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Methods in Historical Research: The Civil War (LRC Program)

Dates Available: Monday through Thursday, with limited availability and before 12pm only

Grade Level: 6th–12th

Minimum Number of Students: 10 students

Maximum Number of Students: 28 students

Program Duration: 1.5 hours 

Location: This program is conducted at the Library and Research Center at 225 S. Skinker Blvd. 

This experience will guide students in the comprehension and analysis of rare primary-source documents related to the St. Louis people and places that were impacted by—and had an impact on—the Civil War. Students will examine maps, loyalty oaths, letters, a coroner’s record book, photographs, military rosters, and more in order to explore the complicated allegiances St. Louis had during the Civil War and how the war affected those who lived here. 

Students will investigate four St. Louisans who had different and changing allegiances during the war. By analyzing the primary sources, they'll consider how men and women, free and enslaved experienced the war, as well as how all of these different opinions and actions would have affected the overall climate in the city. Students will also explore four St. Louis places to discover their effect on the war and how the war changed the city's landscape.

To wrap up the program, students will consider how the Civil War is remembered today in St. Louis. Teachers will be given a take-home map of Civil War monuments and memorials that exist throughout the city. The map includes information about each site and can be used as an extension exercise.

About the Program
Students will begin by learning what the Library and Research Center is and how the public can use it. Throughout the rest of the program, students will think critically about the ways we can use primary-source documents to find out information about the people and places of the past. They'll also compare and contrast these methods of historical research with the ways in which they gather information in their own lives.

Please note that portions of the program may be cut out if your group arrives late.

Please read our K-12 Policiesbefore booking this program.

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Critical Thinking
Regardless of which field-trip experience you choose, all of our K–12 programs are designed to emphasize the critical thinking skills students use at museums, in the classroom, and as lifelong learners. Each one facilitates experiences in which learners can individually and collaboratively use Museum spaces, objects, and content to:

  • compare and contrast the past and the present
  • make connections between the people, places, and stories of history and their own experiences
  • comprehend and evaluate multiple perspectives and past choices
  • express and support their personal views on history

Here are some Pre-Visit Activities and other resources.

Program Modifications
We understand that many factors may cause your bus to be late. However, due to other group reservations and the schedules of our museum educators, we can't extend the length of your visit past your reservation time.

If you arrive late, we'll still do our best to deliver the program you reserved. However, modifications may be necessary depending on your arrival time. (NOTE: Excessively late groups can expect significant program changes.)

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