Living Histories

Ms. Aagaard –

Living Histories, a course for students in grades K-5, integrates social studies, writing, visual art, and drama.  Students learn to “read” works of art and unlock their symbolism, leading to deeper understanding.  In addition, students create tableaus – a form of drama in which students make a living picture – about events in history.  Living Histories was developed by Kathi Aagaard in close coordination with the Kennedy Center’s “Changing Education Through the Arts” program.

Click the thumbnail below to see a short movie explaining the course.

Living Histories on Vimeo.

Sample arts integrated lessons at various grades

Student reflections about learning through the integration of social studies, writing, art, and drama:

“Studying portraits helps trigger emotions. This improves my writing and helps me better understand events and people in history.”  (Kyle)

“Working in a group helps me better understand other people’s perspectives.”  (Tae’lor)

“When I make a tableau the information becomes completely absorbed into me.” (Reese)

“Each tableau is a little puzzle piece of history.  When you put them together they tell you the story of the time period.” (Harry)

“Learning through drama helps my concentration get better, because you have to be focused to be a good actor.” (Stephanie)