Back in 2016, the first year that Hamilton: An American Musical appeared on Broadway but before it had gained widespread fame, I played a few video clips of the show for my high school literature class. They knew nothing about the musical, but they were spell-bound. The very idea of an ethnically-diverse cast telling the story of the American revolution in hip-hop Broadway style touched their hearts and fired their imaginations. So I know first-hand how inspiring this musical can be for students.
That is why I am so excited that everyone now has access to EduHam, an educational resource that the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History developed in conjunction with the producers of Hamilton. Originally developed for school systems in areas where the Hamilton production was appearing, they have adapted the program to create EduHam at Home, a family version of EduHam that can be accomplished outside of a school setting. This fantastic program is available for FREE to all families through August 2020.
EduHam invites students to make their own creative interpretations about that period in American history. It contains both historical content and primary source documents from the Founding era as well as interviews and materials about how Lin-Manuel Miranda and the rest of the team behind Hamilton used historical content to develop the musical.
The goal of the project is for students to create their own pieces–songs, rap, spoken word, or dramatic scenes–to add to the EduHam website. A team will review the submissions and will highlight ten different student productions per week.
To learn more about this program, you can hear from the man himself, Mr. Lin-Manuel Miranda, at: https://vimeo.com/410198027 .
To register to gain access to this wonderful resource, go to: https://www.gilderlehrman.org/programs-and-events/eduham-home .
This is a fabulous way to get your students to engage with this key period in American history is a really fun and creative way. It is a perfect antidote to boredom during our stay-at-home time!
UPDATE: On Friday, May 1 at 12:00 PM Eastern time, you can LITERALLY homeschool with Hamilton–or at least the man who most famously portrayed him, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Yes, Lin-Manuel is a guest on the AP U.S. History show, and will discuss working with primary sources and related research issues based on his experience in creating the musical Hamilton.
You can see the class at: