China Grove Middle students bring history to life

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sixth-grade students at China Grove Middle School showed off their knowledge and talent as they portrayed famous people of ancient times in this year’s version of Living History. Students selected or were assigned a famous person and were responsible for learning as much about their person as a two-page paper could hold and then portray that person in front of other students.
From Augustus Caesar to Saladin, from Boudicca to Zenobia, the kids put on an ancient history show.
This project was a coordinated effort between the Candice Safrit’s English language arts class and Jim Wohlgemuth’s social studies class.
Working together, the students were provided guidance on research from Jane Woodward in the media center, such as what sources are appropriate and how to collect information. The students organized their findings in a timeline and drafted, then typed their papers. Most of the work was completed at school, but many parents were involved in helping their children at home.
The students portrayed their historical figures in front of both their classes using a talk show format. The students came in costume to help them assume their person. Safrit and Wohlgemuth also got into character as talk show hosts welcoming each guest with fanfare and applause. They asked opened ended questions allowing the students to assume the role of their assigned character.
Most of the students were excited about the project, research and especially dressing up in character. This is the second year that China Grove Middle School has used this project-based technique to help children connect with the social studies curriculum and implement hands-on work with research, writing and dramatics at the same time.