SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Students in Scottsdale got a hands-on lesson about the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, but just not by talking about it or reading books about it.
They made their own replicas of weapons, carefully studied the battle plans, and re-created the famous battle.
7th graders from Desert Shadows Middle School at Sereno Park, portraying the soldiers who fought at Gettysburg. They're dressed in uniforms from the era, and they've replicated wooden weapons and flags from the period.
"I feel like I'm actually there, pretty much we're all dressed up and we're all in the line. We were all getting orders by our Captains," said one student.
In the recreation, the Union soldiers listened to President Lincoln giving the famous Gettysburg Address. More than 400 students took part in the big event.
"I think it is pretty cool when we were on the firing line, and everyone's shooting and you hear really loud guns going off," said another student.
Members of the community also pitch in to teach them about the Civil War.
"One of the main things I'd like students to learn is that taps, the most famous bugle call there is, was written during the war by a Union General," said Jan Huber.
Students also studied the battle strategies that helped the North win the war. They learned hands-on how muskets and cannons work. But the re-enactment is also part of a larger lesson, about the importance of preserving the union.
The teacher who organized the event, Marci Olsen, won the 2014 Arizona Teacher of the Year Award. She's held the re-enactment for more than a decade now.