Professional Development

Opportunities for Teachers and Administrators.
Opportunities for Teachers and Administrators.

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“Back to Basics: Getting Students into the Civil War Unit”
Teacher Professional Development Series
For Middle School Teachers (grades 4 through 8)
July 13, 14, 15, 2020

“Back to Basics” is all about connecting your students to the past through hands-on materials, active learning, key documents, and historic places. Mornings will be spent out in the field, planning field trip or virtual lessons. Afternoons will be spent in the classroom with “mystery history guests”, research and project-based ideas, document analysis and more. Prepare to head back to school with classroom-ready lessons and materials.

Monday, July 13 – Soldier Life
Explore the daily life and equipment of Civil War soldiers in camp, on campaign, during and after battles. Analyze soldier letters and diaries, military and pension files, and visit the locations of two opposing units at the battle of Gettysburg.

Tuesday, July 14 – Homefront
Visit the homes of three Gettysburg residents, and conduct the chores of a Pennsylvania farm family. Analyze census and pension records, letters to soldiers, and claims for damages after the battle. Also learn stories of several children involved in, and affected by, the Civil War.

Wednesday, July 15 – Lincoln at Gettysburg
Walk the path of President Lincoln during his November 1863 visit to Gettysburg, including the home where he stayed, the procession down Baltimore Street, and into the Soldiers’ National Cemetery to deliver his Gettysburg Address. Analyze that speech, and his presidency.

Workshops and materials are free of charge, and limited accommodation scholarships are available. Email our education staff for more information and to register for these events.

“The Tough Stuff: Teaching the Complexities of the Civil War”
Teacher Professional Development Series
For High School Teachers (grades 7 through 12)
July 20, 21, 22, 2020

“The Tough Stuff” explores the complexities of the Civil War, and the challenges of teaching it to teenagers and young adults. The day begins with keynote historians, ends with a mini field trip, and focuses in between on creating lessons and activities that engage students through meaningful and relevant applications.

Monday, July 20 –Teaching Tough History
Participants will explore topics such as 19th century race relations, immigration and the Civil War, and the Reconstruction era roots of the Women’s Rights Movement. Emphasis on generating critical thinking skills and meaningful discussions.

Tuesday, July 21 – Historical Research Methods and Writing
Participants will explore the Gettysburg National Military park research library and multiple on-line collections to discover effective research and writing techniques for young Civil War historians. Emphasis on inquiry-based learning, A.P. essay question responses, and Civil War era source materials.

Wednesday, July 22 – Teaching With Technology
Participants will examine the latest innovations in teaching the Civil War through film and film-making, virtual reality, learning management systems and more. Focus on schools with Civil War electives, A.P. History courses, and 1:1 technology systems.

Workshops and materials are free of charge, and limited accommodation scholarships are available. Email our education staff for more information and to register for these events.


The Gettysburg Schoolbus: A Blog for Educators

Need tips, tools and tricks for teaching about the battle of Gettysburg and the American Civil War? Subscribe to the Gettysburg Schoolbus blog!




Across Five Aprils; 1964; Hunt, Irene; the experiences of Jethro Creighton, an idealistic youth whose family and community are split by the Civil War; grades 5-8.

The American Civil War; 1987; Time Life; a series of 28 volumes with excellent maps, illustrations, and historic photographs;highly informative; grades 5-12.

Battle Cry of Freedom; 1988; McPherson, James, H.; prewar years including the political and social events leading up to and including the Civil War, complete with photographs, maps and illustrations; grades 9-12.

Battle in the Civil War; 1986; Griffith, Paddy; well written and nicely illustrated booklet highlighting strategy, tactics, and weaponry from the Civil War; grades 8-12.

A Battlefield Atlas of the Civil War; 1983; Symonds, Craig L.; short, descriptive articles about key Civil War battles accompanied with excellent maps, some photographs; grades 5-12.

Billy Yank: The Union Soldier in the Civil War; 1995; Archambault, Alan; coloring book complete with stories of soldier life during the war;easy reading, high interest level; grades 3-6.

The Civil War; 1974; Catton, Bruce; encompasses entire war, has maps and photographs; grades 6-12.

Civil War! America Becomes One Nation; 1992; Robertson, James, I. Jr.; Excellent overview of the war, complete with maps, pictures, and photographs; grades 5-8.

The Civil War Day by Day - An Almanac 1861-1865; 1971; Long, E. B.; excellent chronological listing of the wars events; grades 5-12.

Civil War Days: Everyday Life; 1987; Bowen, John; nice overview of soldier life during the Civil War; grades 5-12.

The Civil War Era, A House Divided, Vol. 1; 1996; Holzer, Harold, Ed.; Cobblestone Publishing; history magazine for young people; grades 4-8.

Dog Jack; 1990; Biros, Florence W.; Civil War life as seen through the eyes of a young, runaway African American slave, and his loyal dog, Jack; easy reading, part fiction; grades 5-8.

First Book of Civil War Land Battles; 1960; Dupuy, Trevor N.; grades 5-12.

