Saturday, February 28, the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library at Mississippi State University co-hosted a five-hour workshop for middle school history teachers, "Teaching the Civil War to the 21st Century Student" with the Mississippi Museum of Art.
Earlier in the year, Daniel Johnson, Director of Engagement and Learning and Artist in Residence at the Mississippi Museum of Art approached U.S. Grant Library executive director Dr. John F. Marszalek about putting together a program that would complement the "Civil War Drawings from the Becker Collection" exhibit at the MMA.
Dr. Marszalek and assistant archivist Ryan Semmes reached out to the MSU history and education departments for assistance, and their efforts resulted in a one-day program offering teachers ideas and resources for teaching about the Civil War and continuing education units for attending this free event.
Marszalek opened the workshop with a welcome and introductions of the presenters. Grant Library assistant editor David Nolen presented a session on finding historical resources online. Civil War Artillery Museum director Duffy Neubauer and director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History's Historic Preservation Division Jim Woodrick followed with a discussion of the cultural resources and field trip opportunities available in Mississippi. MSU history professor Dr. Anne Marshall presented her lecture "Memory in the Formation of Civil War History." After a working lunch, MSU education professor Keri Tawater presented on assessing the information and creating lesson plan guidelines.
The presentations were received enthusiastically, and the teachers said that they gained a lot from attending. One participant wrote on her evaluation form, "Thank you for sharing this wealth of knowledge. I wish your information was available outside this venue."
Marszalek added, "The presentations were excellent and well received by the teachers who attended. Many thanks to everyone who made this program a success."
The "Civil War Drawings from the Becker Collection" exhibit will be on display at the Mississippi Museum of Art through April 19. For more information, visit www.msmuseumart.org.