Wydown Middle School sixth-graders recently took advantage of a valuable educational resource in their own backyard – the Missouri History Museum’s Library and Research Center – to learn about what life was like in St. Louis during the Civil War. Over the course of two days, on March 30-31, students visited the Library and Research Center to view and analyze primary-source documents related to the people and places in St. Louis that were impacted by and had an impact on the Civil War.
The field trip to the Library and Research Center dovetailed with the sixth-graders’ study of the Civil War and its impact on the U.S. By viewing local artifacts such as maps, letters, photographs, loyalty oaths and a coroner’s record book, students had the opportunity to connect their broader knowledge about the war with its effect on their own community. The students explored the different and changing allegiances of four St. Louisans, and they studied four local places that made an impact on the war. Through their research and analysis, the sixth-graders drew conclusions about what life was like in St. Louis during the Civil War.