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The Past Anew

Reenactments of historical battles or periods, such as colonial times, make our nation's history come alive. And they get our children involved.

What you'll need:
A library card
Local newspapers
Phone book
History log

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What to do:

  1. Find out where reenactments are held by looking in your local newspaper or calling your local historical society, State Park, or National Park Service.

  2. Choose one, and prepare your child to see it by visiting a local museum or historical site that relates to the reenactment, or by watching a television program about the event or period to be reenacted. Use your local librarian and TV guide as resources.

  3. Attend the reenactment and participate. Ask the reenactors questions about anything--from the kind of hat they are wearing to the meanings of the event or period for the development or transformation of America. Finally, help your child write about this experience in the history log.

Questions to ask:
What was unusual or interesting about the reenactment? What role did each of the reenactors play? If there was conflict, what was shown or said about its causes? What obstacles did the characters face? How did they overcome them? What is the difference between the "real thing" and a performance of it? What did you learn from the performance?

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