Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Leap Back in Time

by Abby Ellinghausen and Whitney Smither
      Wondering why several sophomores from MHS are walking around in costumes from a previous time period? It all has to deal with Mr. Burgess’s World History Honors classes.
   “This class is taught primarily through Project-Based Learning (PBL); a process in which the entire process of learning is a project. World history class consists primarily of big projects for a couple reasons. One, the class simply lends itself to projects. Two, in my research of highly effective teaching strategies, PBL allows the teacher to incorporate a multitude of highly effective teaching but also creates opportunities for students to become more engaged in the material. In other words, it moves students from passive to active participants,” history teacher Mr. Burgess said.
    The day students returned from winter vacation, January 8, Mr. Burgess introduced a new project to his classes that dealt with the Renaissance and Reformation time period. The Renaissance and Reformation time period demonstrated itself essentially in sculpture, architecture, painting, writing and later on the emphasis was put on scientific intellectualism and religious humanism. 
    The students examined the Reformation, Renaissance, Scientific Revolution and the Enlightment through a series of lectures, writing exercises, interviews, and peer reviews for twenty school days. Their main focus was on answering the driving question throughout the project, when future generations look back upon our time, what do you hope they will see?
   “I like this project more than any of the others, because I believe it helps me understand more about specific people,” sophomore Grant Bailey said.
   The sophomores had the option of working by themselves or in a group made up of no more than four people. Each student was responsible for reenacting a major event in a key leader’s life from the Renaissance times period, describe and analyze its significance, propose a new area of investigation for today’s society, and evaluate contributions to civilization since their passing.
   Another key component of the student’s presentations was dressing like their key leader for the entire school day.
   “I am Catherine, King Henry’s wife. I am against divorce and oppose the divorce Henry wants,” sophomore Natalie Clevenger said.
   Projects were due Friday, February 1 for a peer review. The final rough draft was due this past Monday on February 4. Classes will be presenting from Monday through Thursday in the auditorium in front of Mrs. Kassen’s theatre art classes.  
   Also the top five presentations will have an extra credit option of presenting the projects again during the National Honor Society Induction in April.