Gods and Generals; 1996; Shaara, Jeff; prequel to Michael Shaara's novel, "Killer Angels", deals with the Civil War up to Gettysburg, fiction; grades 8-12.

Golden Book of the Civil War; 1961; Flate, Charles; covers entire war, has maps, photographs, excellent for young readers; grades 4-8.

The Image of War: 1861-1865; 1981; The National Historical Society; 6 vol. dealing with the war from its origins through its aftermath using extensive photographic approach; grades 5-12.

Johnny Reb: The Confederate Soldier in the Civil War; 1995; Archambault, Alan; coloring book complete with stories of soldier life during the war; easy reading, high interest level; grades 3-6.

The Photographic History of the Civil War; 1957; Miller, Francis, T.; 10 vol. pictorial nicely illustrating all areas of the entire Civil War; grades 5-12.

Red Badge of Courage; 1895; Crane, Stephen; excellent novel dealing with a soldier's (Henry Fleming) fears of battle; grades 5-12.

Red Cap; 1991; Wisler, Clifton G.; excellent novel dealing with a young boy's experiences during the war in which he is eventually captured and endures prison life, based on a true story; grades 5-8.

Sacred Ground, Americans And Their Battlefields; 1993; Linenthal, Edward Tabor; Second Edition, University of Illinois Press; discussion of public attitudes toward five American battlefields, including Gettysburg; teachers and grades 8-12.


Arms and Equipment of the Civil War; 1961; Coggins, Jack; showcases the tools of the Union and Confederate Armies including infantry, cavalry, artillery and navy, over 500 illustrations dealing with equipment, clothing and weapons, good source book; grades 8-12.

Cannons: An Introduction to Civil War Artillery; 1985; Thomas, Dean; introduction to Civil War artillery, ammunition and its use during the war, complete with photographs and illustrations, reference booklet; grades 8-12.

Ready … Aim … Fire: Small Arms and Ammunition in the Civil War; 1981; Thomas, Dean; describes various types of ammunition used by each army corps and cavalry, numerous illustrations, reference booklet; grades 8-12.


Civil War Heroines; 1994; Canon, Jill; short biographical sketches of many Civil War era heroines, nicely illustrated, very readable; grades 3-8.

A Separate Battle: Women and the Civil War; 1991; Chang, Ina; excellent book for young readers seeking to know more about the female role during the Civil War; grades 5-12.


Army Life in a Black Regiment; 1962; Higginson, Thomas, W.; written by their first commanding officer, vivid account of the trials and triumphs of army life in a black regiment; grades 9-12.

Marching Toward Freedom: The Negro in the Civil War; 1967; McPherson, James, M.; service of African American perspective in the Civil War is presented via key extracts from newspapers, articles, books, speeches and letters; grades 8-12.


Clara Barton: Angel of the Battlefield; 1982; Bains, Rae; biography of perhaps the most famous nurse during the Civil War; grades 4-12.

Hospital Sketches: An Army Nurse's True Account of Her Civil War Experiences; 1869; Alcott, Louisa, M.; personal account of the author's brief experience as a nurse during the Civil War; grades 8-12.

In Hospital and Camp: The Civil War Through the Eyes of its Doctors and Nurses; 1993; Straubing, Harold, E.; accomplishments and hardships of the medical profession described during the Civil War; grades 8-12.


The Civil War Songbook; 1977; (Introduction) Crawford, Richard; numerous Civil War songs, biographic sketches on era composers, history of Civil War music dealing with soldier life, patriotic songs and home scenes, music arranged for piano and voice; grades 5-12.

A Pictorial History of Civil War Instruments; 1985; Garifalo, Robert and Elrod, Mark; pictorial history of Civil War musical instruments, includes 33 1/3 RPM record of military band playing selected songs; grades 5-12.

Singing Soldiers: A History of the Civil War in Song; 1968; Glass, Paul; chronicles various aspects of the war through music from the period, categories include patriotism, politics, army life, love songs, battles and soldiers, musical arrangements for voice, piano, and guitar, good source book; grades 8-12.


At Gettysburg, or What a Girl Saw & Heard of the Battle; 1889; Pierce, Tillie A.; interesting first hand account of the battle as witnessed by the author when she was a young girl; grades 4-12.

The Battle of Gettysburg; 1988; Cobblestone; numerous short stories about the Battle of Gettysburg, complete with photographs, map, drawings, and crossword puzzle; grades 4-8.

The Battle of Gettysburg; Coffee, Vincent; describes prelude to Gettysburg, the battle itself, and aftermath, complete with photographs, nicely illustrated maps and color illustrations; grades 4-8.

The Battle of Gettysburg; 1994; National Park Service Series; well written booklet detailing the Battle of Gettysburg, complete with sketches, photographs & maps; excellent beginning source; grades 5-12.

Days of Darkness: The Gettysburg Civilians; 1986; Williams, William A.; novel dealing with personal experiences of Gettysburg civilians as a result of their involvement with the battle; grades 5-12.

