After a three-year hiatus, fifth grade students from Meyersdale Area elementary were able to return to “regular programming” and that included the highly anticipated trip to Gettysburg National Military Park on May 18. This 6,000-acre battlefield includes more than 1,300 monuments, markers and memorials.
According to Mrs. Amanada McNelly, this trip is an important part of the Social Studies curriculum.
“In Fifth grade Social Studies, we cover U.S. History, starting with the Native Americans and ending, in May, with the Civil War. We are lucky to be so close in distance to where the historical Battle of Gettysburg took place, because it was the turning point in the Civil War. Three days prior to our trip, we did a unit on the Battle of Gettysburg, complete with notes, activities, and the Gettysburg movie,” she explained.
McNelly said this preparation really helps students understand and make the important connections from what they learned to the actual sites.
“The students were most enthusiastic about seeing Little Round Top, Devils Den, and the location of Pickett’s Charge. The tour guides that joined us were top notch. The kids also really enjoyed the museum and the cyclorama,” she added.
McNelly said she and her colleagues were impressed by the behavior of the students and their interest in and knowledge of Gettysburg and the Civil War.