Fifth grade students at Golden Valley Community School explored the creation and history of the United States as they performed their rendition of the musical “13 Colonies.”
The fifth annual performance included more than 80 students from Amy Bove’s, Kelly Isles’ and Wes Storch’s fifth grade classes.
Students performed 10 different songs dressed as more than 24 characters, including including historical figures like George and Martha Washington, Leif Erikson, Ponce de Leon, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, Sibyl Ludingston and James Madison.
“I think it’s a great culminating activity after studying our country’s history and it gives the kids a chance to showcase their talents,” Isles said. “It’s one of the special memories they remember through the years.”
The musical also included non-traditional characters like a game show host and contests answering questions about the development of the 13 colonies.
It also featured two “history police” that reprimanded narrators George and Martha Washington for speeding through history at 150 miles per hour. The characters were a favorite among students Caitlyn Park, Hannah Crawfor and Penelope Pagtama.
“They were funny and loud,” 11-year-old Pagtama said.
“They had a lot of enthusiasm,” 10-year-old Park followed.
During the musical, the students detailed the history of American from the time of the Seminole and Iroquois Native Americans to the Spanish explorers looking for the Fountain of Youth and colonists developing cities like Jamestown, Va.
They also shared details of Benjamin Franklin’s inventions, the French and Indian War, the Boston Tea Party, Sibyl Ludingston’s midnight ride and the Bill of Rights.
“We want them to have memories,” Bove said. “We also want them to appreciate American history and have something to remember and songs to think about in the future.”
Bove said the performance is what students are excited for each year as they study the history of the United States and learn new songs.
“This is what they look forward to,” she said. “Our sixth graders are doing Greek Week and they love to come and talk to whoever played their characters.”
The fifth annual performance also kicked off the school’s Colonial Day where fifth grade students have a chance to make barn dolls, churn butter and practice calligraphy.
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