Katy Larkin, GBP Student
In the Greater Boston Project we explore Boston through many different activities with a heavy focus on group work. Everyday we work on class activities in groups which helps us learn how to work together to create the best final product. We have learned how to give constructive criticism and the importance of contributing all we can for our group. We then use these collaboration skills we have learned to work on long term projects with a group. This has many similar elements to our in-class group work, but it also has added complications. For example, on long term assignments people must take the initiative to complete their work in a timely manner to give their group time to give feedback.
We just finished working on a project about propaganda during the time of heightened unrest between Great Britain and the Massachusetts colony. Groups are focusing on the controversial acts passed by Great Britain and the outcomes of these legislations. This project is different from other projects we have done because we are given much more creative license on a large scale. While we have done creative work before, like in the in-class activity on “Puritan at Play” which had to do with arts and leisure in the Puritan times where we made videos in which we wrote our own script. However, for this propaganda project our skits were much longer and more in depth in regard to historical information, as well as performed in front of the entire class. Every group presented their skit to teach our peers about the event or legislation we researched. To assist us in our skit-making, the teachers even created their own skit with the same guidelines that we were given, focusing instead on a modern-day issue: the relocation of the Hillside school in Needham. Their skit was engaging and informative, showing us what we should all strive to create.
In addition to our own pre-revolutionary skits, we created two pieces of propaganda to incorporate in our skits. One of the pieces had to be from the viewpoint of Great Britain or those whom supported the “mother country” and the other was created from the viewpoint of the colonial settlers who were against the legislation. The purpose of this was to help us show and understand both sides of the story in the events leading up to the American Revolution. We were able to get ideas for our propaganda when we went into Boston a few weeks ago, as other blog posts have discussed. At the Massachusetts Historical Society we looked at authentic propaganda from the time period we are researching. These propaganda artifacts were really helpful in showing us the language and persuasion tactics used during this time. From songs to drawings, this trip to the Massachusetts Historical Society sparked many great ideas for propaganda in our class.
I liked this project because creating our own skits and propaganda was fun and different from other projects we’ve done. I also thought it was great for educational purposes because in order to create these things we really had to understand our topic.
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