The fifth grade class at St. James the Less Catholic School participated in the "Walk Through the American Revolution" recently, an event led by The California Weekly Explorer, the company that specializes in social studies for fourth, fifth and sixth grade students. The "Walk Through" presentations are known throughout California as valuable tools that help students learn and get excited about social studies.
Students were divided into teams to compete for points by answering questions, memorizing vocabulary words, portraying historical figures and developing creative listening skills. A few weeks before the day of their "Walk Through" each student was given a historical character to 'become' for the presentation. They had lines to learn and were asked to dress-up in a costume that would represent who they were portraying. Each student also was able to act out their lines; for example, Paul Revere rides sounding the alarm, Patrick Henry makes his famous speech and Benedict Arnold sells his secrets. Betsy Ross sews the stars on the flag and Deborah Samson goes into battle. Each student took their role seriously and really enjoyed portraying their character. The three teams recreated famous battles from Lexington to Yorktown. There were authentic full-size historical flags displayed and used by students to fix chronology in the students' minds. A large puzzle of the 13 colonies was put together in a race against the clock.
These two and a half hour presentations help the students to bring to life what they have learned about the Revolution in their social studies book. They create the world they read about by using role play, vocabulary words, music and active participation of all students. Thousands of classrooms have had this adventure come to their school since 1979.