Crafting a Legacy
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School: Boynton Middle School
Project Title: Crafting a Legacy
Class(s): Social Studies
Subject(s): Social Studies, ELA, Arts
Project: What does it take for a person to survive devastating hardship, the loss of parents, destruction of home, movement to a new and strange land? What character traits did it take for our Country’s Founders to carve and craft this new nation in the late 1700’s and as well as their own legacies? What can we learn from history that can teach us about ourselves? How can students take ownership of their learning in creative ways? Boynton 7th grade Social Studies students took a new and exciting path to understanding American History through this Project Based Learning unit inspired by “Hamilton” the musical, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Responding to students’ excitement of the musical, teachers sought to find a way to use their interest to illuminate this critical moment in American history. This project involved collaboration with co-teachers and teacher-librarians, who invited students to use Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lessons in creating this musical, and the arc of Hamilton’s life and legacy, as a hook to analyze other pivotal figures in American Revolutionary history. Students had choice and voice in this study, digging deep into one of our Founding Fathers and Mothers, developing a thesis about the characteristics that they possessed which aided them their lives, and learning what we remember about such historical figures. Extensive research, crafting essays, and choosing creative ways to teach others led to some amazing results. At a public celebration of learning family members were captured into the history, ideas and enduring legacies of those who came before us, leaving inspired to consider their own.
Standards: Many New York State Social Studies, as well as Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening and Art Standards.