Field Trips

Baptism of Fire

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Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Social Studies


Baptism of Fire: Soldiers and Civilians at the First Battle of Manassas 

This curriculum-based program is designed for 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. This ranger-conducted program focuses on the human experience during the First Battle of Manassas. "Baptism of Fire" is offered Monday through Friday by advance reservation only. The program includes pre- and post-visit activities for use in the classroom, an age-appropriate guided tour of Henry Hill and a visit to the park museum and/or a viewing of the 45 minute film in the Henry Hill Visitor Center. Programs are limited to 100 students. Budget two or three hours of time for this experience.

Pre and Post Activites


Use this activity to prepare students for their field trip. Several years ago the park produced a 12-min. video that provides a good overview to the First Battle of Manassas. Produced in VHS format only (no DVDs), these tapes were sent to all Northern Virginia area schools and libraries for checkout. The park retained a limited number of copies for loan (first-come, first-serve). If interested, please contacting the park Visitor Center at (703) 361-1339 x1205 or send an inquiry to: email us

 Pre Activity 2: "A CALL TO ARMS"

Through a study of the 27th Virginia Infantry, this pre-visit lesson takes a look at who joined the Union and Confederate armies and why. The focus of this lesson is on the motives for enlistment, origins/backgrounds of the soldiers and effects upon the communities from which they came. 

The name cards for the 27th Virginia are designed to be printed on Avery #5389 Laser Post Cards (4" x 6"). The enlistment certificate is actually a copy of a standard Union enlistment form.

Pre Activity 3: "RALLY ‘ROUND THE FLAG, BOYS!"


This pre-visit lesson looks at the importance of flags to the Civil War armies and the soldiers who served in the war. 



This worksheet will be used by students when exploring the park museum. Students will work in groups of two or three.

Post Activity 1: "THE WAR GOES ON!"

This post-visit activity is directly tied to the "A Call to Arms" activity.  Using primary source documents, this lesson takes a look at the soldiers during and particularly after the war. This lesson also studies the effects of the war on the communities from which these men came.

The cards for this activity are designed to be printed on Avery #5389 Laser Post Cards (4" x 6").


Student Activity Guide

The student activity guide contains many of the activities found in "Baptism of Fire." If using this activity guide independently of "Baptism of Fire," consider the following:

  1. Do the activities related to flags.  They are simple, easy to use and apply to almost any perspective of the Civil War. 
  2. With a little bit of research, apply the questions related to the 27th Virginia to most any other unit that served in Northern Virginia during the war.  Try to find a regiment or company from your local area to place the Civil War into context for your students.  The National Park Service's Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System allows you to search for regiments by state.
  3. For the obituary lesson, pick a variety of officers or enlisted men who were killed during the war and have the students write an obituary for that particular individual.

To Make Reservations:

Please contact the park's Education Office:
Phone: (703) 361-1339 x1205
Email: email us

Guided tours and educations programs require advance reservations. Please contact the park at least one month before your planned visit to reserve a date and time. Tour slots are limited and fill up quickly.

When reserving a program, please provide the following information:

  • School name
  • contact person
  • mailing address
  • telephone number
  • email (if available)
  • type of program requested
  • grade level
  • number of students
  • number of adults/chaperones
  • any special needs/requirements.

All guided tours require a 1:10 adult to student ratio.


Last updated: July 6, 2017