NEWBERRY — Historian Jennifer Gunter visited Newberry Elementary School in October and gave a presentation to fifth graders about Reconstruction following the Civil War.
The presentation was part of Historic Columbia’s Traveling Trunks program on Reconstruction. Gunter used a hands-on example where children acted out roles as a broker, a factory owner and a plantation/farm owner.
She explained exchange rates and inflation. She also mentioned how events during the war, such as the Union Blockade of the Charleston Harbor caused the Confederate dollar to weaken and the price of cotton to change via supply and demand.
This connection was part of the library’s role of curricular support at NES. NES School Library Media Specialist Cerese Long arranged the presentation, which connected with fifth grade Social Studies standards.
“I have used the Traveling Trunks program for many years with third, fourth and fifth grade students,” Long said. “They have programs on the Civil War, WWII, Civil Rights, and Reconstruction. Students have made positive comments about the program and seemed to enjoy taking part in it. I think that it helps to reinforce information they are learning in social studies.”
The presentation allowed students to act out parts of history and to see historical artifacts. In so doing, they placed curriculum lessons into their real world contexts.