Teacher Review for Civics! An American Musical

Great interactive app for students to study historical events

My Rating
Learning Scores
Engagement
Pedagogy
Support
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Practice
Small group
Great with General
How I Use It
I would incorporate this app into my teaching by separating students into small groups based on which historical event they would want to create a play around. I do not think that this would work well on an individual level because the app utilizes sound and it would be distracting to have each student playing the audio from their own device. If separated into four groups, I would expect this app to be effective after reviewing each lesson (segregation, conservation, FDA creation, Chinese Exclusion Act) in a lecture format for the entire class.
My Take
I really liked this tool and think it allows for student creativity. Students are provided with a brief video about the topic they choose, and they also review primary source documents, which gives them access to real newspaper clippings and photos that support the content. I loved that the program had song lyrics already developed and allowed students to choose between a punk or pop tune. It took elements of costume design, prop building, and actor management to appeal to various skill sets. There was an interesting aspect for everyone, and I like how students are able to repeat a different lesson once they complete the first one. The only thing I would suggest is to expand beyond the 4 lessons provided. I think that if the app developers could provide more historical events to develop into a play, it could be implemented into the classroom long-term. In its current state, I think this is an app that I would only use once, and then move on. However, I do highly recommend taking the time to look over this app and providing students with an opportunity to make history into a play, especially for Hamilton lovers like myself.