National Capital Region Parks - Civil War title graphic

Antietam National Battlefield, P.O. Box 158, Sharpsburg, MD 21782 Call (301) 432-5124 or visit our website at

Visit Antietam's web page for more information on educational opportunities. Reservations are required for visits by school groups. Call (301) 432-4567.

Cannon at Antietam National Battlefield
Cannon at Antietam National Battlefield

Cannoneers, to Your Post

Students will do a Civil War artillery drill with artillery implements and one of the park's cannons. (No actual firing of the cannon.) In case of bad weather, this program cannot be done inside. Group size: Up to 40 students. Time: 30-45 minutes.

Flags That Talk

Students will be divided into "signal stations," with each station comprising three or four students. Using signal flags and cipher discs, students will send and receive messages the way Civil War armies did. In case of bad weather, this program cannot be done inside. Group size: Up to 40 students. Time: 30-45 minutes.

Civil War Soldier

A park ranger will discuss the life and times of a typical Civil War soldier. Clothing, leather gear and other props will be passed out for the students to examine. This has less hands-on experience than in activities #1 and #2, but is a better program for large groups and younger students. In case of bad weather, this program is done inside. Group size: Up to 100 students. Time: 30 minutes.

Angels of the Battlefield

This is a role-playing activity. Students will re-create the Battle of Antietam. Students will discuss how they would feel before and during the battle, and about the care they received afterwards. They will also dramatize medical care, field hospitals, and Clara Barton's role as a nurse. In case of bad weather, this program cannot be done inside. Group size: 30-100 students. Time: 45-60 minutes.

Battlefield in a Box

A ranger will lay out a large map on the ground that shows the roads, bridges and other features of the battlefield. Groups of students can be moved around the map to illustrate the movements of troops during the battle. A short version of this program can be done indoors in case of bad weather. Group size: Up to 75 students. Time: 45 minutes.

Arlington House, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Turkey Run Park, McLean, VA 22101. Call (703) 235-1530 or visit our website at

Every Day Life in the 1850's: The program consists of a 45-60minute long tour followed by different hands on activities relating to life at Arlington in the 1850's. These activities include gardening, dressing in period clothing and producing patriotic art. The program focuses on the following:

Life During Wartime: Arlington During the Civil War: This program is completely student driven. They lead themselves around the site in smaller groups searching for information in a kind of scavenger hunt. This program helps students to build skills in teamwork and communication as well as map reading and timekeeping. They take responsibility for their educational experience and at the same time learn how best to explore and learn from a historic site. This program requires intensive in-class preparation by the teachers to make it work. This program focuses on the following:

The Life and Times of Robert E. Lee: This program was developed through the English Literature department of a local high school and not through a Social Studies Department. This program allows students to do the following:

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100, Hagerstown, MD 21742. Call (301) 739-4200 or visit our website at

Georgetown Visitor Center, 1057 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007. (202) 653-5190

Divided Town: Georgetown during the Civil War Middle & High School, 90 minutes, 20 students or less. Students will tour sections of Georgetown, focusing on the city during the Civil War. By the end of the tour, the students will understand how the war tested the loyalties and changed the fortunes of the residents of this town on the border between north and south.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, P.O. Box 65, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425. Call (304) 535-6283 or visit our website at

All reservations must be made a minimum of 3 weeks prior to your visit. Openings are filled very quickly, so make your reservations early. Visit the Harpers Ferry Online Educator's Guide at

Aerial view of Harpers Ferry
Aerial View of Harpers Ferry - Photo by David Gilbert

Incident at Harpers Ferry 5th-12th grade, 60 minutes. This program discusses John Brown: his background, reasons for coming to Harpers Ferry, his capture, trial and execution, and the aftermath of his raid on Harpers Ferry.

Under Fire 5th-12th grade, 60 minutes. The program discusses the important role of Harpers Ferry during the Civil War. Students learn why Harpers Ferry was important to both the North and the South, the major engagements during the war, the hardships faced by the citizens of Harpers Ferry, and how the devastation suffered during the war changed the town forever.

Harpers Ferry: A Place in History 3rd -12th grade. 60 minutes. This program provides an overview of the history of Harpers Ferry. Topics covered are: Native American use of the area; Robert Harper; building of the U.S. Armory and Arsenal; Transportation; John Brown's Raid; the Civil War and its impact on the community; African American history, including the founding of Storer College and the Niagara Movement; and the preservation of this site as a part of the National Park System.

Manassas National Battlefield, 12521 Lee Highway, Manassas, VA 22110. Call (703)361-3592 or visit our website at

Ranger-conducted programs require pre-registration and it is recommended that all groups contact the Education Specialist to insure the best possible learning experience. Contact the Education Specialist at (703) 361-1339 or Please provide the following information: the program you wish to have presented, date of visit, school name, contact person, address and telephone number, grade level of students, number of students, number of chaperones, and any special needs of the students.

Visit Manassas education program web pages at


Baptism of Fire: Soldiers and Civilians at the First Battle of Manassas: A curriculum-based program for Virginia 4th, 5th and 6th Grade groups. This two-hour, Ranger-conducted program focuses on the human experience during the First battle of Manassas. This program is offered weekdays by reservation only from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. "Baptism of Fire" requires pre-visit preparation and groups are limited to 50 students. A teacher's guide and video are available from the Education Specialist.

Henry Hill Walking Tours: A Ranger-conducted tour is available for other educational groups desiring a guided program. This 30-45 minute tour covers events associated with the First Battle of Manassas. Presented Monday through Friday at 1:00pm.

Self-Guided Tours: Henry Hill Walking Tour is a one-mile, self-guided trail which visits the important sites associated with the First Battle of Manassas. The trail is marked with signs, audio exhibits, monuments, and cannon. Allow approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

Monocacy National Battlefield, 4801 Urbana Pike, Frederick, MD 21704. Visit our webiste at or phone us at (301) 6623515.

Monocacy National Battlefield Exhibition Kit, Grades 5-8

The Monocacy Exhibition Kit is designed to engage fifth-through eighth-grade students in an experimental exploration of the Civil War using the battle of Monocacy as a focus. The kit is free for the asking and is designed for one-, three-, or five-hour programs. The Exhibition Kit has two parts - a book container and a self-contained kit with a dolly. It requires a van or station wagon for safe transport. We cannot afford to mail the kit. Teachers must pick up and return the kit to the park. Loan time is approximately 2 weeks.

Additional Opportunities:

Monocacy offers tailor made education programs. Please contact the park directly to discuss options.

Union Living Historian explains the workings of a cannon during Battle Commemoration, July 2001
The Working of a Cannon

Ford's Theater and Peterson House, mailing address 900 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, DC 20242. Call (202) 426-6924 or visit our website at

For detailed information of the education programs, visit

Stories in Stone: Registration through Ford's Theatre NHS. Program includes a talk by a ranger on the assignation and tours of the theater, the museum, and the Peterson House (House Where Lincoln Died). Pre-vist and Post visit materials available.

During the spring, visitation is very high and it is not possible for us to provide the individual attention that is necessary to run the "Stories in Stone" on-site program.