Students reenact Civil War

AUSTIN, Minn. – Most students learn about the Civil War through textbooks and films, but some southern Minnesota students are doing it through reenactment.

Seventh grade students at Ellis Middle School in Austin did their learning with water balloons. They marched and acted out how the war was taking place.

“We’ll review some concepts that we previously discussed. We’ll have a little interaction. Kids will learn some figures and then we’ll go from there .There’s still learning, just not a true paper, pencil test,” said Tom Compton, a seventh grade U.S. History teacher at Ellis.

Instead of weapons, they used water balloons.

“There’s always anxieties when you have water balloons and you’re trying to simulate a battle. In the end, the teachers, we’ve all responded well, I have great support from administration encouraging me to take risks,” Compton said.

He said he has done something like this at the high school for the past five years. These students learned about the Civil War over the winter but he said they urged him to bring the activity to them.

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