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Seventh grade presents lessons learned from the Victorian era

Students in Mrs. Kreppeneck's 1st block AIG class play Silent Night during the presentation of life during the Victorian era.

In a tradition started by Anne Berryhill when Porter Ridge Middle School opened its doors, the seventh-grade AIG classes recently portrayed life in the Victorian Era for a small group of parents. The Victorian era corresponds with the reign of Queen Victoria in England from 1837 to 1901. The period is beloved for its attention to high morals, modesty and proper decorum, as inspired by the queen and her husband, Prince Albert.

“The study begins with a look at the classic Charles Dicken’s novel A Christmas Carol,” said the current AIG teacher, Marie Kreppeneck. “This is a timelessness study because it allows the students to compare this time and that time.”

After reading and discussing the novel, students conduct research and begin to write scripts in order to portray life during the Victorian era to their parents and other friends and families during their classes.

Kreppeneck’s first-block class started the presentation by welcoming parents and guests with a musical selection of Christmas carols from that era. Once everyone was inside the room where the performances would take place, Silent Night was played by a quartet of students.

The first skit portrayed the life of a shopkeeper, played by Samuel Starnes, and two customers. One of the customers was a nobleman, played by Andrew Lyons, and the other was a farmer, played by Dylan Rogers.

“Dicken’s world and our world, though more than 150 years apart, look very much alike when it comes to greed and indifference,” Starnes character states at the conclusion of their scene.

The next scenes took the crowd through the experiences of dining, fashion, courting, marriage, education, philosophy and religion. It was an incredible, and sometimes comical, glimpse into the lives of the people during the Victorian era. It was evident that the students enjoyed doing the research and presenting the project in this way.

“The students can show their learning of the material in a way besides paper and pencil,” Kreppeneck said.

“I enjoyed learning about different things and how different customs were in the Victorian era, and just to see the differences from now to back then,” said Ashlynne Varieur, who portrayed the wife and mother during the marriage and education scene.

Kreppeneck continues, “This is a real valuable lesson for this time of year, because people were accumulating wealth at a very fast rate and it helps the students with the idea of charity.”

After the presentations, students, family and guests were treated to refreshments and were able to enjoy some holiday fellowship.

The video below is the entire presentation by Mrs. Kreppeneck’s first-block class and features a couple of student interviews. Enjoy!

Written by: Don Mace, UCPS Web Communications Coordinator
Posted: Dec 16, 2011 by Don Mace

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