“Hamilton” helps add creativity to classroom

Jade Ajileye

Hailee Kessler can now breathe a sigh of relief after completing her simple and entertaining curriculum assigned by the history teachers for the junior class.

“Finding sources was an easy and fun way to learn about the Boston Tea Party,” junior Hailee Kessler said. “I learned how to find primary sources from books and online websites to complete my research.”

The Hamilton Project is a precursor to the junior class’ trip to  view the smash Broadway hit “Hamilton: an American Musical” written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The students will attend the play on Oct. 12 at the Pantages Theatre and had to write and perform their own scripts about a historical event. This is part of the Hamilton Education Initiative, aka #EduHam, that aims to introduce teenagers to Historical figures and challenge the teens to tap into a creative mindset as Miranda did and compose their own performance piece.

“The fact that we had to research it to make sure it was factually correct helped me learn about Hamilton,” junior John Sendin said.” Creativity is always good to have in certain projects. If it’s all plain it can get boring.”

The curriculum consisted of a booklet in which the pupils were tasked with finding credible sources, analyzing historical documents and getting familiar with excerpts, songs and poems from the play. The booklet also included activities such as fill in the blank and timelines to help the students learn about the time periods in which their chosen performance pieces took place in.

The culmination of this project was a short production the students had to construct themselves. The creative rendition had to be portrayed in either a play, a rap, a song, a poem or a skit.

The historical event, the way they would act it out and if they would perform individually or in groups was left completely to the students.

“My group did a poem about the Hamilton v. Burr Duel,” junior Tabitha Quiroz said. “We got a booklet and had to fill it out and do research about the event in particular then go from there.”

The assignment taught the students to not just read off the book, but to experience the history they’ve always learned in a way that would bring out creativity and help the information stick in their minds better.

“We had to write the whole script ourselves,” Junior Quiser Nasir said.” You could work in groups, I worked in a group of three.”

Nasir and his group did a skit on the Hamilton v. Burr Duel in which they used their phones as prop guns. Now they will walk into the play with previous knowledge and a better understanding.