The History of History Day
History Day here at Classical Christian Academy is a special day when our school’s gymnasium is transformed into a space where history comes alive. This transformation happens because of wonderful parents and teachers all pitching in to help the whole event come together. With advanced planning, they decide on a theme for History Day based on lower school studies. Then, ‘booths’ are assembled in the gym to represent how people lived their day-to-day lives within a particular time. For example, a booth might be a church. When visiting the church booth, the students would learn how people practiced their religion in that era. Everyone is encouraged to dress in costumes that represent the era of History Day, which adds to the experience. After travelling through the booths in the gym, there is lunch in the cafeteria with live entertainment. Sometimes games of the era are played after lunch. The staff, families, and even students contribute by giving their time, materials, and imaginations to help the students learn and enjoy the activities.
I sat down with Mrs. Davis, principal of Classical Christian Academy, to talk about this one-of-a-kind event and how it has changed over the thirteen years since it began. While the main title is History Day, there are different time periods enacted each year. Mrs. Davis notes that the school focuses on a period of time or theme and the students “have hands on fun.” The first History Day at CCA was a recreation of the Pilgrim and Indian feast where students dressed as historical characters and presented reports pertaining to their characters, followed by a Thanksgiving feast. Although parent involvement for this first event was not mandatory, the staff saw how interested the parents were in helping with the event. Mrs. Davis recognized how creative parents and teachers were working together to make History Day a special occasion. Ten years ago, the school’s new facility created an opportunity (due to additional space) for expansion of History Day. This endeavor is broken down into four different time periods: Ancient times through modern times. When asked what her favorite history day has been and why, Mrs. Davis said the first Colonial Times, specifically because of the amusing tug-of-war game between the parents and students. Mrs. Davis expressed that after experiencing History Day, several students who did not previously enjoy history, found a new love of the subject. She remarked, “It is a positive experience because it’s new and different every year.”
When I first started at CCA five History Days ago, I did not know what this experience was going to be, but as I got to know more about the event, I became increasingly interested. I think it is something that everyone at the school looks forward to each year. Thanks to all the hard-working people who help with this unique event, History really does come alive!
Story by student journalist Connor P.