“Hamilton” Helps History
By KATIE LEIGH
Jericho High School U.S. History teachers have recently begun using the Broadway hit “Hamilton“ in their classes as a method for students to learn history in a unique and engaging way.
Between the exciting victory in the Revolutionary War and the upbeat rap battles within the cabinet, “Hamilton” has become a useful tool for helping juniors study history. “I think ‘Hamilton‘ helped me because it made learning history more fun. It was easier for me to remember song lyrics for a test rather than just studying from a textbook,” said junior Karli S.
U.S. History teacher Ms. Hynes explained that she enjoys using “Hamilton” in class because of the impact it has on her students. “Music has a way of sticking with us and stimulating our thought processes in different ways and the fact that ‘Hamilton‘ is done in an unexpected way makes students take note and makes the songs and experiences more memorable,” she said. Hynes believes that although creator Lin-Manuel Miranda
takes some creative license in his depiction of the story, it is still a fairly accurate portrayal of American history, as there was extensive research that went into creating the show.
Students agree that listening to “Hamilton” has benefited them in class and while studying. “Although we only listened to a few songs, I enjoyed listening to ‘Hamilton‘ because it made learning and studying much more entertaining,” said junior Alexa S.
Junior Jordan L. said, “I wouldn’t listen to ‘Hamilton‘ outside the classroom, but it did make me more interested in history.”
Social Studies teacher Ms. Bensen also used “Hamilton” in her classes. She said, “The play has made American history interesting and entertaining and when you think about it, history is interesting and entertaining when it’s presented in a certain way.” She added that the multicultural cast is a great reminder of America’s diversity.
Overall, “Hamilton” has helped students learn about American history both inside and outside of the theater.
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