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After learning and reading about the Civil War, the 4th graders participated in a Civil War Celebration Day where they visited different centers.  They had the opportunity to experience what it was like to be a Civil War soldier. 


There were six different stations set up: Civil War Slang, Boy Soldiers, The Gettysburg Address, Artifacts, Civil War Food, and making Haversacks. 




At the Civil War Slang center the 4th graders learned about common terms and slang from the Civil War.  If you were a soldier looking for a “housewife”, that meant you needed a sewing kit.  “Bones” were dice and “horse sense” was your common sense.  


At the Boy Soldiers center, students read about young boys who were recruited into Confederate and Union armies as drummer boys.  They looked at real photographs of these young heroes and had a discussion about their role in the Civil War.  




When the 4th graders visited the Gettysburg Address center, they recited the famous speech together.  Then they looked at the translation guide to help find the meanings of difficult words. 


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The 4th graders really liked the artifact center where they were able to use magnifying glasses to investigate artifacts from the Civil War.  The artifacts they viewed included Civil War bullets, musket balls, and shrapnel. 


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Civil War soldiers would carry their rations in their haversack.  These pouches were not completely waterproof and often were a little smelly!  The students made paperbag haversacks to hold their Civil War snacks.




For most of the students, their favorite center was the Civil War food!  Mrs. Pagano told the students about how soldiers cooked and dried their food.  She also showed them bags of actual daily rations of food and had students guess what was in each bag.  Then students filled their haversacks with food that Civil War soldiers would have in their haversacks: dried apples, shortbread, Johnny cakes, and hardtack (which is really hard!).  The only difference was we didn’t have worms and beetles in our rations!


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After our haversacks were full and the 4th graders visited each center, it was time for the 4th grade “mess mates” to have a Civil War snack.  We looked into our haversnacks and tried out the food that sustained Civil War soldiers through four long years of war.


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Mr. Scheiwe, our school librarian, brought his personal collection of Civil War artifacts for us to look at.  We had the awesome opportunity to see horseshoes, shaving kits, a cannon ball, bullets, money, and slave medallions from the Civil War period. 


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