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Students Discover New Dimensions to the Civil War at Gettysburg

Students Discover New Dimensions to the Civil War at Gettysburg

The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center and historic sites provide students and educators with the exclusive opportunity to walk in the footsteps of history and experience peerless interactive and special, behind-the-scenes programming.

The Battle of Gettysburg—a critical turning point in the Civil War and American history—is a staple in American history curricula. While you can try your best to engage students with textbooks and lectures, nothing compares to the immersive experience a Gettysburg field trip can provide. Much more than a battlefield tour, the partnership between the Gettysburg Foundation and the National Parks Service encompasses the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, Gettysburg National Military Park, Eisenhower National Historical Site and the David Wills House. The sites contain various educational aspects that appeal to students in varying grade levels. Tours can be customized to provide a historic and memorable adventure for your school group.

Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center

Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center

Museum & Visitor Center Activities

Student groups traditionally begin by exploring the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center and embarking on the Film, Cyclorama & Museum Experience. Going far beyond the traditional museum experience of artifacts under glass, this immersive opportunity will transport your students to 1863 and set the framework for your Gettysburg visit using state-of-the-art technology. The journey starts with a screening of A New Birth of Freedom film that familiarizes viewers with the Battle of Gettysburg and sets the scene with a dramatic look at the battle and its place in history. Next, appreciate the immaculately preserved Gettysburg Cyclorama, a 360-degree oil painting canvas that depicts General George Pickett’s Charge in incredible detail. Hailed as a masterpiece when it was created in 1884 by French artist Paul Philippoteaux, this truly unique display creates three-dimensional depth and light and sound effects to create a one-of-a-kind presentation. Students are then invited to explore the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War, which contains interactive exhibits that provide Civil War history and authentic artifacts.

Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War

Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War

Battlefield Bus Tour

Students are now prepared for a Battlefield Bus Tour, a structured exploration of the park led by a Licensed Battlefield Guide. Step onto this hallowed ground and learn about famous commanders, like Robert E. Lee and George Meade who fought here, from an engaging Licensed Guide who can answer any questions your students have. Stops include Little Round Top, Devil’s Den and the iconic field of Pickett’s Charge. Groups will also stop by several state monuments that honor the fallen soldiers from states that fought in the battle.

Student Group Tour with a Licensed Battlefield Guide

Student Group Tour with a Licensed Battlefield Guide

Engaging Nearby Historic Sites

Beyond the battlefield itself are several other historic sites that provide students with further context for the Civil War and the history that would follow. The Gettysburg Soldiers’ National Cemetery is the final resting place of over 3,000 soldiers and the site of Abraham Lincoln’s immortal Gettysburg Address. The cemetery was established by local attorney David Wills, and his home has been transformed into a National Park Service museum.

At the David Wills House, students can see the rooms where Wills received letters from families looking for loved ones and the bedroom where President Lincoln prepared the Gettysburg Address. Also nearby is the Eisenhower National Historic Site, the farm retreat and home where President Dwight D. Eisenhower and First Lady Mamie Eisenhower would relax and entertain world leaders. Today, the site provides an intimate look at the home life of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower.

Eisenhower National Historic Site

Eisenhower National Historic Site

The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center and historic sites provide students and educators with the exclusive opportunity to walk in the footsteps of history and experience peerless interactive and special, behind-the-scenes programming.

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Students Discover New Dimensions to the Civil War at Gettysburg
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Students Discover New Dimensions to the Civil War at Gettysburg
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The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center and historic sites provide students and educators with the exclusive opportunity to walk in the footsteps of history and experience peerless interactive and special, behind-the-scenes programming.
Student Travel Planning Guide
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Premier Travel Media