Great #PBL Trip to Windsor Historical Society Program

As we pass through our tenth week of researching the Connecticut’s 29th Regiment soldiers who signed up from Suffield and learning more about the lives of these pioneers before, during and after the Civil War, we now look forward to a great program hosted by The Windsor Historical Society. We also have the opportunity to thank some of the historical society research staff for theirScreen Shot 2015-02-24 at 11.01.48 AM help they gave our Windsor classmate on William Chase and information about his life before signing up for the 29th Regiment for Windsor. We should also share with them what we found during the last minutes of class today about Chase getting wounded at the battle of Chaffin’s Farms. Did his wounds lead to him getting a Butler Medal? There is always something more to explore once we find an interesting historical fact. Nevertheless, the interesting fact for us now is that Chaffin’s Farm and the Battle of New Market Heights are moments that now leap off the page of historical documents for us before we knew of the great achievements of the 29th Regiment and other USCT fighting under General Birney and General Butler in the siege on Petersburg. These will also become key moments in our community presentation on April 14th as we explain more about the Butler Medal and how some African-American soldiers received the Medal of Honor at these sites.

We also have to shine a light on the moments in Hill and Newton’s narratives of the 29th Regiment where they celebrate the day the 45th Calvary awarded the 29th with the national colors to recognize the unit’s merits on the battlefield. Here’s to enjoying the #PBL process of preparing important aspects of what we have learned and explaining how we learned it. We also owe an intellectual debt of gratitude for adopting Hari Jones’ suggestion to research and find in primary sources that help create new narratives for the 29th Regiment and USCT; we are now ready to tell a story of the 29th Regiment not as “victims but as victors.”

About Bill Sullivan

I am an English teacher working with great students at Suffield Academy. I also teach seniors in various project-based learning environments. Some of the #PBL topics included global issues, such as Pandemics, Climate Change, and Water; more recently I have asked students to research and identify topics important to our school community and their generation. We curate these topics with a #StudentCenteredPBL. For the past eleven years, I also created a driving question for a class to research a local history mystery and present their findings in a community program partnering with our local historical society. These topics encompass researching the lives of enslaved individuals who were contributors to the foundation of our community.
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