Early Photography at Gettysburg; 1995; Frassanito, William A.; Thomas Publications; grades 8-12.

Gettysburg; 1952; Kantor, MacKinley; Battle of Gettysburg; fast moving, easy reading; grades 5-12.

Gettysburg; A Battlefield Atlas; 1992; Symonds, Craig L.; Battle of Gettysburg with numerous maps and articles; grades 5-12.

The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command; 1968; Coddington, Edwin, B.; definitive study on the campaign and Battle of Gettysburg, scholarly piece of work; grades 11-12.

Gettysburg: The Final Fury; 1974; Catton, Bruce; Battle of Gettysburg; good source for young readers; grades 5-12.

Gettysburg: High Tide of the Confederacy; 1987; Time Life; one of the 28 volumes previously mentioned; excellent use of maps, illustrations, and photographs; grades 5-12.

Gettysburg: A Journey in Time; 1975; Frassanito, William A.; excellent photographic approach to Battle of Gettysburg depicting where photos were taken after battle and contrasting with modern day photos; grades 8-12.

High Tide at Gettysburg; 1958; Tucker, Glenn; Battle of Gettysburg and the campaign; excellent beginners' source; grades 5-12.

Jimmy at Gettysburg; 1993; Beitler, Margaret Bigham; true story of young boy (Jimmy Bighams) experiences at Gettysburg; highly readable and quite short; grades 3-8.

Killer Angels; 1976; Shaara, Michael; Pulitzer prize winning novel dealing with the Battle of Gettysburg from which the movie "Gettysburg" was based; grades 8-12.

The Slopes of War; 1984; Perez, N. A.; excellent novel on the Battle of Gettysburg, fictitious characters intermixed with true personalities makes for an interesting read; grades 5-8.

Thunder at Gettysburg; 1975; Gauch, Patricia Lee; Battle of Gettysburg as seen through the eyes of young Tillie Pierce; based on a true story, recommended for young persons who struggle with reading; grades 2-6.

Window of Time; 1991; Weinberg, Karen; Battle of Gettysburg and life in Westminster, Maryland as experienced by a young time traveler; grades 5-8.


Killed In Action; 1992; Coco, Gregory A.; Thomas Publications; short sketches of the deaths of many soldiers at Gettysburg; grades 8-12.

The Last Full Measure; 1998; Busey, John W.; Longstreet House; reference book on soldiers buried in National Cemetery; teachers and grades 8-12.

Lincoln And The Human Interest Stories Of The Gettysburg National Cemetery; 1995; Cole, James M. and Roy E. Frampton; Sheridan Press; grades 6-12.

Report of the Select Committee Relative to the Soldiers' National Cemetery; 1865; House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; reference material for teachers and good primary source; grades 9-12.

A Strange And Blighted Land; 1995; Coco, Gregory A.; Thomas Publications; grades 9-12.


Abraham Lincoln Coloring Book; 1987; Smith, A. G.; coloring book providing story of Lincoln's life from boyhood to presidency; grades 3-6.

Abraham Lincoln, A Documentary Portrait Through His Speeches And Writings; 1964; Fehrenbacher, Don E. (Ed.); Stanford University Press.

Abraham Lincoln In Print And Photograph; 1997; Byrd, Cecil K. and W. Ward Moore, editors; Dover Publications, Inc.

Abraham Lincoln And A Nation Worth Fighting For; 1996; Rowley, James A.; Harlan Davidson, Inc.

Abraham Lincoln, The Prairie Years And The War Years; 1954; Sandburg, Carl; One Vol. Edition, Harcourt Brace & Co.

The Emancipation Proclamation; 1995; Franklin, John Hope; Harlan Davidson, Inc.

Lincoln At Gettysburg; 1992; Wills, Gary; Simon & Schuster; grades 11-12 and adults.

The Historian's Lincoln; 1996; Boritt, Gabor, S. Ed.; University of Illinois Press.

The Last Best Hope On Earth; 1993; Neely, Mark E. Jr.; Harvard University Press.

Lincoln; 1995; Donald, David Herbert; Simon & Schuster.

The Lincoln No One Knows; 1993; Garrison, Webb; Rutledge Hill Press.

Lincoln: A Photobiography; 1987; Freedman, Russell; biography on Lincoln's life with numerous photographs, Newbury Medal Winner; grades 5-12.

Lincoln, A Pictorial History; 1993; Steers, Edward, Jr.; Thomas Publications.

Lincoln, The War President; 1992; Boritt, Gabor, S. Ed.; Oxford University Press.


Gettysburg 1863; documentary that imaginatively recreates the three day battle using the monuments that dot the battlefield today in silent vigil to the men who fought and died at Gettysburg. Color 18 minutes.

These Honored Dead; provides background for Lincoln's immortal Gettysburg Address. Color 11 minutes.

Numerous Civil War and Gettysburg videos are also available at the Visitors Center Bookstore. For more information please phone or write:

Events Network
Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center
1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325
Phone (717) 334-2288

Last updated: August 21, 2019

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1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg, PA 17325


(717) 334-1124

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