Seventh graders complete live history museum project
(May 21, 2016)
Article, video and photos by Junior High Journalism Students Taylor Burkhardt and Isaak Smith
The seventh-grade students participated in a live history museum. Kelby Brown, social studies teacher, explained the components of the assignment.
“The basic pieces are they have to do a research portion where they have a graphic organizer that they fill out. They then take that information and write a paper about it. Then from that paper, they create a script which they turn into a first-person narration and basically bring their character to life in our museum.
“At the museum they are to dress as their character may have, and try to really bring their character to life,” Brown said.
Brown explained that the students have been participating in this project for three years. He commented on what makes this project unique.
“There is just a lot of different aspects to go into it, not only is it a written portion but it’s a vocal portion, and they have to bring in a lot of different curricular aspects from different sides of the spectrum, to make this possible.
“It’s drastically different from doing a worksheet or reading out of the book. Where in this project they have to do in-depth research and portray their information that they found into their final project,” he explained.
Seventh-Grader Deacon Zordel was one of many who participated in the live history museum. Zordel choose John Brown for his character. He explained how he deals with his nerves when presenting.
“Every time when we presented, I always looked to the right of everybody,” he said.
Tori Smith is another who presented. She selected Santanta for her character. Smith commented on her favorite part of the project.
“Probably the fact that he gave us stuff to keep it organized, and it wasn't just a bunch of chaos, so it made it pretty easy,” she said.
The seventh-graders worked on this project for many months. The character they chose had to be from Kansas history. Examples included Aubrey Bahner portraying Martina McBride; Ellington Hogle as Glenn Cunningham; Olivia Fieger bringing George Brett to life; and Sydney Kuhn as Amelia Earhart.
Students presented all of their hard work on April 8 to fellow students, teachers, administrators, and community members. Brown explained where he got the idea of the live history museum.
“I had witnessed it personally, a couple of times. I’d seen a reference to it online, but I got the actual idea on a website from a teacher in Massachusetts that does the same thing with his sixth graders,” he commented.
Brown explained how the live history museum will help students in the future.
“I think the biggest part is being able to speak to people. They have to get up in front of a couple hundred people when they do it.
“It just gets them used to talking to people, looking them in the eye and speaking fluently and being able to portray thoughts and ideas through their project or their character,” Brown said.
Jenna Deters informs visitors about her character, John Riggins. (Photo by Isaak Smith)
Connor Pruyser portrays Barry Sanders for his famous Kansas character at the live history museum. (Photo by Isaak Smith)
Anna Ruby presents her character, Laura Ingalls Wilder, for a group of eighth-graders on April 8. (Photo by Isaak Smith)