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Turning History into Fun! By Emily Pierce

Some Braves’ have spent their last few weeks of school having educational fun. In Mrs. Audra Diaz’s dual enrollment American History classes, students participated in a 1950’s Sock Hop and a monopoly tournament. Because the students’ grades were due to SEU on Wednesday, May 15, Mrs. Diaz completed these activities with her students to keep them busy. She did not want to have them watch multiple movies; she wanted to offer something more exciting that was still educational.

On Thursday, May 16, Mrs. Diaz held a 1950’s Sock Hop in her classroom. A sock hop was an informal sponsored dance event for teenagers in mid-20th-century North America. Mrs. Diaz tried to capture the feeling of a real sock hop, so her students would feel as if they were actually in the 1950s. There were many food options available, such as chips and popcorn, and many drink options, such as water and soda. Additionally, there were coke and root beer floats, which were popular chilled beverages in the 1950s. While students enjoyed snacks and refreshments, they learned about 1950’s slang. Once learned and understood, students, compared the slang with today’s slang, to see how it has changed and evolved. At the end of the sock hop, Mrs. Diaz taught her students the popular 1950’s dance, the Twist.

In order to capture the style of the cutthroat business that took place in America between the Civil War and WW1, Mrs. Diaz held a monopoly tournament with her students. Round 1 started on Monday, May 20, and Tuesday, May 21. Students played against each other in four groups of 3-4 people. The four individuals who won round 1 advanced to the semi-finals on Wednesday, May 22, and Thursday, May 23. On these days, the students played two games with each other in two groups. The two winners from the semi-finals advanced on to the finals on Friday, May 24. They played one final game together in order to reach an ultimate winner. While the tournament continued, students who were not in the game anymore were able to play other board games off to the side.

Mrs. Diaz’s dual enrollment American History classes enjoyed both of these activities very much. The activities strengthened students’ knowledge on 1950’s culture and business in America, while still allowing them to have fun with their classmates. Mrs. Diaz hopes to continue these activities with her students in the upcoming years.