Teaching With This Movie:What was the significance of the Battle of Gettysburg in the overall Civil War? What were the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing generals? What tactical and strategic decisions were wise and mistakes in the battle at Gettysburg and what were their consequences? What was life like for Union soldiers and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War? How does this movie shed light on why this war was the costliest in American lives?
Idea #2:Read a copy of the Gettysburg Address before watching the movie. Briefly discuss the purpose of this speech by President Lincoln and he referenced the Declaration of Independence in it? Reread the speech after watching the movie. Do you hear the words of that speech differently after watching this movie? Do you have a different understanding for why the speech was delivered at the battle site?
Idea #3:Read about the push to remove the Confederate flag, as well as statues and monuments commemorating the Confederacy, from public spaces. Discuss the different approaches people have used to force the removal of these symbols. Consider questions such as: (1) Should memorials be maintained so that history cannot be forgotten? (2) Should students be forced to attend schools named in honor of slave owners and generals who fought to keep African Americans enslaved? (3) How has Germany dealt with similar questions regarding Nazi memorials?