Along with guided educational tours, the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History also provides fun, yet educational programs. Programs offered provide students with an experience they cannot receive in the classroom, yet are designed to better expand their learning and understanding of military, as well as local, State and National topics. All programs listed below are offered at no charge. Please feel free to ask for topics outside of those listed.
To schedule a program, please email Shane Lind or Reveille Isgrig, or call (501) 376-4602.
All educational programs are free!
First Call: American Posters of World War I
“First Call: American Posters of World War I” is an educational program appropriate for 4th - 12th grade students that takes a look at World War I propaganda posters. This program is offered on-site at the Museum and as part of our outreach programming. “First Call” includes lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, worksheets, and hands-on experience with primary sources. Groups as large as 200 are acceptable for this program.
“First Call: American Posters of World War I” is funded by Mrs. Helen T. Leigh in memory of her husband Lt. Col. Gilbert Leigh, U.S. Air Force. Posters are from the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History Collection. Learn more about the Helen T. Leigh Museum Field Trip Grant.
Images of War Posters for Analysis by Students
The enormous output of posters in the United States during and just after the first World War belies this country’s late entry into that conflict. Spurred by the example of various European combatants, the creation and production of appropriate “pictorial publicity” quickly achieved a high level of artistic involvement and industrial application. Thousands of designs were created and most of them were printed in large numbers. As a result few of these posters are scarce even today, and only a handful qualify as “rare.” A large number of artists were involved in the creation of posters. Some of them, such as Howard Chandler Christy and James Montgomery Flagg, came to the work with their reputations already secured through their commercial work in books, magazines, and advertising. Many of the artists, whether obscure or famous, contributed their work “gratis” to the war effort.
The posters helped not only with the obvious aim of recruiting members for the armed forces, but with the parallel home-front efforts embodied in various conservation efforts, such as the United War Work Campaign, the Red Cross and perhaps most notably in the rapid subscription of the Liberty and Victory Loans. Posters commonly urged wartime thrift and were vocal in seeking funds from the general public via subscription to the war bond efforts.
Each of the four Liberty Loan Campaigns (two in 1917, two in 1918) and the Victory Loan Campaign of 1919, brought an outpouring of poster art on both the local and national levels. The Liberty and Victory Loan drives raised approximately 30 billion dollars and did much for the proliferation of the poster as an important means of war effort communication. Interestingly, despite the U.S. late entry into the war, this country produced more propaganda posters than any other single nation.
The program is appropriate for 5th - 12th grade students.
Food for Thought
Napoleon is credited with saying “An army marches on its stomach.” In other words, it’s through diet and nutrition that an army – that soldiers – are able to have the strength and energy to achieve the physical demands placed upon them. If soldiers are too weak and malnourished to complete their objective, it could lead to disaster.
"Food for Thought" is an educational program during which students will explore the different kinds of foodstuff the common U.S. soldier has had to live on from the time of the Civil War up to the present. By using both original and reproduction mess gear, along with real food, students will be presented with a timeline of a soldier’s diet.
Program provides an introduction to the history of army rations, and what all soldiers have fundamentally been given by the Government to eat while living in the field. Through several hands-on activities utilizing primary sources, students will learn about the importance of hydration, healthy food options, calories, carbohydrates and the need for a healthy diet in order to maintain physical health and fitness. Additionally, students will learn about homefront rationing and food conservation.
The program is appropriate for K -12th grade students.
In a war that created such historical figures as Robert E. Lee, U.S. Grant, “Stonewall” Jackson, and others, "Remember Me" is an educational program that focuses on specific Arkansans during the Civil War. Each of the featured Arkansans has a unique and different story, with some better known than others.
“Remember Me” looks at those stories more closely, examining how and why 150 years later our society still feels the need to memorialize these individuals. But what about those Arkansans whose stories are not told? Whose likeness is not made into a bronze statue or portrait hanging in a museum? Are their stories, trials and tribulations any less than those few our society has determined needs to be remembered? And how does this transcend into our culture and society today?
During this program, students will reflect upon who they memorialize and why, with the intention of looking deeper at what makes a “hero” or a person worth remembering.
The Art of War
Explaining the emotions, turmoil, and aspects of war from not only the soldier's point of view, but also society's viewpoint to students can be a challenging task. Textbooks tend to generalize the impact of war on a nation's homefront, a soldier's family, a destroyed community, and the enemy. However, artwork can often portray the emotional burdens of war experienced by those who are actively participating.
"The Art of War" educational program utilizes diverse historical art mediums, such as photography, paintings, cartoons, and films, to creatively explore with students the humanity in war. Through discussion and analysis of wartime photography, art as a memorial, and art made by soldiers and veterans, "The Art of War" program offers students an alternative to secondary source accounts of war and conflict.
To view the "Wartime Photography: WWII & Vietnam War" lesson plan, click here.
The Reading Brigade! A Reading Adventure into the Past.
The Reading Brigade is a literacy program that serves the museum's mission to relate the military heritage of Arkansas and its citizens to a diverse audience through educational programming. The museum children’s library specifically focuses on topics and issues relevant to our state and nation’s military history, as well as concepts about the impact of war on communities, individuals, nations/cultures, and the environment.
This program is targeted for K-5th graders and utilizes Common Core Standards for Literacy in each of its lesson plans. Each lesson lasts from 30-45 minutes and includes reading a story or selection (typically poems or historical quotes) appropriate for the given reading level followed by an activity to reinforce or expand on the reading. Copies of the lesson plans are supplied to the teachers and include follow up questions for the class, vocabulary terms, descriptions of the books, and a list of materials necessary to recreate the lesson.
Museum Program Coordinator Reveille Isgrig, who oversees the Reading Brigade, has degrees in English Literature and Art History, and strives to incorporate craft, literary appreciation, history and reading comprehension into each lesson. These lessons can be brought to your school throughout the year or can be done during a single visit to the museum. Lessons provided in the classroom follow a different conflict or theme each month. Programs at the museum can be focused on a desired theme of the teacher's choosing. For more information on the Reading Brigade or to incorporate this program into plans for your class, please email Reveille Isgrig at firstname.lastname@example.org.