Many of you have heard of Hamilton by Lin Manuel Miranda; the most successful musical Broadway history. Lin Manuel spent 6 years developing his work of art; he performed it for the Obama family in 2009. Eighth grade students have also fallen in love with it, and they have used it as a civics lesson in class. The link below shows details about Lin Manuel Miranda's and Christopher Jackson's performance.
Students learned that Hamilton, one of our founding fathers, became also one of the most successful immigrants in our nation's history. He made a name for himself while serving in the Continental Army under George Washington. He pushed for our Constitution's ratification and established our current financial system. He did all of these things before the age of 47. His death came at the hands of Vice President Aaron Burr in 1804.
Students were tasked with analyzing primary sources as forensic investigators to determine whether or not VP Burr was guilty of murder. The verdict was not guilty. However, students realized that George Washington was right during his Farewell Address in 1797. He warned the nation against political parties as it would cause division into opposing sides of views. Students also got a first hand look at Trump's impeachment trial, where they saw this warning come true nearly 225 years later. They understood the true meaning of the phrase "united we stand, divided we fall" during the trial. Every day, both 8th and 7th grade students asked for an update on the impeachment trial.
They see how history truly does have a habit of repeating itself; and they have taken it upon themselves to learn in order to break the cycle. As a teacher, I could not be prouder of these youngsters taking history to heart and finding the true meaning behind the stories.
Think of this--"A forefather once forgotten, no more. A subject once slept through, no more."
Social Studies Teacher