Student journalists at St. Mary's cover the American Revolution

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Saint Mary’s School seventh graders in Denise Moretti-Foggo’s class have taken a unique trip back in time,

Moretti-Foggo is currently a long-term substitute teacher, in for a teacher out on leave.

Using modern day technology and period costuming, the 13 students have taken what they’ve learned in class since March and applied it to their newscasts. Thanks to Moretti-Foggo, who was the Rhode Island 2015 History Teacher of the Year, and is part of the Pawtuxet Rangers, a Revolutionary reenactment militia, they have authentic costuming to use for their newscasts.

“We have been rotating several students a day through the costumes,” she said. “Most of them are costumes I’ve made, bought, and worn. This is a passion of mine.”

The students were each assigned various topics about colonial America and each wrote their script, which was presented and taped live by student Angela Long, who has a passion for film and photography. Each day, several students would present their newscasts, complete with a revolutionary setting in the background.

Some of the revolutionary topics presented included the Boston Tea Party, the Burning of the Gaspee, and the Boston Massacre. The students were required to discuss who was involved in the events, why they happened, and the impact they had on history.

In addition to the work being done on the revolutionary newscasts, the students were deep into a literacy unit centered around “Something Upstairs” by author Avi, which is set in Rhode Island during Revolutionary times. The students were utilizing maps of Rhode Island to keep track of the places and events mentioned in the book and tying in what they were reading about to what they were learning about in their history lessons.

All of the students agreed that they had learned a great deal about colonial history through these hands-on learning opportunities.

“I have learned more about the battles in the Revolutionary War and when they took place,” said Ashley Piccolo. “I learned about how the British government was unfair to the American colonists.”

Jazmin Pierce enjoyed learning about the colonial lifestyle and utilizing the authentic period costuming.

It was the Battle at Valley Forge that made an impression on Michael Franco.

“I learned how hard Washington’s troops had to work just to survive,” he said.

At the conclusion of the project, the newscasts will be edited all together into one and presented to the students on a CD.

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