Through written narratives of the mid-1800s and visual comparison, the younger student will gain an insight into changes through time. This will develop skills of observation, comparison and empathy. Comparisons can be made by visually comparing artifact evolution and invention. Cultural changes in entertainment, household chores, architecture and clothing can also be explored. While the lesson plans are targeted for the fourth and fifth grade levels, interpretation by staff can be modified for younger children or older adults.
If you are unable to visit the site, it may be possible for the staff to visit you during the months of November through March. The site's trunk show can be tailored for classes studying the Civil War in Missouri or lifestyles of the mid-1850s. Visits can be arranged up to 50 miles from Lexington. This would include the Kansas City area.
The Civil War focus includes a 20-minute video about the Battle of Lexington. Hands-on items, such as cannonballs, bullets, ammunition, a soldier's uniform, hardtack, haversack, sewing kit and deck of cards are used to interpret the life of the soldier and the Battle of Lexington.
The lifestyle focus includes a section about women and girls, their daily routines and dress. Hands-on items include fans, jewelry, clothing, a hoop, sampler, diary, books and style magazines. Another section about school and children's games includes schoolbooks, chalkboard, ink well, pen, music books, music instruments, games and toys.
The programs are approximately 45 minutes long but can be altered accordingly. The trunk show must be scheduled in advance. A $25 fee is required prior to the visit or upon arrival of the interpreter. Please have the check or purchase order made out to Battle of Lexington State Historic Site.
Touring the Site
The Oliver Anderson House, battlefield and visitor center form the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site. A visit will give students an opportunity to experience Missouri's past, see and touch period artifacts, compare and contrast 19th century lifestyles with those of today, and learn about the Civil War in Missouri. For more information, call the site at 660-259-4654.
A 16-minute video presentation at the visitor center describes the Battle of Lexington as witnessed by Lexington resident Susan McCausland. The exhibit hall interprets the development of Lexington, emerging prosperity, emotional turmoil preceding the Civil War and the three-day siege.
The guided tour of the Anderson House allows students to step back into an elegant antebellum setting and see some remnants of the battle, such as shot-damaged walls and bloodstained floors.
An outdoor, self-guided walking tour of buildings and features, long since gone, and Union entrenchments, which meander through the battlefield, is available.