Hamilton's arrival to Chicago has drawn much excitement and fanfare. Sales have been through the roof and lines for tickets have been around the block! However, Mr. David Roberts's Advanced Placement US History class was fortunate enough to attend as participants in the Hamilton Education Program. They were invited to view the show and perform themselves on the very same stage.
To attend the February 22nd showing, students had to pay a "Hamilton" ($10) and create their own original performance based on history using Gilder Lehrman Institute resources. As their final projects, students created songs, raps, poems, and skits. They voted as a class to advance one project for submission to the Hamilton Education Project for consideration to perform at matinee showing for CPS students. As a result, Nizar Benna, Marlon Terrman, Miguel Agyei were selected to perform on stage before the matinee at Hamilton! They wrote and performed an original rap based on the Boston Massacre.
Lake View's AP US History students worked diligently for this opportunity. They received student accounts on the Hamilton website that gave them access to primary documents from the time period. Using at least three sources, they created an abridged version of Lin Manuel Miranda's process in writing Hamilton - using primary sources, historical knowledge, and the skills of a historian to create an interpretation.
"I was fortunate enough to see Hamilton on Broadway," states Roberts. "I knew my students needed to see this. It changes the game. It is beyond creative - it's genius. It changes the way you look at history." He wanted to take his AP US History students because, although every LV student works hard, AP classes are a very big challenge. Mr.Roberts wanted to give them an opportunity befitting their efforts.
Bringing history to life through the students' personal lenses is at the core of all history classes. It is through this engagement with text to life that students also learn to interpret history for a new audience while using their own voice. This focus on novel interpretation and the sharing of resulting products is at the heart of the academic discourse across disciplines at Lake View.