Friday, April 18, 2014

Instilling an Early Passion for History

At New Milford High School we are always encouraging collaborations resulting in interdisciplinary projects.  Recently students from Mr. Manzo’s 9th Grade Honors World History classes were assigned to create children’s books about the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte in France during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Students were to incorporate all of the associated subject matter, vocabulary, and major concepts whilst creating a narrative that a small child could not only understand but also be entertained by. Mr. Manzo’s students went above and beyond all expectations of the assignment by creating themes that were not only appealing to children but also an accurate reflection on the rise and fall of Napoleon. Some of the titles include “The Fall of the French Freezer”, “The Lessons Learned by Tadpoleon” “Nappy’s Adventures”, “Napolarbear: A Cold Tale”, “Eat or Be Eaten” (Cat and Mouse Theme) and several more. 

Photograph: Archivo Iconografico

A major component of the assignment was for the students to present these stories to the children involved in the Early Childhood Development program at NMHS. Mrs. Beiner, who is in charge of the ECD program agreed to allow the children in her program to be read to by Mr. Manzo’s students. This took place in the high school cafeteria where stations were set up for the students to read the books to the children. The excitement of the children was contagious not only to Mr. Manzo and Mrs. Beiner, but also to me. All in all, the presentations were a success for all those who participated and/or were involved. Moving forward, they may be attempting to put some of these rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte children’s books into a digital format in order to reach more children in New Jersey, the U.S. and maybe even the world. His ultimate goal is to get students excited about history at an early age.


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