Thursday morning some 135 Canton Intermediate School fifth-graders participated in what may be the highlight of their school year — the annual Civil War re-enactment.
Classes rotated through various stations, where re-enactors, complete with period dress, props and vernacular, taught the kids about the customs, the challenges, fighting and other aspects of the war — even touching on the desperate measures some go through in wartime. The day ended with some battlefield simulations and a short lecture by one of the re-enactors.
The event leaves a lasting impression that students remember even in high school, said fifth-grade teacher Kathy Magarian.
“The one thing students remember about fifth-grade is the Civil War re-enactment,” she said.
The day involves professional re-enactors, a lot of preparation, scheduling and props. In addition to staff, numerous parent volunteers help make it possible.
“It’s a community that puts this on,” Magarian said.
The study of the Civil War is much more than the re-enactment. The fifth-grade unit is taught across all subjects. With writing, for example, students learn about a real soldier through the national archives and write about that life.
For the first time this year, students also took a trip to the Canton Historical Museum to get a first-hand look at the extensive collection there.
“We really try to immerse them,” Magarian said. “It’s probably the most intense unit we teach but I think we love it the most.