Fascinating Learning Experiences
One of the ways The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership helps students develop an appreciation for the past and a responsibility for the future is through its groundbreaking service-learning programs.
These experiential learning activities are designed to connect students with the historic, cultural and natural resources at JTHG sites from Gettysburg to Monticello. Combining creative education curricula, on-site experiences and expert accounts with digital media technology, each project fully immerses students in historic events and situations, providing them with experiences that they can apply to world events.
Harpers Ferry (1859/2009)
Based on their hands-on experiences in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and analysis of primary source documents, approximately 70 Harpers Ferry Middle School kids played a part to produce and promote six mini-documentaries, depicting their understanding of the famous 1859 John Brown Raid in Harpers Ferry, which set-off fighting in the American Civil War.
- Troubling the Water: John Brown as a Child
What made John Brown a leader … a radical … a martyr? Students from Harpers Ferry Middle School interpret what occurred in John Brown’s life that propelled him to take action against slavery.
- John Brown: Children of the Raid
What was it like to be a kid on October 16, 1859 when John Brown and his Raiders came to town? Students from Harpers Ferry Middle School interpret this pivotal event through the eyes of Harpers Ferry’s children.
- JB: Getting Down with Our History
Students from Harpers Ferry Middle School examine John Brown from a historical perspective and his relevance today.
- Harriett and Dangerfield Newby: A Story of Love, Family, and Courage
Dangerfield Newby, a freeman struggling to buy the freedom of his wife and children, joins John Brown’s raiders. Does he survive? Students from Harpers Ferry Middle School tell their remarkable and haunting story.
- Jump to Freedom: Slavery and Harpers Ferry
This video explores the history of slavery in Harpers Ferry.
In this series, students from Sutherland Middle School interpret the Genius of Thomas Jefferson through his home, inventions, childhood, beliefs, and convictions. They also look at Thomas Jefferson’s legacy of citizenry.
- Childhood Games: Thomas Jefferson’s Childhood
Students from Sutherland Middle School in Charlottesville, VA show us Thomas Jefferson’s childhood and what made him say, “Aha! I have an idea to change the world.”
- Jefferson’s Crib
Students from Sutherland Middle School in Charlottesville, VA take you on a very unique tour of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
- Naturalization: Becoming a US Citizen at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
Students from Sutherland Middle School in Charlottesville, VA look at naturalization–becoming a US Citizen. They also address the question, “What is citizenship and why is it important?”
- Jacks Choice: The Man Who Warned Thomas Jefferson
Students from Sutherland Middle School in Charlottesville, VA tell the story of the brave Jack Jouett and how he saved Thomas Jefferson.
- When You Litter: What would Thomas Jefferson say?
Students from Sutherland Middle School in Charlottesville, VA are visited by the ghost of Thomas Jefferson who teaches them to respect nature and to not destroy our natural surroundings.
- Jeffersonian Thriller
Students from Sutherland Middle School in Charlottesville, VA compare what Thomas Jefferson enjoyed as a child to what kids like to do today.
- Dream Secrets: a “Revolutionary Inventor”
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Thomas Jefferson’s inventions came to life? Students from Sutherland Middle School in Charlottesville, VA take a new look at what made Jefferson a “revolutionary inventor”.
- Take a Look: Slavery Through the Eyes of a Visitor from Another Planet
What if an alien came to earth to do a project on the history of slavery? Students from Sutherland Middle School in Charlottesville, VA take a unique look at a complex topic.
- Ride On Jack Jouett
Who was Jack Jouett and why is he considered the “Paul Revere” of the South? Students from Sutherland Middle School in Charlottesville, VA tell the story of this brave man’s efforts to warn Thomas Jefferson of a kidnapping plot and how history might have been different if he failed.
Battle of First Manassas (1861/2011)
July 21, 1861 marked the first bloodshed of the American Civil War. In this series, students from Stonewall Middle School interpret the lives of soldiers, African Americans, immigrants, children, and women during this pivotal First Battle of Manassas.
- Gustav: The 11-Year-Old Drummer Boy Who Went to War
Students from Stonewall Middle School in Manassas, VA, interpret the role of battlefield medicine during the Battle of First Manassas, July 21, 1861. The battle and its casualties are seen through the eyes of an 11-year-old German drummer boy named Gustav.
