Middle School Students Become Historians Documenting the Events of 2020
Students in grade 7 world history are applying their studies—and their experience living through a pandemic—to serve as historians themselves, documenting this unique time period.
The students are working on a time capsule project, which follows a unit in Middle School history teacher Katie Harris’ class on the Black Death plague pandemic of the Middle Ages. One of the primary sources the students studied during the unit was text written in Italy by Marchionne di Coppo.
Recognizing the parallels between that text and what they are living through, students have gone to work doing their own documentation of the year 2020. That includes a wide range of historical projects including podcasts, scrapbooks, digital animations, documentary films, physical and digital time capsules, and transforming existing journals from 2020 into mixed media keepsakes with photos, newspaper headlines, and other memorabilia.
“My hope is that they will see themselves as active creators and archivists of history, while also connecting with others as they process the events we are living through,” Mrs. Harris said.
Students are researching the past year, collecting images and news accounts, as well as documenting experiences by interviewing peers and family members to learn and record a variety of perspectives on how 2020 affected them.
“The events of 2020 will undoubtedly be researched and looked at by future generations,” Mrs. Harris said. “Hopefully students will keep these projects and can look back upon them in years to come as they remember this time they lived through.”