The Hayfoot and I returned from Gettysburg this afternoon. The last few years we have visited the week prior to the battle anniversary and it is always a special and meaningful experience. I intend to write more about it in the days and weeks to come. I intentionally left my laptop at home and have quite a bit in my inbox to catch up on as you might imagine. One thing that caught my eye was this lesson plan contest from the people at The Civil War in Art initiative. Yes, summer is now in full swing but teachers might find this an interesting and informative project to work on in preparation for to upcoming school year. For those unfamiliar with the website, The Civil War in Art: Teaching & Learning through Chicago Collections is a collaborative effort of various cultural institutions in the Windy City focusing on art and the Civil war. The Terra Foundation for American Art sponsored the project beginning in 2010 and has put a great deal of thought into the undertaking. Some of Chicago’s leading cultural institutions are taking part. Using paintings, photography, sculpture, and other media in the classroom is an extraordinarily helpful way to teach and learn history, and the The Civil War in Art has a great deal of material already on its website that will help teachers of all grade levels. Their website is quite thought-provoking and worth checking out for general readers as well. The deadline is August 15, 2012.

(image/Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter, Alexander Gardener)