Students in Chuck Taft’s 8th grade American history class kicked off their year of studying America’s story by sharing their families’ stories—and how each weaves into the fabric of our country. “The purpose of this project is to bring people together around a conversation,” he said. “All of us are part of the thread that makes up this big fabric we call the American story.”
After writing a one-page summary of their story, students brought in an artifact, or a photo of an artifact, that related to their families’ histories. They then spoke to their classmates and visiting faculty and staff members about and how and why the artifact is important to their family. “Not only is this project great for getting to know our classmates on a more personal level, it gives them a chance to practice their writing, presentation, public speaking, and conversation skills,” said Taft.
There were a variety of artifacts on display, showcasing a ride range of histories and experiences. Bethany Martin ’26 brought a photo of a grocery store chain that her uncle started in Milwaukee. Harini Tallam ’26 discussed her parents, who immigrated to the United States from India, and earned their citizenship 10 years ago. “Here, we have been able to assimilate into American society while still keeping our culture from India,” she said.