Late last night, much later than I care to admit, I pulled into my driveway after my week in Gettysburg, PA. After a good nights sleep in my own bed, I have had time to process all of the things I learned and saw since my whirlwind tour and study of Gettysburg. Ideas and thoughts about Gettysburg are swirling about in my head, so much so that I spent most of the day today vegging out in front of the television, too tired from my late night drive to do anything productive. So what did I watch on television in this semi vegetative state? You Guessed it...the movie Gettysburg staring such great hollywood legends as Martin Sheen in the role of General Lee. Now that it is almost 11:00pm I have a little more energy, so here I sit thinking, "How can I use this information in my classroom?" " What can I hope the students will take away about Gettysburg?" "When can I get back to Gettysburg?"
I arrived at Gettysburg College around 4:00pm on July 5, 2015. Just barely enough time to check in to my dorm room before the group got a quick tour of the campus and had dinner at the dining hall. During dinner all of the teachers were chatting, trying to get to know each other. After we were done eating, each one of us was given an historical picture of a site or important building etc. in Gettysburg. The task was to find the site and take a modern picture from the same vantage point as the historical one. What a great ice breaker activity. People immediately started talking and discussing what their picture was, where it possible could be and forming little groups to go on a hunt. This activity had us out exploring the town and battlefields on our on almost immediately after dinner. Of course the picture I had was of a building that no longer exists, so I had to do a little digging to find what stands there now! With a few clues from Dr. Allen Guelzo, our esteemed professor and Kelsey Grammar look alike, I was able to locate it. I am trying to figure out how to use this at school with my students.
Each morning Dr. Guelzo shared his wealth of knowledge about Gettysburg with us and each afternoon we toured different parts of Gettysburg that corresponded to what we learned about that morning.
If you haven't heard of Gilder Lehrman you should check them out.