After finishing a unit on the Revolutionary War, I wanted to wrap up all of the different topics we had discussed. Students were divided into small groups and given an assignment: create a play depicting an event during the Revolutionary War. I was actually absent the day the students received the assignment, but the requirements were clear and the students did an excellent job getting started the first day. The following items were included in the instructions:
- Choose a topic or event relating to the Revolutionary War. (Students were asked to share their topics because I did not want multiple groups reenacting the same event.)
- Determine characters and the setting.
- Write and edit a script.
- Although there is some flexibility in the speaking parts, plays should be historically correct.
I also included a few additional requirements due to class size and the time available. My students were instructed to include at least three different scenes with a total of 4-11 characters in the play.
A few days before giving the assignment, I had students read through several different history plays. This exposed the students to a different way to learn history and allowed us to have a class discussion on learning history from a play compared to learning history from a textbook.
The students were engaged and creative during the writing process and were excited to give other students an opportunity to act in their play. I loved seeing their interpretations of historical events and will be using this assignment with future classes.