- Life on the Home Front in 1861
Students from Stonewall Middle School in Manassas, VA show the toll of the Civil War on the families from both the Union and Confederate perspectives. How do you say good-bye and what happens when loved ones do not return?
- Story of James Robinson
Students from Stonewall Middle School in Manassas, VA tell the story of James Robinson, who was born in 1799 to a white father and an enslaved mother. While was a free black man, his children were not. This is the story of his perseverance to create a better life for his family as the American Civil War rages around them.
- Leadership of Lincoln and Davis in 1861
Students from Stonewall Middle School in Manassas, VA examine Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis to answer the question: “How did these leaders view the Civil War in 1861?”
- Taking a Stand: Stonewall Jackson
Students from Stonewall Middle School in Manassas, VA explore “Who was Stonewall Jackson?” by going “back in time” to see what it means to “take a stand” for what you believe, whether or not you feel the time is right.
- The Immigrant Experience in the American Civil War
Students from Stonewall Middle School in Manassas, VA interpret the Battle of First Manassas, July 21, 1861, through the perspective of Irish immigrants who fought in the battle. The students relate the experiences of these Irish immigrants to their own experiences as to why their families left their native countries to come to America.
Harpers Ferry (1861/2011)
In this series, students from Harpers Ferry Middle School interpret history in and around Harpers Ferry, WV in 1861. From the aftermath of John Brown’s raid and Virginia’s secession from the Union, to the hardships of civilian life, these students offer a compelling look our American history in the early days of the Civil War.
- Harpers Ferry, WV, 1859-1861
Students from Harpers Ferry Middle School interpret the pivotal events that occurred between 1859 and 1861 at Harpers Ferry, WV, including the aftermath of John Brown’s Raid, the Election of 1860, Alfred Barbour serving as a delegate to the Virginia Secession Convention, and the burning of the US Armory.
- Dreams of Being There: Harpers Ferry in 1861
Follow a group of students as they learn about Harpers Ferry in 1861 from a National Park Ranger. History soon comes to life as their daydreams transport them back in time. Created by students from Harpers Ferry Middle School.
- The Burning of the U.S. Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, WV in 1861
Students from Harpers Ferry Middle School interpret the story of Lt. Roger Jones and the decisions he faced as Virginia militia approached Harpers Ferry, VA in 1861. What did Lt. Jones order his men to do and how did the townspeople react? More, how did his orders alter the future of Harpers Ferry?
- Families of Harpers Ferry, 1861
Students from Harpers Ferry Middle School interpret life in Harpers Ferry, VA in 1861 from the perspective of three families. See what happens to the Roeder’s, the Marmion’s, and the Wilson’s during this first year of the American Civil War.
- Lincoln Lately, 1861
Students from Harpers Ferry Middle School present a new twist on modern talk shows: interviews from the past! Hear Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Harpers Ferry citizens, and soldiers on the battlefield of Manassas tell their stories of 1861.
- The Virginia Secession of 1861
Students from Harpers Ferry Middle School interpret Virginia’s secession from the United States in 1861 and ask: How would you feel and what would you have done?
Battle of Second Manassas (1862/2012)
Manassas National Battlefield Park: Created by sixth-grade students from Stonewall Middle School in Manassas, Virginia.
- Fifth New York Zouaves
The Zouaves were an elite fighting unit who suffered the single greatest loss of life in any infantry regiment in the Civil War. At the Battle of Second Manassas, almost three-quarters of the unit was killed in just eight minutes.
- Amanda Virginia Edmonds
Students interpret how to overcome difficult circumstances through the use of a diary written in 1862.
- Iron Brigade vs. Stonewall Brigade
Students look beyond troop numbers of these two brigades — considered to be the toughest in their respective armies — to tell the story of just two of these brave men.
- Germ Warfare
With disease killing more soldiers than bullets, students explore what could have been considered the single greatest weapon against death in the Civil War: simple sanitary procedures in the treatment of the wounded.
- Fight for What You Believe
James Peters, a freedom seeker from Prince William County eventually becomes a member of the United States Colored Troops. When his widow applies for a military pension, she is denied for the exact reason her husband fought for the Union.
