Archive for Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Re-enactor bring Civil War to students

Tonganoxie eighth-graders get hands-on lesson from De Soto teacher

May 16, 2007

Since Kathy Harrell couldn't take all of her eight-graders back in time to the Civil War era on Friday, she did the next best thing: She brought someone from the Civil War to her class -- sort of.

Technically speaking Steve Crutchfield isn't a member of the real 3rd Missouri Light Artillery, but more than 20 times a year, Crutchfield along with his fellow re-enactors don confederate garb to relive the Civil War.

Crutchfield, a sixth-grade teacher for the De Soto School District, has been visiting history classes in the area to give students real hands-on learning experience about one of America's most decisive wars.

Crutchfield said students don't get to touch or wear artifacts by just reading textbooks.

"I love making history come alive," Crutchfield said.

To demonstrate life as a Civil War soldier, Crutchfield took four volunteers during each class he spoke to and dressed the students in period dress.

He also demonstrated the proper way to load and fire a musket and passed around other artifacts like old bullets, artillery rounds and a sword.

To finish the event, Crutchfield invited the eighth-graders to some hardtack he made himself.

"I wanted them to know what it was like to be a Civil War soldier," Crutchfield explained

Harrell said each one of her classes loved the presentation and she would definitely have Crutchfield back next year.

"It's a great way you can do hands-on history and not just read things out of a text book," Harrell said.

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