Living Timeline

Published 9:05 am Monday, November 23, 2015

Pilgrims practice making butter, fur trading and interaction with Native Americans.

Pilgrims practice making butter, fur trading and interaction with Native Americans.

Students and teachers at Valley Forge Elementary brought American history to life for parents with a living timeline spanning from 1400 to 1900.
“The program was a huge success,” said Principal Leann Carr. “It far exceeded our expectations and I am so proud of all the work that was accomplished.”
Over the course of two months, each grade level focused on a specific time period and prepared their speeches and performances according to historical events.
“This program heightened historical awareness for students as well as meeting Tennessee state standards,” said Title Reading Teacher Shonna Weddle.
The project gave students a venue to showcase their skills in English, writing, social studies, science and public speaking.
Parents heard Abraham Lincoln give the Gettysburg Address, saw Christopher Columbus present his findings to the king and queen of Spain, witnessed Betsy Ross sewing the first American flag, and watched as some of the first Americans signed the Declaration of Independence.
Teachers worked diligently to create unique backdrops displaying historical artifacts and teaching students about these important moments in American history.
“Teachers and students deserve all the credit for the amazing success of the program,” said Weddle.
The program was developed and organized by Assistant Principal Janet Meredith and Weddle, who served as the Education Core Coach for Social Studies training for TN educators across the state during the summer of 2015, and who will do so again this December.
Meredith said that they were blown away with the turnout of nearly 300 parents and 100 students.
“The kids looked amazing and even one parent dressed up,” said Meredith.
Among other scenes that students reenacted were the gold rush of 1849, Tennessee adopting its constitution, pilgrims interacting with Native Americans and the lifestyles of early settlers.
“We have an amazing group of educators here at Valley Forge,” said Meredith. “Everyone took their ideas and ran with it; they were so creative.”

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