Civil War Lesson Takes Students to Front Lines

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 23, 1996 | Go to article overview
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Civil War Lesson Takes Students to Front Lines

Byline: Wallace & Culloton

American history students at Rolling Meadows High School recently traveled back to the 1860s for a Civil War lesson.

Using both real and reproduced weapons and props, a suburban Civil War re-enactment group visited the school to offer a glimpse into the clothing, battle strategies and crude medical practices used on the injured.

The group takes its name, 55th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, from a real unit that fought during the Civil War.

"Having the re-enactors come in gives us a more personal side," said Rolling Meadows social studies teacher Mike Jetel.

"The best part is they really know their stuff." One member of the group is Arlington Heights resident and history teacher Dave Pasquini.

Pasquini hopes his own collection of Civil War memorabilia will have the same impact on the next generation.

"We'll do demonstrations anytime, anywhere, anyplace," he said. "But our main focus is education."

* * *

Read on, and on, and on: It seems like obvious advice.

Yet the suggestions in a forthcoming book on reading also seem refreshingly frank in a age raging with jargon-laced debates over the merits of the "phonics" and "whole language" methods of reading instruction.

Take time to read to your children, writes Paul Kropp, a veteran teacher, novelist and reading advocate in his new book "Raising a Reader: Make Your Child a Reader for Life."

Read to them when they are too young for school. Read to them when they are in school. Read to them even when they are in high school and they are cringing at the sound of your voice.

If you can't read to your children for some reason, at least set a good example for your children by reading yourself and by talking about reading with them, Kropp writes.

The 200-page book to be published this year by Doubleday is full of tips, including how to avoid slumps that often occur in the fourth and ninth grades, sections on dealing with gifted and reluctant readers and suggested titles for all ages.

The three commandments of reading according to Kropp are:

- Read with you child every day.

- Reach into your wallet to buy books, magazines and other reading materials for your child and yourself.

- Limit television, videos and video games, so there will be time for reading in your child's life.

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