Performing their learning

Trisha Dasgupta, Guest Contributor

Rather than a quiz or an essay to test students’ knowledge of the assigned material, Humanities students are instead being faced with a new type of assessment, as they have been given the task of creating their own musical performances to present to their peers, with the last of them taking place Friday.

“When we do something that is maybe a bit uncomfortable, it really forces us and helps us grow as learners,” Humanities teacher Elizabeth Evans said. “It solidifies all of this knowledge by doing these performances because we’re teaching each other about history and learning it in a creative way.”

After spending weeks learning about European settlements, students split into groups to create ballets and operas to tell stories of colonialism’s effect on various locations around the world.

“Out of all the projects we’ve done this year and last year this was was probably the hardest,” sophomore Nalini Kantheti said. “I was pretty worried at first because it’s just such a live performance.”

Although Kantheti was apprehensive at first, she found the task simpler than anticipated.

“I mean once we got working it was a lot easier,” Kantheti said. “There’s five of us so once we got to thinking of a storyline and choreographing the actual ballet, it wasn’t really as hard as we maybe thought it would be.”

For some students, the unconventional assignment was a breath of fresh air.

“I like these interactive projects a lot more just because it distracts me a lot from all of those reading checks that we usually do in classes,” freshmen Annie Teng said. “I mean who likes taking tests right? These projects are just a lot more cool to do.”

Teng also appreciates the practicality of the assignment, and believes that the project helped students learn far more than just history.

“It was a lot of work because we had to find time for everyone to choreograph and put together the music and stuff,” Teng said. “It doesn’t seem like it but we learned a lot of time management skills and how to work together properly.”