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Posted Monday, May 23, 2011
Bear Creek, NC - Students in various grades at Chatham Central High School have been heavily involved in creating a timeline that makes civics and U.S. history come alive in the school halls. Students and social studies department faculty constructed two interactive history walls, one about each course, that details important government and historical facts and events. Multiple classes worked collaboratively in small groups to ensure accuracy and to make it an interactive experience for students as they walked down the halls. The majority of the work was done outside of class, during the school’s daily Empower Hour and after school.
The goal was for students to have an additional tool to retain class information that would ultimately be part of state standardized tests (End of Course – EOC) at the end of the semester. The social studies faculty refined the idea after attending a state conference last fall.
“The history wall helped me a lot while I was taking the AP test. I could visualize the wall in my head while I was reading the questions and the information immediately clicked. The leadership skills that this project has taught me are invaluable. I enjoyed guiding my group in the right direction and creating a valuable study resource,” said senior Chyna Yenigandla.
Large sections of two hallways are covered with bulletin board paper and divided into sections that include items like wars, eras in American history, aspects of government and economics, photographs, important dates and people, and questions that the students can answer. The U.S. History wall alone has twenty different sections.
“One of my favorite aspects of the project is how many levels of learning were part of the process. The students, without even realizing it at times, were tutoring each other, working independently, and developing leadership qualities in creating the history wall. The advanced placement students were in charge of ensuring different sections of the wall were completed and that each section matched a specific goal in the social studies Standard Course of Study,” explained Laurie Paige, social studies department chair.
“One thing I really like about the history wall is that is puts history into a simplified version to help us keep knowledge on certain topics. It really helped me on the AP US History Exam when I read a question I could refer to what I saw on the wall,” said senior Gerome Cheek.
“The reason I loved working on the history wall is because it allowed me as a student to show my love of history to the school. This wall allowed me to teach other students American history which is good because I am going to Campbell to be a history teacher,” said senior Matt Brewer.