Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Night of the Notables

Mary and Nikki were a pretty version of the Grimke sisters.

Angelina and Sarah. If only makeup, fashion, and speedy cameras had been available.

As Mary stood in the kitchen wearing her cute borrowed costume she poured soy sauce on a plate of rice. "You know what I'm least looking forward to tonight? Nerdy parents asking me about my poster. We have to stay in character the whole time!"

The girl and her poster.

To Mary's horror, I WAS a nerdy parent who spoke to all 30 kids. I loved talking to the kids about famous Americans I already knew (like John Adams, Jefferson Davis, Clara Barton) and finding out about many I did not (like Deborah Sampson, the "American Mulan"; Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor who was so gifted people thought she was a witch; and the Grimke Sisters, bodacious abolitionists). I gave little Sacagewea a hug after she talked about her hard but brave life. When I saw that John Wilkes Booth had set up next to Abraham Lincoln I said, "Whoa, Abe, you'd better watch your back." That was the straw that broke the camel's back and she hissed at me, "I have never been so embarrassed in my life!" This coming from a girl in a bonnet.

Check out these kick-butt women: Mary as Angelina Grimke, Nikki as Sarah Grimke, and Sara as Emma Smith. Hey, abolition is serious business.

All of the kids read three or four "Who Am I?" sentences about their characters. Ms. McPhee handed out a test to the adults to see who could identify the most historical figures based on the kids' presentations.

Mary read very well.

And guess what....I scored the highest. High five to me! I won a gift card to Starbucks. I don't drink coffee but I hear they have great hot chocolate.

The girls did a great job.

Afterward Nikki and her mom joined Mary and me at Subway so it was an acceptable ending to the night, according to the 7th graders. Everyone talked about their favorite posters and I thought it was an awesome evening. It was cool to see what the kids did for their projects--they worked hard and I can only imagine that they'll never forget what they learned.

Seriously adorable, right?

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