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History comes alive at student dinner party

Central Kitsap High School AP World History students share a fun moment during a class project this week. The students were required to research a prominent historical figure, dress the part and attend a dinner party as their figure. - Seraine Page
Central Kitsap High School AP World History students share a fun moment during a class project this week. The students were required to research a prominent historical figure, dress the part and attend a dinner party as their figure.
— image credit: Seraine Page

A unique cast of characters from the past and present showed up on the steps of Central Kitsap High School earlier this week.

Much to the surprise of AP World History Teacher Sarah Fisher, her guests all responded to an invite to her first-ever “historical dinner party.”

Her “guests” were tenth grade students who were required to research and dress up as a historical figure from history. From the second they entered the classroom, they stayed in character.

The guest list contained the names of the rich, famous and historical—including Napoleon Bonaparte, Bill Clinton, Julius Caesar and others.

“I’m very, very pleased with them,” said Fisher. “I can’t believe some of the costumes they came up with.”

In past years, Fisher’s students created a skit and performed it for the class. This year, she wanted to try something a bit different and fun for the students.

“I feel like we needed something fresh,” she said.

Each student wrote a report on their historical figure prior to presenting their character in the flesh to their classmates. During the presentation, students offered hints but could not say their historical figure’s name.

Amanda Ford, 16, chose Bob Marley for her historical figure to study up on. Her first choice was Jesus, but he was “taken” by the time she was allowed to choose, she said.

“I like his music. He’s a cool inspiration,” Ford said of Marley. “He’s just a cool dude.”

Additionally, students were required to research food that the historical figure may have eaten during their era. The final piece of the project included the actual re-creation of the food for sampling by classmates.

Ford made Jamaican mango cobbler, a dish she said looks “interesting” but actually “tastes good.”

Other students brought in baked goods, like manna cookies and date candy balls.

Once the presentations were over, students surrounded the food table, picking up various foods to taste. For some, the cooking portion of the project was the best part.

“I liked the cooking other than the fact that I got burned,” said Emily Pollard, who baked libum. The sacrificial cake is also known as sweet cheesecake, according to Pollard.

Wrapped in a toga and her head donned with a grass crown, Pollard jokingly warned her fellow diners not to try stabbing her, a reference to the assassination of the famous Roman dictator.

“It’s more fun (than reading textbooks),” Pollard said of the dinner party. “We get to try and test our skills.”

Other than having fun, one of the idea’s of the party was to give students a way to understand their studies of perspective and point of view, Fisher said. Standing in front of the room, the students had a new perspective of their peers, dressed in a variety of garb spanning several centuries.

After seeing the success of her first dinner party, Fisher has no doubts her students next year will enjoy the idea just as much.

“I’m definitely going to do this next year,” she said.

 

 

 

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