11/30/14
 
Article and photos by Lisa Crockett

Queen Artemisia (Alexandra Sayeedi) and Cleopatra (Sasha Heller) were both guests for the day in teacher Ryoko Futasani’s classroom at DCS Montessori school. Here, Futasani is dressed as Young Kweifei, an ancient Chinese princess. The students learned about historic figures as part of the school’s annual “Mystery History” day.

William Shakespeare, Cleopatra and Theodore Roosevelt all gathered at the DCS Montessori school (DCSM) in Castle Pines for a historic day last month. The unlikely trio was joined by all manner of other historic figures, ranging from Davy Crockett to Queen Mary – all played by students who were well-versed in the life and times of their chosen character. Learning everything they could about these characters, including the people they loved, where they lived, and their contributions to the world were part of an annual celebration at DCSM called Mystery History.

Students in upper elementary – fourth, fifth and sixth graders – dressed in period costume and took turns telling fellow students about their character’s lives as part of their history curriculum. In teacher Ryoko Futasani’s classroom, the atmosphere was also historic, as the classroom was transformed into Mesa Verde National Park, complete with butcher paper rock formations and a paper campfire for historic figures to tell their stories around.

“I love so many things about this activity,” said Futasani. “The students learn about doing strong research and public speaking. It’s also fun, and my favorite thing about it is the community it builds.”

Fourth grader Alexandra Sayeedi chose a queen named Artemisia, who ruled Halicarnassus, which is near modern-day Turkey. Sayeedi chose her based on reading she had done that highlighted the queen’s personal strengths.

“She was really smart and brave,” said Sayeedi. “She was wise and I really admire her.”

 

      
 
 
DCS Montessori solves history’s mysteries
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