Civil War Trust
For Immediate Release: 04/05/11

Trio of Entries Sought in Civil War Education Contests

Initiatives showcase efforts of teachers and students who look to commemorate the Civil War’s 150th anniversary

(Washington, D.C.) – As the nation prepares to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the opening shots of our bloody, four-year Civil War, the nation’s largest private battlefield preservation organization is inviting teachers and students to reflect upon the lasting significance of that turbulent period in American history.  This trio of contests, sponsored by the Civil War Trust, with the support of History™, will recognize their scholarship and creativity of participants across the country. 

Two of the contests are aimed at students, asking them to design postcards and pen essays examining this year’s theme, Preserving 150 Years of History: Secession and the War's Beginnings; the third asks classroom teachers to submit their most innovative and successful lesson plans for teaching Civil War history. 

“As we enter the sesquicentennial period, it is more important than ever for us to recognize the outstanding work being done in our nation’s classrooms, as a new generation grapples with the profound lessons and legacy of the Civil War,” said Trust president James Lighthizer.  “The phenomenal responses we receive to these annual competitions proves that the love of history is alive and well in our schools.”

For both student contests, entrants will be judged in two categories — the Junior Division for those in grades 5–8 and the Senior Division for those in grades 9–12.  Essays should run approximately 300 words and each “postcard” should include both an illustration and a brief message related to the contest theme.  First-, second- and third-place winners in each category and division will receive cash prizes donated by History™.  Essays may be submitted digitally, but physical postcards must be sent to the Trust.  The deadline for student entries is May 1, 2011, and full contest rules are available online at

The Best Civil War Lesson Plan contest began in 2008 as a way to recognize and showcase the unique and inspiring tactics educators across the country use to bring history alive for their students.  Entrants are asked to submit detailed descriptions of their classroom plan, including supplementary materials.  Lessons should incorporate at least one primary source, such as a historic photograph, newspaper article, diary, letter or artifact and should correlate to the appropriate state standards or National Council for Social Studies strands.  First-, second- and third-place winners will receive cash prizes donated by History™.  All submission materials must be received digitally by June 1, 2011.  Full contest rules are available online at
The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States.  Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds.  To date, the Trust has preserved more than 30,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states.  Learn more at


  • Mary Koik, (202) 367-1861 ext7231

Related Links


Our Sponsors

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software