Historical figures hit the stage at King Elementary

Apr 23 2012 - 11:45pm

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NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner
Zaera Stokes (left) and Jadynn Hahn dance in the hallway before the school play Monday at E.G. King Elementary School in Layton. Zaera and Jadynn were playing Henry VIII and Martha Washington, respectively.
NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner
Joni Scoffield adjusts Abby Eberhard's  costume before the school play Monday at E.G. King Elementary School in Layton. Eberhard was playing Queen Elizabeth.
NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner
Sariah Pratt (left) pretends to stab Trey Facer before the school play Monday at E.G. King Elementary School in Layton. Facer was playing Octavian.
NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner
Joni Scoffield adjusts Isaiah Martinez’s costume before the school play Monday at E.G. King Elementary School in Layton.
NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner
Zaera Stokes (left) and Jadynn Hahn dance in the hallway before the school play Monday at E.G. King Elementary School in Layton. Zaera and Jadynn were playing Henry VIII and Martha Washington, respectively.
NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner
Joni Scoffield adjusts Abby Eberhard's  costume before the school play Monday at E.G. King Elementary School in Layton. Eberhard was playing Queen Elizabeth.
NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner
Sariah Pratt (left) pretends to stab Trey Facer before the school play Monday at E.G. King Elementary School in Layton. Facer was playing Octavian.
NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner
Joni Scoffield adjusts Isaiah Martinez’s costume before the school play Monday at E.G. King Elementary School in Layton.

LAYTON -- The desires, dreams, successes and failures of historical individuals have inspired students at King Elementary to create their own legacy.

The sixth-grade students wrote their own musical play, "The History Connection," composed of short biographies of significant people in history.

As they performed Monday for their parents and peers, they connected the lives of historical individuals to their own. They conveyed a message that everyone can make a difference now, just as people in history made a difference during their time.

A group of six students acted as time-travelling tour guides, visiting the lives of significant inventors, artists, entertainers, leaders, activists and heroes.

"(We found) a way to make it so that history is fun to learn about, no matter what it is," said Sariah Pratt, 12, who played a tour guide. "(We) all found a way to entertain the audience yet still teach them. It just made it a whole lot better to learn about history."

Teachers allowed the students some freedom with the script to create a show that appealed to their peers. However, each student was assigned a historical figure to research and make a short presentation about.

"We got to make it up ourselves. The teachers made a storyline on how we would do it, but we got to decide our lines. We added a bunch of jokes in it, so it was really fun," said Kaitlyn George, 12.

Chayse Thompson, also 12, who has been taking piano lessons for about four years, was assigned to play the part of Ludwig van Beethoven. His biographical speech included a piano medley of Beethoven's music, which Chayse performed.

"I thought it was cool because he was deaf," Chayse said. "If you are deaf you don't know what your music sounds like, except for what you are hearing in your head. So he was a genius for all of that. He wrote many symphonies and lots and lots of music."

Kevin Paskett, who played the part of Henry Ford, enjoyed learning about the man who made the first Ford automobile. He said he wanted his costume to be coveralls, like a mechanic, but was convinced by adults that Ford would have worn a three-piece suit.

One section of the play focused on significant women in history, such as Anne Frank, Helen Keller, Joan of Arc and Clara Barton.

"I liked the 'women of change' (section) because it showed us how women are as equal as men, and we can do anything," said London Beech, 12.

Tara Baker, 11, said she most enjoyed learning about Shirley Temple. She said she learned how Temple became famous at the age of 5, and eventually became the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Ghana.

Although this is the first time the school has put on a play like this, Principal Buck Ekstrom plans to encourage students to do it every year.

He said the students were gaining a good background in history, as well as experience in public speaking and performing. He said:

"Probably the most important thing is building their confidence."

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