- Jack Sterry, the Jessie Scout
Through the first-person account of a Confederate soldier in 1862, the students bring to life the story of a Union spy.
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (1862/2012)
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park: Created by eighth-grade students from Springfield Middle School in Williamsport, Maryland.
- Deadly Suspicion
By interpreting just one tragic instance, the students share the consequence that can happen when people judge one another without knowing or trying to learn the true story.
- Freedom Seekers
Through research, music and folklore, students interpreted how the C & O Canal was used by those seeking freedom from bondage.
- John Brown’s Bell
In this vodcast, students discover that a symbol of freedom was stored right in their hometown and have now shared that story with the world.
- Answering the Call
Through diaries, photographs, and hands-on learning, students understand the workings of the canal and gain insight of the life of those along the waterway.
- Civil War in Williamsport
Students focused on how entire towns were overrun during the Civil War and how homes and churches were used as hospitals—and how many wounded never made it that far.
- Women on the Canal
Students learned that in many instances, young people like themselves were the engine of our 19th-century commerce.
Over several months, E. Russell Hicks Middle School students have worked on site with National Park Rangers, historians, JTHG Partnership educators and researched historical source documents to learn about life on and off the battlefield during 1860’s and during the Bloodiest Battle in American history.
- Antietam Cable Television- The Journey Through Hallowed Ground: Behind the Vodcasts (Overview video)
- Antietam Homefront
The students examine the heart wrenching toll of battle on the families who found themselves suddenly on the front lines of a battle and the toll of families today that send members off to war.
- Heroism Knows No Age
The Johnny Cook Story: Through letters and diaries, students learned of a young Union soldier, not much older than themselves, and how he won the Medal of Honor.
- Those Who Came to the Fields
Icons of Humanity: By telling the story of Clara Barton, the students bring the story of women on the battlefield to life in a story of richness and lasting legacy.
- The Road to Freedom
In learning about Abraham Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, student brought to life the words of former slaves by using interviews conducted by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s.
- The Big Picture
Students put themselves in the boots of soldiers to gain an understanding of the terrible price paid on September 17, 1862—the single bloodiest day in our American history.
- A Picture Tells 23,000 Words
Through researching the early days of photography, the students came to understand how Alexander Gardner’s work helped shape the understanding of the American Civil War, and drew a comparison to how information is shared in the digital world.
Throughout the 2013 school year, students from Gettysburg Area Middle School in Gettysburg, PA, immersed themselves in the history of the Battle of Gettysburg. During this process, they also produced a mini-movie, or vodcast, using only primary source documents.
- Comcast Newsmakers: JTHG’s Of, By, For at Gettysburg (2013) (Overview video)
- Shriver: The Faces of Family During War
Shriver is the story of a modern soldier and daughter who take a tour of the Shriver House Museum in Gettysburg. They are told of the Shrivers, a Gettysburg family heavily affected by the Civil War- a war that would land on their front steps. George Shriver joins the Union, leaving his wife Hettie, and his two daughters, Mollie and Sadie, to fight the war on the home front. The war would forever change George and his family.
- Black Ducks: Secretly Paving a Path to Freedom
Black Ducks is the story of the unofficial white fraternity of Gettysburg College during the 1860s. They were known as Beta Delta, but rumors suggest they were actually called the Black Ducks and were secretly aiding freedom seekers. It was also said that the African American college janitor, John “Jack” Hopkins, aided the Black Ducks. The Black Ducks risked everything they had, even their lives, to ensure others could live freely.
- Signal Corps: The Importance of Communication
Signal Corps tells the story of how Union soldiers would have used flag signaling during the Battle of Gettysburg as a successful means of communication. The students relate how signaling is still used to communicate today and how life would exist without modern communication tools.
- Barlow and Gordon: From Civil War Enemies to Lifelong Friends
Barlow & Gordon is the story of how two enemies, during the Battle of Gettysburg, became lifelong friends. John. B. Gordon, a Confederate general, watches Francis C. Barlow, a Union Brigadier General, get shot. He takes interest in the wounded Barlow and approaches him. At Barlow’s request, Gordon agrees to have his letters delivered to his wife. The two men would eventually assume each other to be dead. Fast forward 15 years, Gordon is a U.S. Senator and is invited to a dinner party, where he is astonished by the presence of Barlow.
