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AES sixth graders learn through living history

The entire sixth grade class at Andalusia Elementary School paraded down the streets of Andalusia yesterday dressed as several famous people in history bringing history to life in their annual Living History Parade. After the parade, the students lined the Court Square and recited speeches for their family and people of the community. “I think this project is really important for our students,” AES teacher Matthew McQuay said. “It gives them the opportunity to go in depth on a person that they wouldn’t have otherwise and a chance to explore and work on their public speaking skills. Some people don’t focus on public speaking, but at Andalusia Elementary School we do, because it will take them far in life.” All of the sixth grade students participated in the project. “Since we have such large classes, and we are glad to see that continued growth, our students are now drawing a name and getting a famous person in history,” McQuay said. “They then get a book from our library, or if it is a character they are really interested in, they can do research on them. In Mrs. Snider’s English class, they learn how to write a graphic organizer into an outline and then turn that outline into a speech, which they have to memorize. We increase the rigor of it depending on if the student is in advanced or general studies. We make sure that everybody gets what they have to have and they work really hard to memorize these speeches and get a costume.” McQuay said this project is a way to get the students into the community. “We wanted to do a project that would get the students out in the community,” McQuay said. “This project also gives the parents and the public a chance to see what our sixth graders are working on.” Sitting in a wooden wheelchair and suit, sixth grader Noah Curry decided to be Franklin Roosevelt because he felt like it would be a challenge. “I really wanted a challenge,” Curry said. “And that is definitely what I got. I had a long speech to memorize, but I had it all memorized. My father brought the chair from my grandfather’s house.” For more pictures of the Living History Parade, check out Saturday’s edition of the Star-News.