Grade 3 students at Harford Hills created American History Showcases

A student portraying First Lady Abigail Adams discusses her life with a student portraying President Teddy Roosevelt.

Near the end of the 2015 – 2016 school year, Grade 3 students at Harford Hills Elementary School completed research projects depicting lives of famous Americans. They wrote reports and created backdrops, which included text features such as timelines, illustrations, pictures, and descriptions to help viewers understand the individuals’ contributions to American history.

These tech-savvy students also used Wordle, a computer program that takes adjectives and nouns to create word art, to describe their historical figures.

The students were charged with obtaining clothing and props that could help them authentically portray their subjects and the time period in which they lived.

One student said, “I was Orville Wright. I got a cane to show that he broke his hips and ribs doing trials for the military.”

While creating their projects, some students expressed that they learned greater empathy and understanding of the times their subjects lived through.

Said one student, “I understand now how difficult it was for our country when we went through the Great Depression.”

The entire Harford Hills family and outside visitors were invited to attend an event where students’ displays were showcased and the dressed-up students answered questions about their famous Americans’ lives.

Many students said that preparing to answer questions in-character was the most challenging part of the project.

After the event was over, Grade 3 teachers Terri Fitzgerald, Michelle Oosterwijk, and Alex Zurek displayed the completed projects in the halls of the school to further highlight the students’ hard work.

Article by Becky Ponder and Lisa Turner of Harford Hills Elementary.  Photograph by Becky Ponder.
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