Students Learn Through “Hidden Figures

By:Nevaeh Farr (source: Cripple Creek Today)

By:Nevaeh Farr

On February 15, 2017, our English 7 and 5th grade classes got an opportunity to go on a field trip to the Gold Hill Theatre in Woodland Park, and see Hidden Figures.  Our classes have been working together and reading about female and African American inventors and heroes.  When we got to the school that morning, everyone was so excited and we wanted to just get on the bus immediately! We went to our morning classes and had lunch before we got on the bus. When we got on the bus we tried our best to not puke from an overload of excitement! We all enjoyed talking with our friends and listening to the music on the way there. When we arrived, we all got our popcorn and drinks, and we very much appreciated it.  The movie was amazing!  It was inspirational and gave us all motivation to treat others with respect and to always try to do our best. After the movie we were upset about the racial segregation that the women in the movie experienced.  We agreed that we need to move forward with equality. The movie theater’s manager came in and gave us some additional information about the movie, and asked us a few questions.  Then, all tired and excited, we got back on the bus and returned to school.  The following day, we wrote an essay about what makes a hero.  There was definitely plenty of information from the movie to use for our writing!

Cresson 5th grade class at the Hidden Figures movie.

Cresson 5th grade class at the Hidden Figures movie.

I asked Abbi Gregory, 5th Grade Teacher at Cresson Elementary why she, and 7th grade teacher Vickie Cooper wanted to take their students to see Hidden Figures.  She told me that they bring their classes together to read, present and write together.

“We were inspired by Black History month and our inspiration got us thinking outside of the box.  We decided that we would go through the book Jackie’s Nine, which is a character skill building book based on the nine character skill that Jackie Robinson abided by.  We also wanted the students to learn about more black heroes and inventors as well as female heroes and inventors, so we went through a book called Heroes, which is a book about heroes or inventors, most of which students had never heard of.    As we were planning for those activities, we thought of Hidden Figures, which has both black and female inventors and heroes.  We boldly asked the theater if they would be willing to host us by watching the movie.

After we watched the movie, the manager of the theater lead a discussion about prejudice with the students.  There were great discussions about the movie, prejudice, enlightenment.

Charlotte Hemingway-Davis, GM, leads discussion after the movie.

Charlotte Hemingway-Davis, GM, leads discussion after the movie.

As a follow up, the 7th grade class will do a book study on the book Hidden Figures.  And once a week, both of our classes get together and learn the character building skills from the book Jackie’s Nine.  It is a wonderful time of leaning and collaborating.

The skills are:

Determination, Courage, Citizenship, Persistence, Integrity, Excellence, Commitment, Justice, and Teamwork.  It is our hope that we can inspire our students to dream big dreams as well as pick up and live out these character traits.
Publisher’s Note: If you haven’t seen “Hidden Figures,” I would highly recommend it. You don’t know what you don’t know, and movies like this help to reveal what’s been hidden to many of us for so long.