Peet honors students bring history to life

At Peet Junior High, there are two ninth grade honors U.S. history classes, both taught by Colby Grothoff. Honors U.S. history is similar to the other classes, but with some variations of projects and increased workload. 

Just before winter break, Grothoff taught students about the 1920s era in the United States. Students learned about the prohibition, the booming economy, fashion, education and women’s liberation during the “roaring twenties.” 

In place of their test, students were supposed to make a Flipgrid video of themselves posing as a person from the 20s. Students could make up a character or pose as a real person. They filmed themselves on their Chromebooks talking about politics, economics, technology advancements, education, speakeasies, sports and anything important about the 20s. 

Once they turned this video in, they had that in place of their test grade. Grothoff said, “My intent for this project was for student’s to be able to relate all of the themes we talked about (political, social and economic) to someone in the time or someone created. It was all about making connections to the impact of the 1920s decade made on individuals in society in the U.S.” 

Some students did not complete the task before they were required to do so, so in place of this Grothoff had them do it again rather than take a formal test in place of the missing assignment. “Students were forced to redo it if the results were not-proficient. I only gave 1-1/2 class days to work on this, but there was still plenty of time for students to make the connections that we had been talking about all unit.“ 

Freshman Madeline Loria is in one of Grothoff’s honors classes and said, “I really enjoyed this project. It was really interesting learning about different lifestyles people lived throughout this time period. I also enjoyed working with my friends on a group project that helped me improve my understanding of the unit.” 

Freshman Katie Cox, who is also a part of one of Grothoff’s honors classes, said, “I always enjoy going into history class. Mr. Grothoff is a great teacher and easily assisted me onto the right track for women in the 20s. For me at least, I feel women held a greater role in the 20s than they did a hundred years prior to 1900s. I think it is important to learn about women as their roles are becoming more influential as time progresses; I feel during this time, women really started to shine.”

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