Are you ready to go on an online learning adventure? Grab a pencil or crayons and paper and complete the activities below to learn about the people, places, and stories of Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. When you are done print out the badge and cut it out!
This online Junior Ranger program is adapted from the Junior Ranger booklet. If you visit the park ask a ranger for the booklet. If you prefer doing the booklet version, e-mail us at email@example.com and we will mail it to you.
Activity One: Indigenous History
Historians are always learning about who walked these grounds before us. The Indigenous people (Native American) used this land to survive long before anyone else. They hunted, gathered, grew crops, built camps, and so much more that has yet to be discovered.
Why do you think it is important to tell the stories of all the people who lived in this area?
Activity Two: Settlement of the Shenandoah Valley
Pretend you are a settler traveling on the Great Wagon Road. You are headed towards your new land that you will turn into your home.
What are the three most important personal belongings you will bring on your journey?
What would you add to this homestead?
This is what the park rangers did with their homestead.
Using the story below, can you fill in the blanks?
Here are the answers.
Activity Five: Sketch your favorite place.James E. Taylor was an artist in the Civil War who sketched, painted, and wrote about his experiences in the area and beyond. His art now acts as a window into the past so we can understand what wartime would have looked like. Check out this drawing he created of the Battle of Cedar Creek around Belle Grove in 1864.
Grab a piece of paper and create a sketch of your favorite place to visit and document your observations to give us a glimpse of what the place looks like in your eyes.
Explore your senses and document the following:
Why is this place important to you:
Activity Six: Take A Selfie!
Learn about the people who lived and fought during the American Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley.
Visit the online Wall of Faces exhibit.
Choose the most interesting person you learned about.
Draw their image on a blank piece of paper
What are some hash tags (#) you would use to describe this person’s life or experience?
Activity Six: Explore the Battlefield
Over time, Americans became divided over the different beliefs about slavery and the future of the country. Following Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860, some Southerners who believed slavery was threatened got their politicians to support leaving the United States and forming the Confederate States. Confederate politicians wanted to defend their rights to own humans as property. In 1861, the Civil War began with the firing on fort Sumter in South Carolina.
Three and a half years later, the Battle of Cedar Creek occurred.
The Shenandoah Valley became an important place to both sides. The abundance of crops an other goods that could be transported using the Valley's streams, roads, and railroads, made this area a warzone. The Battle of Cedar Creek was a significant battle in the war, leading to President Lincoln's reelection three weeks later.
Click here to take a virtual tour of the battle. Which article was your favorite?
AS A JUNIOR RANGER,
I promise to protect the park from danger.
I won't step on any ants,
and I won't pick any plants.
I will learn all of the history,
and teach others so it's not a mystery.
My job is never done.
Being a Junior Ranger is really fun!