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Oak View Elementary students present Black History Month projects

The students filled decorated paper bags with the items they'd chosen to represent their assigned historical figure. After presenting, they deposited them on Schmidt's desk for grading.
Ella Abbott
/
WBOI News
The students filled decorated paper bags with the items they'd chosen to represent their assigned historical figure. After presenting, they deposited them on Schmidt's desk for grading.
One student presents in front of the rest of the class on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. She pulls a pair of ballet shoes from her bag, representing the ballerina Misty Copeland.
Ella Abbott
/
WBOI News
One student presents in front of the rest of the class on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. She pulls a pair of ballet shoes from her bag, representing the ballerina Misty Copeland.

After a month of work, third grade students at Oak View elementary presented their Black History Month projects in front of their classmates Wednesday.

Over the course of the month of February, students each researched an important figure in Black history and then presented their work to the class.

Outside of the classroom, Schmidt keeps a board that tracks all the books the class read during the month. She said they read one book a day together as a class and then added them to their timeline.
Ella Abbott
/
WBOI News
Outside of the classroom, Schmidt keeps a board that tracks all the books the class read during the month. She said they read one book a day together as a class and then added them to their timeline.

Teacher Kenzie Schmidt has done the project every year since she started at Oak View.

“I just think Black History is important for these kids to learn," she said. "Just to learn about how to treat people right, no matter what they look like, based on who they are on the inside.”

Schmidt said she assigns each student a historical figure she thinks they might connect with, based on what she’s learned about them during the fall. Then, students spend the month researching their person.

When they present at the end of the month, students fill a gift bag they’ve decorated with five items based on what they learned about their person and share how each item is relevant as well as important characteristics about their historical figure with the rest of the class.

Schmidt said it’s the first time the students get to present by themselves in front of the class.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.