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Local grade-schoolers take their history personally

CARLSBAD — George Washington and Paul Revere made a special appearance at El Camino Creek Elementary School on Jan. 4, as students dressed in historical garb re-enacted the American Revolution during a morning presentation.
Teacher Wendy Bram’s fifth-grade class tested their knowledge of the Revolutionary War during the presentation, which took on a game show-like quality. Students were enthusiastic about discussing facts and earning points for their teams.
“History can be a little snoozy when you’re a kid, but this has made the kids all excited about the American Revolution,” Bram said. “They’re fired up about playing George Washington and getting their troops rallied.”
Kids participated in various challenges to earn points, such as identifying and organizing the 13 original colonies; detailing some of this country’s first laws; and discussing the relationship between England, the “mother country,” and colonists in America.
“Most of us are doing skits as our characters; I’m the general of the white team so I also get to narrate a little bit,” Chloe Mills, 10, said.
They were also rewarded for good behavior and sportsmanship while others were presenting, earning lollipop “gold” and extra points for their teams.
“This has been spectacular and the kids have learned so much,” Bram said.
Students spent two months practicing for the event — memorizing vocabulary, the biography of their characters and securing a historically accurate costume. Their dedication helped their teams, the Red Coats, White Tories and Blue Rebels, earn points throughout the presentation.
“The most interesting thing has been learning about our country’s past, the revolution and how we got our country started,” Wayde Gilliam, 11, said. On his character John Hancock, Gilliam said, “He was really passionate; he was a true patriot in the Revolutionary War.”
Ten-year-old D.J. Steigerwald, who played George Washington for the day, said he really liked the experience because he had fun while learning “amazing things” about the Revolution.
“If we just read from a book and talked about how we came here in 1776 and built a house, and then built more houses, that would be boring,” Steigerwald said. “This is way more fun.”
Bram organized the “Walk Through the American Revolution” program through California Weekly Explorer, an educational company specializing in interactive history program, for El Camino Creek’s fifth-grade classes.
“It’s in the California standards that we have to teach the kids about the American Revolutionary War, the 13 colonies, all of that stuff,” Bram said. “This makes it a lot more fun; it’s so much better than reading a book.”

1 comment

Sarabmac January 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Just wish I were in 5th grade with Mrs. Deaver Bram!!! So funnn!!!! This must be Teacher of the Year level of work, right?

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