“This is not just a dress-up day!”
Despite the excitement that is created by our Civil War Fair each spring, the hard work, effort, and scholarship that precede the actual day are what make this experience so meaningful for our children.
Starting in the fall with the fifth grade's trip to West Point, students spend the year looking at pivotal moments in American history. In the spring, they intensively study the causes and events of the Civil War. Midway through the unit, they head to Gettysburg for an overnight trip, a highlight of every fifth grade year.
As part of their Civil War studies, the students each research a historic figure who had a significant impact on that tumultuous time in our nation’s history. Imagine spending time using multiple sources to better understand both the conflict that ripped apart our country as well as your person’s role in that time period. Imagine organizing that new knowledge into a research paper and creatively depicting the key aspects of your historical figure’s life through a diorama, video, or slideshow.
Finally, on the big day, the students actually stand in the shoes of their character and must be prepared to answer a multitude of questions from their teachers, friends, and guests. All in all, this project once again emphasizes the powerhouse skills that we know children must possess in the 21st century. Time management, resiliency, creativity, teamwork, curiosity––all come together in a stunning way. Enjoy this quick peek into the experience of the fifth grade Civil War Fair!
Adam C. Rohdie
Headmaster, The Greenwich Country Day School