Real World History ’22-23 Fall Update

Off to a Great Start!

The ninth iteration of Real World History, an immersive, after school history course run by Center for Inspired Teaching’s Manager of Director of Youth Programming, Cosby Hunt, is well underway! The first semester of this unique program focuses on developing and fine-tuning the skills used by historians. Through experiences such as a field trip to the Phillips Collection and completing a Personal Museum presentation, our students are doing just that.

Junior Ayrrika James shared that during her visit to the Phillips Collection, she looked at the paintings and made connections to her own life. She mentioned that it was interesting to see the evolution of people’s lives through the artwork. Though they struggled, they still managed to overcome and found joy all the while.

The Personal Museum project also encouraged students to think about their place in the community and world at large. Over the past couple of weeks, students shared 5-7 objects that have a special meaning to them and help tell the story of who they are.

For example, junior Phoenix Zhang included a globe her parents bought her because she likes to read the news, and thinks it’s important to understand and care about the world around us.

Sophomore Zoe Cymrot presented a sleeve of film negatives from when her mom was in high school. She shared that she currently takes film photography at the same school with the same teacher her mom had. Zoe also brought in a framed picture of Montana, a puppy she raised for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. She was gifted the photo by the organization when that puppy went to the training facilities for his final test.

Both of these activities aide students in preparing for this semester’s big project: an oral history interview with an African-American who moved to DC from the South during the Great Migration. Students have selected their narrator, written a bio for them, and brainstormed questions, using the DC-focused exhibits on the fourth floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library for inspiration. They are currently recording 20 to 30-minute peer interviews to practice their skills.

What’s Coming Up:

  • Recording oral history interviews with project narrators at the MLK Jr. Library in early November
  • Preparing interview transcripts