Explore Celebrates 3rd Thematic Unit: Revolutions

(May 7th–Jersey City) The Explore student body and faculty concluded the third marking period thematic unit “Revolution” with a museum including famous wax figures and movie trailers.

Throughout the 3rd marking period, faculty and staff focused on the theme of revolution, making connections to each of their content areas and pushing students to consider what revolutions are and who can take part in them.

In her 6th and 7th grade classes social studies teacher, Amy Garrett, tasked her students with creating a revolution for various social groups in Mesopotamia or Ancient Greece and a movie trailer to depict the revolution.

The social group had to consist of individuals who were being denied human rights within these Ancient Civilizations. In order to create the revolution students were asked to answer questions such as: What rules/laws/customs keep your group from obtaining this right? Who is hurt or harmed by this rule/law/custom and who is helped?

The students’ trailers were required to include a plot, characters, theme, music and narration. The students used their editing skills to create trailers that were exceptionally realistic and professional.

Supervisor Jamie Velazquez’s 8th-grade students chose a historical/revolutionary person to play in the “living wax museum”. The students were responsible for researching the revolutionary person and preparing a 1-2 page speech.

During the Revolution Museum day, the students dressed as the person they chose including an appropriate prop. As students, faculty, and guests entered the museum, they were free to approach each of the “living wax” statues and hear the speeches, ask questions, and interact.

6th grader, Aiden Chappas, enjoyed the entire experience. “It was a really fun day. The 8th grader’s living museum was really interesting because they chose people I would never associate with revolutions. Like Beyonce. It made me think that even though they aren’t people who didn’t necessarily face a revolutionary war, they still play a role in changing society in a good way.

I made a trailer for my project. We focused on women in Mesopotamia. Technically, these women were treated better than others during that point in time, but they were still treated as property. So our trailer focused on the idea of women rising up and starting a revolution and beginning their own female republic.

I learned that revolutions really do play a key role in all societies and truly, our world would not be the same without them.”

Ms. Garrett was as excited and pleased as Chappas, “with this marking period’s theme, the students truly exceeded my expectations. It was wonderful to see the students connect what they had learned about human rights from the first marking period to this topic. As the students worked through their projects, it was amazing to see their interest and passion grow when advocating for change.”