Take a Teacher’s Tour of the Battle of Gettysburg

Historian Matthew Pinsker leads a teacher’s tour of the Battle of Gettysburg, highlighting key moments and individuals to illustrate the broad story of the battle, its implications for the Civil War, and its legacy in American history.

Watch the full tour below, or scroll down to study the battle through short segments.



Tour Segments


Great connection to the modern day - the "handshake" is a powerful bridge for learning.
Stuyvesant HS

Really insightful and thought provoking on the political ideas of the north. Details about the military conflicts were also enlightening.

Stuyvesant High School

It's really interesting how the topography played such an important role in both sides' military strategy and execution. Cemetery Hill, The Round Tops, and Culp's Hill all affected the outcome of the Battle of Gettysburg. This is something that is not usually taught in classes, but remains a topic in need of recognition.
Stuyvesant High School

Although the Battle of Gettysburg was unexpected by both sides, each minor detail whether it involve the terrain or the soldiers, added to the result. War in the 19th century may have been more coincidence and circumstance than strategy and war heroes.

Agree with EA. In addition, incorporation of topography brings the battle to life visually in a way that is typically hard to capture so long after the fact.
Stuvesant High School

Great argument for a less is more approach to studying the Civil War. Students connect with individual stories and are inspired by them to ask the insightful questions that lead to deeper understandings.

In the intro, the idea of being a "handshake away" from Gettysburg reminds me of the Patricia Polacco children's story of the Civil War called "Pink and Say" which we read to our students at the end of our year to bring everything together. This is a family story passed down through generations about a boy soldier from Ohio in the Union Army who "shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln" before 2nd Bull Run and ends up being saved from a battlefield in Georgia by a Union Colored soldier about his same age.

Individuals, decisions, and chains of consequences are explored in the Shaara historical novel, "The Killer Angels" which is readable by middle schoolers and can be shared in excerpts. This also was well turned into the long film "Gettysburg" which also can be shown and closely viewed in excerpts.

Finally, I remember being a cadet in Army ROTC and studying Chamberlain at Little Round top as a case study in leadership. I still use the leadership manual presentation on occasion with my students.

We've been studying the Civil War through a close viewing of the film "Glory" about the 54th Massachusetts Colored Regiment. Might switch back to Gettysburg this year.

Will also connect a virtual visit to the Gettysburg National Cemetery with our 8th Grade DC trip visit to Arlington National Cemetery.

It was really interesting to see how much the war still impacts us today with things like the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. The influence of geography and topography on the outcome of the battles was also interesting. We often think of battles being won by people but rarely think of the surroundings.
Stuyvesant High School

I found it very surprising that the confederates were never beaten from the field, and seeing the battlefield where it happened really helps you imagine the whole situation. "It is all my fault" really got to me, both upsetting and powerful.

Stuyvesant High School

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