Nathan McAlister took a Civil War veteran research project and brought it to life.


“Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” asks the renowned Broadway musical Hamilton. This is an issue history teachers know all too well. History is defined by the victors, the elite, or those who simply have a pen nearby.

Numerous storylines in history are long forgotten. What we teach in our classrooms is simply a drop in a very, very large bucket compared to all of the events and people that have graced our world. Nathan McAlister, a high school history teacher, seeks to highlight the stories of Civil War veterans that might otherwise have been left unknown.

From photographing headstones to spelling names consistently, join us as we explore every aspect of Nathan McAlister’s unit on Civil War veterans’ stories. His students conduct intense research using databases, museums, and (a tiny bit of) Google to bring the stories of local veterans to life. The information they discover goes straight to findagrave.com, where genealogists, family members, and other historians can benefit from their hard work. This is a classroom adventure that involves real-life skills, project-based learning, and authentic audience.

If you are interested in knowing more about Nathan, follow him on Twitter at @NHTOYMc. Also, make sure to follow The Suggestion Box on Twitter @thesuggestnbox, on Instagram at @thesuggestionboxpodcast, and on Facebook at The Suggestion Box Podcast. If you have anything you’d like to contribute, consider reaching out to us at thesuggestionboxpodcast@gmail.com.

Partner organization:

Flint Hills Writing Project - They believe in teachers teaching teachers. Check out fhwp.org for more information or email them at fhwp.nwp@gmail.com.


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