Back to the Past


Brett Melton

Group photo from the gathering

Tasnia Iffat, Arts and Entertainment Writer

Although history has its ups and downs, many enjoy learning about it. In order to allow students to experience history on their own terms, the AP Euro teachers have a traditional activity for them.

The AP Euro “Salon” is an exclusive event for all students in the class, where they have a chance to “become” a figure in history. The characters line up all the way from the Viking, Leif Erikson, to the Queen of England, Elizabeth II.  Euro teacher Brett Melton described the activity as a “way for students to take roles of historical people and interact in a pretend historical setting.”

While being a creative activity for the students, the Salon is also an assignment. During the function, the students must embody their roles as the characters they have chosen. Melton, along with an additional helping hand, Mr. Perkins, judges the characters and the authenticity to the speeches and actions.

Charles Darwin enjoying some refreshments
Brett Melton
Charles Darwin enjoying some refreshments

Students are dismissed from hours fifth through seventh, and they participate in various small activities. The event begins with a chance for the people to walk around and mingle, followed by a cocktail hour, where students enjoy snacks and beverages while waiting to form into small groups.

There are two main events that are used to determine the grade for the event: small and large group discussions. Within the small group discussions, there are two groups: people with similar backgrounds and people who have different views. The large group discussions involve everyone, and the topics discussed range from views on revolution to the advances in technology.

Most students enjoyed the experience; Chase Rapp, a junior, said, “It was fun seeing everyone in costumes, especially all the people who went all out.”

Most students put a lot of effort into not only their costumes but also their acting. Junior Anna Watson said, “I liked observing the people of different time periods interacting with one another.”

Through this academic “field trip” into the past, students get a better understanding of the history of Europe and understand the thoughts of the people during that time.  And as a result, the history teachers keep students engaged, having fun while learning.