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The Civil War Comes to Kansas

Guided tour —Mine Creek Battlefield State Historic Site, Pleasanton

Grades — Seventh-Eighth

Mine Creek BattlefieldThis guided tour begins with a Read Kansas! "The Civil War Comes to Kansas:  The Battle of Mine Creek"lesson to be completed in the classroom. Throughout this lesson students will read expository text and study a historic painting, a map, and a newspaper article. After completing this lesson the students will be able to place the battle in the larger context of the Civil War by sequencing events from 1854 – 1865. 

Prior to arrival at the site the teacher must choose which of the two options he/she wants the students to complete. Both tours take approximately one hour.

Mine Creek Battlefield exhibitOption 1:

This option consists of a tour of the museum exhibit room and review the Battle of Mine Creek.  Then students will be divided into five groups. Each group will examine additional primary source documents and artifacts pertaining to one Mine Creek participant:  a Union officer, a Union soldier, a Confederate officer, a Confederate soldier, and a civilian.  Using a worksheet, the students will record information from the primary source documents, artifacts, and labels to create a portrait of that individual and his/her role in the battle.  Each group will report back to the class about their character. This option does not include activities on the battlefield.

Option 2:

Mine Creek BattlefieldThis option allows students to briefly tour the museum exhibit room and review the Battle of Mine Creek.  The site curator will then lead the students on a tour of the battlefield.  Students will wear a piece of clothing that identifies a character in the battle.  Each student will be given a primary source quote to read at the appropriate time as the group tours the battlefield. 

Post-visit assessment for either tour will have the students write a journal entry from the point of view of a participant in the Battle of Mine Creek, October 25, 1864.

Teachers might also include a drive-through visit to the Marais des Cygnes Massacre State Historic Site before or after visiting the Mine Creek Battlefield.  At this ravine a few years prior to the Civil War, proslavery men killed five free state men and wounded five others in a ravine. This location is a National Historic Landmark.

Standards addressed:

History: Benchmark 2, Indicator 6:  The student describes important events in Kansas during the Civil War (e.g. Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence, the Battle of Mine Creek,  recruitment of volunteer regiments).

History: Benchmark 7, Indicator 3:  The student uses at least three primary sources to interpret the impact of a person or event from Kansas history to develop an historical narrative.

History: Benchmark 7, Indicator 2:  The student examines different types of primary sources in Kansas history and analyzes them in terms of credibility, purpose, and point of view (e.g., census records, diaries, photographs, letters, government documents).

It Went Against Us by Samuel ReaderReading: Benchmark 2, Indicator 5:  The student adjust reading rate to support comprehension when reading narrative, expository, technical, and persuasive texts.

Reading: Benchmark 4, Indicator 6: The student analyzes how text structure (e.g. sequence, problem-solution, comparison-contrast, description, cause-effect) helps support comprehension of text.

Reading: Benchmark 4, Indicator 17:  The student identifies the author’s position in a persuasive text and describes techniques the author uses to support that position (e.g. bandwagon approach, glittering generalities, testimonials, citing statistics, other techniques that appeal to reason or emotion.)

Writing: Benchmark 2, Indicator 3:  The student uses (1) personal experience (2) observations (3) prior knowledge (4) research to provide information using an appropriate point of view for the piece (e.g., third person pronouns in research). 

Cost per student in $2. One adult enters free for every 10 students.  Additional adults pay the student rate.

Length of tour: Either option will be approximately one hour at the site.

Number of students in a group: for the best experience, we recommend approximately 30 students per group.

Registration and scheduling: Contact the site administrator, 913-352-8890;Mine Creek Battlefield.  Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. The site is open the first Wednesday in April through the last Saturday in October.