Mrs Tierney assigned the history paper on the subject they have been studying: George Washington.
"Do we have to do this?"
"Yes, it is more than just history. You have to do the research, go back to your notes of the past lessons, and it needs to be in good English, so people can understand it. You will need those skills in the future."
That's the story Natalie came home with, not very enthusiastic. Her mind was already on the next dance class. That was fun! They were practicing for the next performance, only four weeks away. This writing project, due in two weeks was not exactly helping. Mrs Tierney had mixed feelings about it herself, figuring at least 50% of the papers will be just about the same based on past experience. The kids don't want to do it; it is boring history to them, she grades them, many with just a C, but if they put effort into it, write good English sentences and neatly, it may become a B. Only a few exceptional ones receive an A. At home their parents may or may not read them and soon the project is forgotten.
"See, I told you it would be boring!"
It does not exactly boost the kids confidence level either. Years later, when they have to write a resume, they may vaguely make the connection again, recognizing the steps are the same.
"You like your dancing class, right?" dad asked.
"So, why don't you write the essay on dancing in George Washington's time?"
"What kind of dances did they do then?"
As a young officer, George Washington gained a reputation as a skillful and polished dancer, sometimes taking the floor at the start of a ball to begin the evening with a minuet. ... If he hadn't excelled at dance, George Washington might have been known merely as an accomplished dodger of musket balls.
Jefferson had long been fond of dancing — he was a fiddler and used to play duets with that other Virginia-born Founding Father, Patrick Henry. He was known to play his violin for parties at the White House. ... Dancing, Jefferson wrote, “is a healthy exercise, elegant and very attractive for young people.”
"You can find other relevant information to describe that period in history?" dad continued.
John Hanson (April 14 [O.S. April 3] 1721 – November 15, 1783) was a merchant and public official from Maryland during the era of the American Revolution. In 1779, Hanson was elected as a delegate to the Continental Congress after serving in a variety of roles for the Patriot cause in Maryland. He signed the Articles of Confederation in 1781 after Maryland finally joined the other states in ratifying them. In November 1781, he was elected as first President of the Confederation Congress (sometimes styled President of the United States in Congress assembled), following ratification of the articles. For this reason, some of Hanson's biographers have argued that he was actually the first holder of the office of President of the United States.
Many see Washington as a stoic and unapproachable figure, but in reality he was a man who loved entertainment and the company of others. There are many accounts of his dancing late into the night at various balls and parties. He loved theater and attended plays of all sorts throughout his life.
Did you know that there was a dance season, usually held in February, to deal with the cold boring winter? There also were children's classes in George Washington's day. Every child learned how to dance! The last day of his presidency, the people of Philadelphia organized a huge ball. They put up a circus tent next to a hotel and broke out a wall so the guests could go directly from the tent into the hotel. They fed over 1,200 guests! Martha wrote in her diary that George broke down in the end, that night. He was so emotional...
"What do you think Mrs. Tierney will say. You think she would have known all these things?" dad asked.
"Hmmm, I get it. I like that!"
Natalie went to work, stayed up half the night, got an A+ and her work was displayed on the bulletin board. You think that boosted her ego?
In High School, her mom and dad created a blog for her, and included this essay on it. What do you think an employer will think once he sees Natalie's portfolio, going all the way back to six grade?
for more information, go to: www.parenttheirpassion.com