On November 30, Brightwood Elementary 4th graders took part in an interactive expedition into the history of our state in their Walk Through California presentation. A Walk Through is a 2 ½ hour educational program based on the history curriculum of all California 4th graders. The objective is for students to actively relive the major events in history of California through a series of team based competitions, dances and songs. The production, which presents at thousands of school each year, is based around teaching California’s history through storytelling by a professional presenter.
There was a palpable enthusiasm in the fourth grade classroom as students entered dressed in themed costumes and were greeted by the official Walk Through presenter along with their parents, who were part of the audience. Students were then broken up into their respective group where they displayed their team pride through flamboyant chanting. One of the highlights of the event was the student “expert” challenge. Students were assigned a key term for which they were required to memorize the definition. When the presenter stated the students’ key term within the context of the presentation, the student came to the front of the classroom to verbally give the definition to the rest of the class. If they recited the definition correctly, their team received one point and a round of applause from the audience. Each student was assigned one key term in order for each student had the opportunity to speak.
This presentation covered virtually all the major events that contributed to the state of California, including the earliest Native American settlers, the exploration of Spanish conquistadors and the gold rush. Students benefited from this presentation in multiple of ways. Not only was it a fun, interactive way to reinforce important historical events and complimented what that they had previously learned about in class, but they also were able to develop teamwork and public speaking skills. Brightwood is pleased with the effort and enthusiasm that students showed in making this day one to remember.