In early December, Barb Sanders and Scott Hartwig at
Gettysburg National Military Park received an Excellence in Interpretation
Award from the National Park Service Northeast Region. The award
recognized their role in the development of the film, “Big Deal at
Gettysburg: The Value of Historical Places,” a multimedia product aimed at
providing an understanding of the value of historic places to students.
Sanders is the park’s Education Specialist and Hartwig is the park’s
Supervisory Historian. Together they developed the concept, script and
created lesson plans to reach a national audience, some of whom may never
be able to come to the park. Their idea was to provide teachers and
students the tools necessary to understand and come to their own decisions
on the value of preserving our nations’ heritage.
The broadcast is a DVD which includes a three segment film (20 minutes per
segment) and lesson plans loaded as .pdf files which allow teachers and
home users to engage in active discussions about the segments as they are
Sanders and Hartwig both have key on-screen roles in the film, presenting
the story to viewers. They purposely included park partners in the project
to make it clear to the audience that “historic places” exist in many areas
and do not have to be owned or operated by the National Park Service to be
worthy of protection. The project included the Soldiers’ National Cemetery
within Gettysburg National Military Park; the George Spangler farm, which
is inside the park boundary but owned by the Gettysburg Foundation; the
David Wills House, which is a park site operated by Main Street Gettysburg;
and the Lincoln Train Station, a site owned by the Borough of Gettysburg
and operated by the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania. The lesson plans
meet National Council of Social Studies curriculum standards and themes.
The broadcast aired several times over the course of the spring in 2010
with approximately 8 million students, teachers and home viewers taking
advantage of the broadcast and the pre and post broadcast activities posted
on the park web site. The complete project is now available as a DVD
(film, pre and post broadcast materials/lesson plans) in the bookstore at
the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.
Gettysburg National Military Park offers eight different curriculum and
mission-based programs for school groups, accredited teacher workshops,
traveling trunks that are shipped to schools all across the country
and–most recently–the “Big Deal at Gettysburg” DVD and lesson plans on
historic preservation. For more information, go to www.nps.gov/gett.