However, it was Gettysburg that taught me the most lessons. This was the biggest:
|I couldn't believe all the fences in the broad expanse of fields in Gettysburg...|
51,000 casualties (dead, wounded, missing) in this 3-day battle. In middle school, those were just numbers to me. All I remembered was that the North and South were fighting in the Civil War. At age 40, seeing this vast expanse of land, seeing the relics in the museum, and hearing the personal stories about the residents of the town of Gettysburg from the man leading the ghost tour, I have a tiny grasp of what those numbers mean. Seeing the new exhibit with articles from the GAR and the SCV put it into even better perspective.
I can't take my students to places in literature or nonfiction we read in class. They will (hopefully) some day experience these places on their own or with their families. How can I get close to giving them some experiences they'll remember? We'll start with Genius Hour the first day of every week. I hope that the choice they have during this time will help them stay invested and engaged and they'll remember what they've done during this precious time when they are older. I ask, though - How can I use the rest of the week and the curriculum I need to cover to make it memorable for my new students? I am not going to be the "sage on the stage," even if they might well remember a goofy production of mine. I'm going to give much of the conversations and discussions to the students.
What else can I do to make this year's lessons memorable? Please leave ideas...