Key historical characters of the American Revolution were represented at Schwartz Elementary School when fifth-graders from Rhonda Watkins' social studies class donned colonial costumes as part of a living history project.
“Give me liberty or give me death!” Dylan Sewell proclaimed to his audience Wednesday in the library of the Midwest City-Del City School District campus.
Wearing a black colonial hat and red velvet suit, Sewell portrayed Virginia governor Patrick Henry, who earlier led opposition to the Stamp Act of 1765.
Adrian Williams portrayed Crispus Attucks, a sailor killed by British troops in the Boston Massacre who is considered by historians to be the first African-American to die for the cause of freedom in America.
Jared Davis portrayed Nathan Hale, an American spy executed by the British, and Hayden Tatum portrayed Paul Revere.
Lane Youngblood donned a white wig to portray George Washington, while Madison Barron portrayed Dolly Madison, James Madison's wife, known for defining the role of the first lady.
Abby Boyer portrayed Lydia Darrah, revered by some to be America's first woman spy, who successfully crossed British lines during the Revolutionary War to warn the Continental army of a pending British attack.
Watkins said the assignment is one that students look forward to all year.
“It's the first question I get when they come into fifth grade. They all want to know when they get to dress up and play their roles,” Watkins said.
Five years ago, a friend suggested Watkins have her students act the roles of historical figures to help them better understand U.S. history.
In an effort to implement the idea, Watkins received a grant from the Mid-Del Public Schools Foundation that funded the purchase of the colonial costumes.
The living history museum is now an annual project for fifth-graders at Schwartz Elementary School, and parents, teachers and students serve as audience members.