Living History Museum Honors African-American Heroes
While Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. Day marked the beginning of Black History Month, Mirman held
different activities and discussions throughout the month to help our
students understand African-American history and culture in both the
United States and California.
One major project was called “Faces of Change, Courage, and Resilience.” This was a research project that Rooms 4 students undertook, which culminated with a "living history museum" on March 2. The purpose of this project was to have students understand how African-Americans shaped not only the world we know today, but also how African-Americans helped shape a young California.
Students were assigned an African-American hero to research and with whom they become very familiar. The students synthesized that research information into a two-part presentation piece. The first part was a poster (that can easily be displayed on a table top) that included all of the information about their hero, as well as information about what was happening in California during their hero's time period. Lastly, the students dressed up and acted as their hero in a living history museum. Rooms 4 students presented themselves to other Mirman students, faculty, staff, and parents. This was an interactive museum, and students were required to be experts on their hero as visitors asked them detailed questions about their historical figure.
Ms. Leavitt says:
This project was so engaging and I am so proud of all of my students. From the research process to design and production to the final presentation, students were fully engaged and excited to learn more about their hero as well as share their heroes with their classmates and families. By connecting their hero's history to what was happening in California during that time-frame, students better understood how events in the United States affected and helped to shape a young California.
Additionally, as part of the daily discussions about African-American history and culture, Rooms 4 discussed how to be culturally respectful during this project and how altering the color of their skin to make the characters more believable is not appropriate. This was a fun and exciting project for our students and we wanted to make sure our students learned as much about their hero as possible.
Thank you to our students, parents, and faculty for all of your enthusiasm and assistance. Enjoy the photo gallery below of the living history museum. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our Rooms 4 teachers, Ms. Leavitt and Mr. Barry!