Students given the chance to dance for extra credit in AP class

Oftentimes, students are so stressed with homework and tests that they do not get opportunities to show off their artistic abilities and their passion for the subject because they are busy following their rigorous school agendas. AP World History teacher Molly White decided to give her students a creative assignment that would not only bring out the artistic side of the students, but also teach them important lessons about history.

For this assignment, White required students to find a topic related to content that they learn in class. They have to perform this content using any artistic form such as instruments, self-written rap, cultural dances or academic videos.

“Over spring break, three girls made a video on the cause of World War I,” White said. “[Other] girls did a German polka,…[some] boys did a Russian kind of cultural dance,…two students [did] a rap and somebody performed Korean traditional music with a drum.”

For students, this was not only a great opportunity to have fun while reviewing for their upcoming AP test, but it was also a great opportunity to incorporate their artistic talents into studying for an academic subject.

“I think it helps, especially [students] in AP,” White said. “[Students] don’t get a chance to do art stuff, [and] I think it’s a chance for people that are artistic, in any capacity, to [show their abilities].”

Also, this assignment gives students the extraordinary experience to become teacher for a moment, so that they can teach their classmates about the class curriculum.

“If you are talking about the destruction of the traditional music in North Korea, you would want to hear it from somebody who is [expert in that area],” White said.

This extra credit assignment is 100 percent optional . If students have an idea for a way to express historical facts or cultural themes in an artistic manner, they are able to show off their ideas through a performance after planning the day with White.

“I performed Arirang on janggu [a Korean percussion instrument],” sophomore and AP World History student Irene Kim said. “People, the audience, got to listen to it and see what it looks like.”

Arirang that Kim performed with her fellow classmate, sophomore Sarah Choi, is a Korean traditional folk song that is often known as the unofficial national anthem of Korea.

Through this assignment, students can learn from and cooperate with their classmates who are experts in different areas while having fun watching and creating a distinct performance.

“I think it helps you learn about other cultures,” sophomore and AP World History student Brynn Hansen said. “[Through this assignment,] you can cooperate with friends to create a good performance.”

According to White, the assignment is open if the students can come up with interesting ideas for a unique performance, until the academic agenda ends.