LIVINGSTON, NJ — The American Revolution met the red carpet on June 15 as young filmmakers at Livingston’s Burnet Hill Elementary School presented “The Revolution Through Our Eyes” to an audience of parents and friends at the Mount Pleasant Middle School auditorium.
The video premiere capped off a yearlong fifth-grade project to build students’ understanding of New Jersey’s Revolutionary-era history, led by Social Studies teacher Courtney Ferraro. Research for the project included a field trip to the Jockey Hollow unit of Morristown National Historical Park, plus visits from historians from Trenton’s Old Barracks and the Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society.
Using what they learned about historical events and life during wartime, the fifth graders wrote scripts, constructed scenery, acted and produced three short videos. “The Christmas Comeback” told the story of the 1776 Battle of Trenton, “A Tough Way to Freedom” related one family’s struggles during the war, and “One Life to Live” told the story of American spy Nathan Hale.
"The students' videos were nothing short of amazing, as they made New Jersey's Revolutionary heritage come alive on a very personal level,” said Patrick Murray, board chair of Crossroads of the American Revolution Association. “We hope that this is the start of a life-long passion for discovering and sharing the stories of the Revolution in their own backyards. We're thrilled to have had the opportunity to support Livingston educators as they took on new ways of presenting history to their students."
The project was sponsored by the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area and Morristown National Historical Park, with funding from the National Park Service and the New Jersey Education Association.
Established by the U.S. Congress in 2006, Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area promotes a greater understanding of Revolutionary-era historical sites and landscapes in New Jersey. Working with Morristown National Historical Park and partners throughout the state, Crossroads connects the people and places of New Jersey’s rich Revolutionary heritage to inspire community pride, stewardship and civic engagement. For more information, visit Crossroads’ website at www.revolutionarynj.org.