Corbett Prep People Fair Explores
How the Past Influences the Future
The annual People Fair challenges sixth graders to research how one person can affect the lives of many.
Jan. 24, 2014 (TAMPA, Fla.) – Follow your dreams. Discover your world. Nothing is impossible.
These and more lessons from iconic figures in history set the tone at the 15th Annual People Fair, a Corbett Preparatory School of IDS tradition that examines how one person’s accomplishments can affect the lives of many. The multidisciplinary unit requires a strong research base and exemplary presentation skills and integrates English, humanities, technology, social studies and drama.
Two months of work led up to the People Fair performances in January. Sixth graders selected influential people from the past and conducted in-depth research into their subject’s background, accomplishments and motivations. They explored how the historical figures exemplified many of the multiple International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme Learner Profiles: principled, reflective, open-minded, caring, knowledgeable, thinker, inquirer, risk taker, balanced and communicator.
Corbett Prep students used their research to write an essay, create a timeline of significant life events and produce a display that included a QR code that, once scanned on a mobile device, took the viewer to additional information online. All the work culminated in a People Fair presentation where students delivered first-person monologues they had developed. They performed before parents, guests and intermediate students, wearing costumes and often speaking with an accent when appropriate.
Students in the audience listened and used clipboards to take notes on what they learned as well as jot down questions for the sixth graders. The subjects profiled spanned centuries and represented numerous fields and types of accomplishments.
Sixth grader Dane Dunnivant chose Olympian Jesse Owens whose athletic achievements in 1936 in Berlin discredited Hitler’s master race theory.
“I challenged others and I challenged myself,” Dane said, speaking in character as Owens about the qualities that made Owens a risk-taker.
Marissa Schabes, a sixth grader, pointed out the self-confidence and perseverance Margaret Thatcher demonstrated as the first female British Prime Minister. “Failure — the possibilities do not exist,” she quoted.
Other students dove into the lives of Nelson Mandela, Dr. Seuss, Sacagawea, Julius Caesar, Helen Keller, Sally Ride and more. The common bond they share, social studies teacher Chris Ochoa told People Fair guests, is that they continue to positively affect lives today.
He hoped they served as inspirations for the students who studied them and those who watched the performances.
“My hope as a teacher,” he said, “is that you guys will be able to go forth in your lives, and you’re going to make a difference. One day someone may be sitting up here and doing a People Fair project about you.”