Deborah Gardner, who teaches world history at Plainview High School, had very interesting reading over the Christmas break.
Her students completed a historical magazine project. In groups of two or three, students created magazines based on the time period of their choice.
“I’ve been very impressed with the material turned in, and really enjoyed reading them,” Gardner said.
Each magazine is 11 pages long and features illustrated stories about aspects of the period.
Students were randomly assigned their groups, so skills such as cooperation were also learned.
“We learned teamwork and got to have other people’s input,” Guy Hedrick said.
Hedrick’s group chose the Renaissance.
“I like the era — the art and DaVinci,” he said. “I’ve been to a fair before, and it was pretty cool because I got a wooden sword.”
Bonus points were given for choosing a time period that had not been covered yet in the course.
Andrew Irvin’s group did the Cold War, a time period the course often does not reach.
“I wanted to learn about it,” Irvin said. “It was interesting because there was propaganda art and battering back and forth.”
His favorite art was used in the magazine — United States President John Kennedy and Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev engaged in a tense arm-wrestling match with their free hands hovering above the nuclear buttons.
“A lot of American stuff was more creative, but I don’t speak Russian, so maybe there was some good stuff there too,” Irvin said.
Katie Bilsbury researched Nazi Germany and the Holocaust because she visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with a church group last summer.
“I am interested in how it all got started,” Bilsbury said. “I wondered how the Germans could have let this happen. It was so hard to grasp that it could happen.”
Gardner got the idea for the magazines at an Advance Placement workshop. She incorporated it into this year’s curriculum because it reflects the Common Core Standards.
“It emphasizes language skills,” Gardner said. “With the Common Core, students will have to write about history.”
Students appreciated the creative aspect of the project.
“There was a lot more room for creativity than having to write something down,” Irvin said. “It was a good break from everything because I liked it a lot better.”