Living History To Inspire Students
The Civil War Museum offers several programs that give students hands-on experience with stories and artifacts from the time of the Civil War. These trips include a guided tour, followed by exploration and activities.
We also provide educators with free resources to help teach difficult history and Civil War related topics.
Online Reservation Request
Hometown Heroes | Grades 2nd through 4th (designed for 3rd grade) | Duration: 1 Hour | More Details about Hometown Heroes
Even though Midwestern towns like Kenosha, Wisconsin, were far away from the field of battles, they played a key role during the Civil War. Using mapping, artifact handling, and exhibit tours, students will learn the Midwest’s role in the Civil War, about the young men who volunteered from this area, and the civilians at home who supported them.
Within the Civil War Museum gallery, students will use images and firsthand accounts to learn that citizens of Midwestern towns like Kenosha volunteered to serve in the Union Army. Students will also learn how communities have changed since the Civil War by comparing an 1860 map of Kenosha to how the city looks today. Students will also learn the importance and meaning of the American flag by constructing their own flag after learning the story of an American flag made in 1861 by Kenosha citizens and given to the first to volunteer for the war from the city. Finally, students will work in small groups to examine and guess the uses of common nineteenth century household items to better understand the lives of civilians during the Civil War.
Voices of Freedom | Grades: 4th and 5th | Duration: 1.5 hours | More details about Voices of Freedom
This program consists of two components. The first is a museum educator led discussion designed to increase knowledge and empathy for the experiences of enslaved people living in the United States before the Civil War. Specific topics include: the geography of the United States in regards to free and slave states, the wide variety of jobs enslaved people were required to do, the living conditions they endured, and methods that some of the enslaved peoples used to rebel against their enslavers.
Students will also study the biographies of six individuals who traveled to freedom using the Underground Railroad. In small groups, the students will be challenged to think like historians to create exhibits using museum provided objects that explain the lives and journeys of one of these people.
As part of the Voices of Freedom program, students will also tour the Civil War Museum’s Fiery Trial gallery using resources to help them understand the experiences of African Americans in the United States before, during, and after the Civil War.
Midwest in the Civil War | Grades: 6th through 8th | Duration: 1.5 hours | More details about Midwest in the Civil War
Midwest in the Civil War is a two-hour program for students in 6th through 8th grade. The program explores the Midwest’s role in the Civil War through a guided tour of the Fiery Trial gallery, a viewing of the Museum’s 360° movie Seeing the Elephant, and focused small group exhibit exploration.
After the guided tour, students work in small groups to study an aspect of the Civil War as a social historian. Student groups will be given an inquiry-based prompt and will use the Museum’s exhibits, artifacts, and other resources to develop an argument that addresses the prompt. After research time in the exhibit gallery, students share their findings and answers with the larger group to verbally explain their new found expertise and opinions on a range of topics that concern the Civil War.
You Are the Soldier | Grades: Open to all grades, but best suited for grades 4-8 | Duration: 1.5 hours
Civil War soldiers had to carry all of their personal items and military gear wherever they went. To avoid being overburdened, soldiers had to decide what they would need to carry in order to survive multiple months of camping, marching, eating, and soldiering.
During this program, educators from the Civil War Museum will introduce your students to the uniforms, equipment, and personal items that Civil War soldiers used in camp and on the battlefield. Students will then have to make personal choices as to what they would carry with them or leave behind.
This program lasts 30 minutes and is designed for groups of no more than 30.
The Civil War Museum has created free resources to help educators teach difficult history and Civil War related topics. Document packets supplying primary sources, photographs, background information and suggested learning activities on subjects such as the Causes of the Civil War and the Underground Railroad are available for free below.