People Fair Connects Historical Figures
to Modern “Life Lessons”
The Corbett Prep People Fair is a creative way to bring Middle School social studies to life.
Feb. 4, 2015 (TAMPA, Fla.) – For one day in 2002, Michael Newberger was the founder of the Boy Scouts, as he took on the identity of Lord Baden-Powell in front of his classmates at the People Fair.
This year, Newberger assumed a new role at the Corbett Prep People Fair — as an enthusiastic teacher, guiding sixth graders through their own projects.
“Being able to lead the People Fair was an amazing experience and even surreal,” said Newberger, an alumnus who now is a middle school social studies teacher at Corbett Preparatory School of IDS. “The students did phenomenally, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Though the project has evolved, the goal remains the same. The People Fair provides a creative avenue for students to share their research about men and women who made a positive difference in the world.
Sixth graders drew from skills in several content areas as they prepared presentations on multiple platforms, said Betty George, Middle School division leader. Students conducted in-depth research and explored where their topics fit within a historical context. They wrote first-person scripts that they memorized and delivered, in character, before an audience of teachers, students and parents.
The students also used technology to produce digital presentations highlighting facts and images they found as well as decorated display boards with timelines, photos, quotes and artifacts.
Intermediate students in the audience observed the performances, jotting down notes on clipboards as to what they had learned as well as questions they had for the sixth graders.
The subjects profiled ranged from ancient Egyptian pharaohs to modern-day technological leaders, representing numerous countries, fields and types of accomplishments.
Regardless of the era, sixth graders highlighted ways their Corbett Prep classmates could relate to what they had studied. Each People Fair presentation included how historical figures exemplified some of the multiple International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme Learner Profiles: principled, reflective, open-minded, caring, knowledgeable, thinker, inquirer, positive risk taker, balanced and communicator.
Harriet Tubman was a risk taker, Rachel Garrison shared, because she put her own life at stake so others could be free. Chance Tirheimer studied Leonardo Da Vinci and said his numerous innovations and ideas make him a great example of a thinker. Audrey Hepburn, though best known for her acting, exemplifies the IB Learner Profile trait of caring, Keeley Pendergrass said, due to her humanitarian efforts for children.
The common bond among the People Fair subjects is that they continue to positively affect lives today. Audiences heard inspirational stories of what happens when you dream big or work hard to overcome the odds against you. The student presenters concluded their monologues with motivational messages that could apply to anyone, in historical or current times.
“I challenge today’s youth to commit to a cause,” Emily Wahba said, speaking as scientist Marie Curie, “and make a personal sacrifice to achieve something.”