AP U.S. theater trip breathes life into Lincoln
Earnest AP U.S. History students devoted a Saturday morning on March 8 to expanding their Civil War knowlege at Lincoln. The 2012 movie directed by Steven Spielberg follows President Abraham Lincoln through the final four months of his life and focuses on his efforts to have the House of Representatives ratify the Thirteenth Amendment.
“It’s a great story, a really important story. I think it really shows the importance of the political side of it,” said AP U.S. History teacher Andrew Britton. “Students are often bored by politics. I think it really shows how our political system works and the context of the war really well.”
Britton took care to make sure that students had become savvy with their Civil War information so they could weave their learning into what they were seeing.
“I think it’s a great movie, but if you don’t have background information, a lot of it is going to go over your head,” he said. “For the AP students, now that they’ve learned background information I really think they are set up to appreciate it more. For history you have to have a lot of knowledge or else you don’t get it. I wanted the students to have that experience of ‘Okay, I’m watching this movie and I actually know what’s going on.’”
Students were interested in how it brought history to life, and fascinated by the storytelling element of the cinema.
“I think the movie really put history in perspective,” sophomore Caitlin Rowe said. “You can see it happening instead of just seeing it on paper,”
Britton appreciates the opportunity to represent history in real-life situations, going beyond mere textbook knowledge to develop a meaningful understanding.
“I’m excited and I’m hoping it gives students a new appreciation of history that they didn’t have before,” he said. “You have to have the emotion and the story, we’re visual learners. I think that has to be an important part of our learning to see a movie like this, a complex movie that you need a lot of background information to understand it.”
By: Kaylyn Stanek