Yesterday I went to my son’s school for a special event. It was called The Living Museum. Kids are given a biographical project during which they have to research “a hero.” My son came home and mentioned he’d like to study Booker T. Washington because he was mentioned in his Social Studies book.
He and I worked on researching Booker T. Washington, and then made a timeline of Washington’s life. Actually, in this case, we decided to be a little different, and decided on a time circle of Booker T. Washington. There were 12 key facts beginning at the 1 o’clock position with his birth, and ending at the 12 o’clock position with his death.
The final part of the project was for kids to go to school dressed as their famous hero. Of course, it’s hard to dress a 12-year old Korean boy as a black teacher, so we got him a white shirt with a blue cardigan sweater, and he wore his glasses to look at scholarly as possible.
As a parent I appreciated the project on several levels.
First, that they approached it academically. My son was required to study about the life and accomplishments of Booker T. Washington. Second, the tactile level of making the timeline really helped to reinforce the lesson. Finally, dressing up and giving an oral presentation was a great way of modeling their hero.