- Frozen in Time: Art that Inspires
Frozen in Time puts a new twist into the meaning of learning. Embark on a musical adventure that brings the story of the great sculptor Gutzon Borglum to life. From the creation of the North Carolina Monument in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to the famous Mount Rushmore, we are shown how art can inspire us all and be used as a tool for learning. And, what better way to teach and learn history than to sing and dance about it!
- Markers in Time: From Civil War to Civil Rights
Markers in Time focuses on the legacy of the Battle of Gettysburg and subsequent events. Keying in on President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the students saw his speech as an inspiration to the leaders that came to Gettysburg after him for the 50th, 75th, and 100th-anniversary commemorations, as well as the present leaders who continue to lead by Lincoln’s words, and the future leaders of America, including their fellow 7th graders.
Throughout the 2014 school year, 7th-grade students from Orange County Public Schools in Orange County, Virginia, immersed themselves in their local history as it relates to the Battle of the Wilderness and the start of the Overland Campaign. During this process, they also produced a mini-movie, or vodcast, using only primary source documents.
- Memories of John W. Patterson
“Memories of John W. Patterson” details the impact of war on the families of those that serve. After the death of Col. Patterson in the Battle of the Wilderness, his family struggled to survive. Produced by Orange County Public Schools students as part of the Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student® service-learning project.
- Died of a Theory
Prior to the start of the Civil War, citizens throughout the nation debated the merits and constitutionality of southern secession from the Union. 150 years later, the debate continues in the vodcast “Died of a Theory.” Produced by Orange County Public Schools students as part of the Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student® service-learning project.
- Days of Fire
During the Battle of the Wilderness, fires in the thick forests killed thousands and devastated the local landscape. “Days of Fire” examines the environmental impact on the area during that difficult time. Produced by Orange County Public Schools students as part of the Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student® service-learning project.
- Katherine Couse: Face to Face with War
Throughout the start of the Overland Campaign, Katherine Couse documented her experiences in a journal, which 150 years later was used by 7th-graders as a magnifying glass into civilian life during the war. Produced by Orange County Public Schools students as part of the Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student® service-learning project.
- The Bridge to Battle
“The Bridge to Battle” details the use of pontoon bridges in the Battle of the Wilderness and the start of the Overland Campaign. In May 1864, these floating bridges allowed the Union army to cross the Rapidan River in pursuit of General Lee and his men. Produced by Orange County Public Schools students as part of the Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student® service-learning project.
- The Story of Nimrod Burke: African American’s Fight for Freedom
Although many African American enlisting with the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War, it wasn’t until 1864 that these troops saw combat. Nimrod Burke was one of many soldiers from the 23rd USCT that fought for their freedom during this trying time in American history. Produced by Orange County Public Schools students as part of the Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student® service-learning project.
Throughout the 2016 school year, students from Gettysburg Area Middle School in Gettysburg, PA, discovered important acts by President Eisenhower at the Eisenhower National Historic Site. During this process, they also produced a mini-movie, or vodcast, using only primary source documents.
- The Visit
The Cold War was a scary time for Americans and the Russians. At any moment a nuclear bomb could’ve dropped on the United States or in the Soviet Union. To try and avoid this happening Eisenhower invites Nikita Khruschcev to his farm in Gettysburg. Eisenhower and Khrushcev quickly become friends and the Cold War seems to be coming to an end. But 8 months later a American U2 spy plane was shot down and the Soviet Union recovered it as well as the pilot. Tensions are high again for the next 30 years but no bombs are dropped. Eventually little by little the Americans and the Soviet Union realize they have more in common then they do in differences. In Eisenhowers farewell address to the nation he says in time everyone shall live in peace by mutual respect and love.
- A Diseased Nation
A diseased America is suffering from Polio. Polio is killing tons of people children in particular. Dr. Jonas Salk is looking for a cure for this disease and when he thinks he found a vaccine he tests it on his family to see if it works properly. The vaccine works and Eisenhower signs it as a bill and then it goes into congress and is passed and Polio is cured.