Second grade students in the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District recently showcased their knowledge of American history by performing a trio of short plays regarding westward expansion and the discovery of the Pacific Ocean.
Each play tied into America’s westward expansion efforts of the nineteenth century, including the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Oregon Trail and the Transcendental Railroad.
According to art teacher Mary Alice Flynn, who coordinated the plays, knowledge of historical events can not only enhance the student’s sense of identity and give them a greater understanding of others, but can also provide them with the knowledge and analytical skills needed to make decisions for their future.
“As future voting citizens of our country and possibly governmental leaders, it is very important for today’s youth to get an – as unbiased as possible – understanding of history,” said Flynn. “Learning about the history of their communities, country and world can help them to understand where they came from, and why the people around them behave the way they do.”
Flynn said months of preparation went into performing the plays, including several weeks spent reading the plays and becoming fluent and expressive with the content.
With plenty of practice, Flynn said the students performed admirably in front of a live audience of teachers and fellow classmates.