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Seventh Grade Students Present Their Personal Histories with Interactive “History of Us” Exhibition

On January 15, the Seventh Grade students curated a one-day museum-style exhibition, entitled “The History of Us,” in the Fletcher Family Library. 
The event, attended by their families and other members of the Viewpoint community, was the culmination of a two-month long history project in which the students considered the people, places, and events that make up their histories and affect their identities. The exhibition, which included carefully selected personal artifacts, as well as interviews, and other student-generated materials accessible by QR code, gave each member of the Seventh Grade class the opportunity to create and present a narrative history of their own lives.

The artifacts on display ranged from family heirlooms to sporting equipment, while the QR codes took the viewer to brief personal essays on “What is History?,” descriptions of their artifacts, interactive maps of important places in their lives, and video interviews with family members.

As Assistant Head of Middle School Melissa Strong explained, “In Seventh Grade history students spend the year learning about the cultures, events, and accomplishments of the medieval periods. As part of this exploration, they are learning to apply the tools of historians to build their understanding of the past. What better way to develop these skills than by putting them to use exploring student identities and personal histories?”

Allison Nelson, mother of Mia ’24 and Collin ’24, was excited to see the results of her children’s hard work and lengthy research. She shared, “My daughter loves a hands-on project. It is her favorite way to learn, and both of them were excited to ask questions about their early lives and to find out how their interests took shape. For instance, my son loved hearing about how he became interested in theater. I feel that nothing is more impactful than project-based learning, and with this project, they had really to think about how the material they were presenting was going to be seen by a room of their peers and their families. That is a real-world skill that you can only learn by doing.”
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