gov/gett to download sign up forms. Just look for “Education Planning Tools” to access the reservation forms for all of the school year offerings.
Scan the forms and email the forms to GETT_Education@nps.gov
or mail the completed forms to:
Gettysburg National Military Park
Eisenhower National Historic Site
ATTN: Education Specialist
1195 Baltimore Pike, Suite 100
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325
If your school district is not on our mailing list, email GETT_Education@nps.gov
or call (717) 338-4422.