In Ann Marie Torres’ students at Park View Middle School have spent the past several weeks focusing on some very important figures in American history. In keeping with the celebration of Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month, the students focused first on King and his legacy, and then a wide variety of other African-Americans who played a crucial role in all aspects of American history, from politics to sports to science and the humanities.
The Martin Luther King projects were presented in January, and last week the students presented their research for Black History Month. Each student was required to write a five paragraph essay about the person they researched, draw a cover photo, cite their sources, and to create a snapshot of the person’s life that they presented to the class orally. The students not only had to have an overview of the person’s life, but they had to understand the significance of the impact that person had on America and its history. As Torres listened to each presentation, the students were asked to state something unexpected that they learned about each person studied.
Some of the historical figures who were studied and presented included Arthur Ashe, Jesse Jackson, Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Oprah Winfrey, Jesse Owens, George Washington Carver, Henry Louis Aaron, Maya Angelou, Barack Obama and Harriet Tubman.