20th Maine Regiment and Gettysburg
Primary Resources and the Civil War

Various unit histories: 2nd, 5th, 16th, 17th, 20th Maine Regiments
Textbook background of Civil War
Maine Memory Network Photos - "20th Maine" folder for teacher and each student at this link: Maine Memory Network
Some basic information about photography during the war (web search)
Wiki page with outline of project and links to starting points
Gettysburg (Preferably on dvd to skip some parts if needed for time)

The students will have been studying the Civil War in general. After the basics are covered via textbook chapter 11, this project will be used to dive into depth on a Civil War battle and then follow a specific unit from Maine. Along with studying the details of the 20th Maine and others, the students will then look at period photos to discover what is revealed about the people in the photos. Details such as weapons, clothing, facial expressions, insignia (ie. the Maltese Cross of 5th Corps), and such can reveal much if understood. The students will find out details which match written descriptions from the unit histories and attempt to find others just by their own detective work.

Leading Questions:
Unit Question: How does the country deal with fighting against itself?
Chapter Question: What were the tactics and strategies used by the two sides during the war?
Project Question: How did individual soldiers from Maine prepare and equip themselves for fighting at Gettysburg?

  • The student will begin with selections from the unit history books, centered around the battle at Gettysburg.
  • The students will research some basic details about Civil War photos; how they were made and what they show.
  • The students will then look at photos from the actual 20th Maine from the Maine Memory Network. They'll do a little detective work to find out about the details found in the photos from my collection folder and others in their own collection folder.
  • The students will produce a Google Docs "Presentation" showing their findings. Source citation/hyperlink required.

Learning Results Standards: MLR: Social Studies E1b,d (interpretation and primary sources)

Assessment Rubric: Adapted From Dirigo High School School-wide Rubrics

Use of multiple disciplines and learning contexts
Synthesis of information and perspective across disciplines is seamless.
Reliable information presented from a variety of sources over two or more disciplines and perspectives
Presentation relies on one discipline or perspective although some cross disciplinary reference is attempted.
Presentation lacks depth and breadth Only one perspective and discipline is used.

Content is well organized with an in-depth use of essential, factually based information, excellent details and examples.
Content is organized and consists of essential, factually based information with good details and examples. Errors of fact or omission do not detract from the overall product.
The content has some logical organization with some use of essential information, and/or significant factual errors.
The content of the project did not have a clear or logically organized structure and little or no use of factually based information.
Evidence and Logic
Demonstrates the ability to read and listen to multiple sources and proficiently comprehends, analyzes, evaluates, cites and utilizes information.
Demonstrates the ability to read and listen to multiple sources and adequately comprehends, analyzes, evaluates, cites and utilizes information.
Demonstrates the ability to read and listen to multiple sources, but inconsistently comprehends, analyzes, evaluates, cites and/or utilizes information.
Does not demonstrate the ability to read and listen to multiple sources or comprehend, analyze, evaluate, cite and utilize information.

The students will finish the project by watching Gettysburg and answering some questions about what they see.