English teacher Amber Lineweaver and history teacher Scott Harris integrate U.S. literature and history into the project-based curriculum.
Presented while learning about the ’20s and reading “The Great Gatsby,” the famously fun annual party represents the students’ creative but hard-working attitude. Four classes band together to enhance the classroom with decorations that transport guests to an older America. Students black out the windows, cover every surface with glitter and dance the Charleston.
As a part of their grade, juniors transform into wild flappers, gangsters and lovers of the night – ready to gamble and party away their cares, just like the young folk of the Roaring ’20s.
The kids talked, walked and danced in true vintage fashion, discussing the stock market and the wild politics. Many students took the acting a step further and adopted the personas of real people of the time. One could spot Al Capone chatting with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and drinking Coca Cola with Greta Garbo, while F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald fought in the corner.
“Dressing and talking like real people from the ’20s made us really feel like it was to live during that time,” said junior Kyleigh Cassidy, who played Coco Chanel. “It was so much better than just reading about the history in a book.”
The party sparkled with glitz and glamour. A musical trio of drums, trumpet and saxophone performed, and a quartet of choir girls harmonized a popular ’20s melody. Anyone watching the teens enjoy their hard-earned party and witnessing their dedication through their performances and decorations would find it difficult not to be inspired by their enthusiasm and the innovative style of teaching.
“The Threads curriculum is basically the same as the general curriculum, but we cover the material with more projects,” Harris said. “These projects tend to focus on the big picture rather than getting bogged down on the details.”
The projects allow students to be independent and enjoy a break from traditional school, while also encouraging hard work with the promise of a delightful event that each student will remember forever – an achievement no textbook could accomplish.
Elle Maraccini is junior at Northgate High.