PDT Staff Writer
Some teachers have a dilemma this time of year. The students are still in school, but their minds are outside enjoying some fun in the sun.
Belinda Allen at Minford Middle School has figured out a way to keep the students busy, yet let them have fun.
“This is History Day. Every eighth grade student chooses a character from history, and they portray that character with a costume, a speech, and a report,” Allen said. “Most of them have props and backgrounds, and it has turned out to be a very good thing.”
Allen said the students have been performing as famous characters for eight years.
“We do it at the end of the year,” Allen said. “We do it as a follow-up activity to what they have in their eighth grade history, but they aren’t limited to choosing a character that they studied. They can choose any character they want.”
Arjumand Banu Begum was an Indian empress of the Mughal Dynasty, whose husband built the Taj Mahal for her.
With a cardboard replica of the structure behind her, Elizabeth Brisker portrayed Begum.
“My dad and I built it,” Brisker said. “The band props from a couple of years ago, they took them and reused them for their theme this year. Then we took them and did parts of them like the domes, and we redid parts of them. The cardboard pieces we constructed ourselves, and I painted it.”
One of the most unusual displays was highlighted by pink feather boas.
“I chose Barbie because she was a good American icon,” Mallory Messer said as she stood next to Kamryn Sparks. “And we wanted to be sisters. Sparks played Barbie’s sister Skipper.”
“We wanted to do something fun,” Sparks said. “We put together everything. We got our boxes, feather boas, and we wanted to do something colorful and fun and pink is definitely Barbie.”
Al Lopez and Brandon Brewer were members of the Portsmouth Spartans NFL team, located next to the Four Musketeers.
“I think it just gives them a little bit of creativity with the art work, and let’s them learn a little more about the character they choose,” Allen said. “And it gives them time to perform for other students.”
Allen said she estimates there was 95 percent participation.
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.