History students explore Russian Revolution

With an eye on current events, history teacher Warren Silverman recently worked to engage students in a Russian Revolution presentation.

His world history students were supposed to research various roles in the revolution and then present a news cast on how their characters felt about the revolution. The goal of the project was to understand how different parties were affected.

“We are working on WW1 right now and on the Russian Revolutions,” Silverman said. “I divided the class up into two or three groups. Six people each, and each person had their own character that they had to act out in a skit. So you had Tsar Nicholas, Alexander Kerensky, a peasant, a soldier, a factory worker and Vladimir Lenin.”

As a West Shore alumnus Silverman said he knows the rigorous environment of the school and wants to ensure a fun learning experience for his students.

“I used to go to this school so I want to allow them to have fun while still learning,” Silverman said. “So we do Powerpoints, review games, note-taking and group activities. I prefer having group activities because the kids have fun with their friends.”

Freshman Reese Armstrong was originally unsure about the assignment.

“I was a little skeptical at first because I kind of figured we would be actually performing in front of the class, and I personally am not a fan of presentations,” Armstrong said. “But at the same time, I like having more fun and interactive projects because I feel it’s more engaging and I’m learning more than just reading worksheets and answering questions.”

Freshman Ana Bustamante shared Armstrong’s skepticism.

“Originally I felt like it was going to be a tedious assignment,” Bustamante said. “Mr. Silverman changed the way he teaches us halfway through the year and his grading style and everything, so it’s always unexpected what he’ll do next.” 

Armstrong said she wishes her group was able to put more work into the assignment.

“I feel like the overall presentation wasn’t the best, mainly because of the limited time we had, but I feel like I still learned from the preparation for the presentation,” she said. “I was confused on exactly what to do because we had to do our own research and I didn’t exactly know what to research. The only thing I would want to change about the assignment is to have a full day to prepare for at least 30 minutes, so the entire group could go over their parts and put more effort into the research rather than just trying to find any information you can.”

Armstrong said she generally enjoyed the assignment.

“Overall, I really liked the project,” she said. “I felt I learned quite a bit from participating in it.”

By Amelia Bailly