The next step in Capstone was answering my Main Inquiry Question. As you know, my Main Inquiry Question is:
” What is the Cultural Impact of Hamilton?”
Answering my Main Inquiry Question was definitely a challenge. At first I was baffled thinking of how to answer my Main Inquiry Question, and write this blog post. About a week before this blog post was due I started thinking of making a poster on answering my Main Inquiry Question, but that would take too much time. Then, I was thinking of just writing a paragraph about answering it. I didn’t know if I was really supposed to do that, so I asked other people what they were doing and they said they haven’t even started thinking about it yet!
A few days after that I learned that our class wasn’t supposed to do any of those ideas. We had to write an essay on answering our Main Inquiry Question. Most people in my class were very annoyed that we had to write an essay, but I really liked the idea! First of all, on our capstone schedule it says “Answering Main Inquiry Question Due 6/8” I was mystified what that meant in the past, but now I know that it means that our essay is due. Second of all, it was confusing to me how I was going to answer my Main Inquiry Question (like I said in my 1st paragraph) so now it is much more clear how I am going to answer my question. Lastly, I love writing essays!
It took me about a week to write my essay. Each day during school I wrote a paragraph then revised it at night. I had to start my introduction with a hook, which was good because I am pretty good at writing a hook. Surprisingly, the hardest parts of the of the essay were writing the introduction and conclusion. The introduction was a bit of a struggle to write because our class had to think of a thesis statement, having to do with our Main Inquiry question and sub questions. My thesis statement was: “Of the many ways that Hamilton is impacting our society, I have decided to focus on its impact on children’s learning of American History and the way the musical shed light on other historical figures besides Alexander Hamilton.” The conclusion was hard because conclusions aren’t usually my strength and, I wasn’t sure if I should include my thoughts and feelings into it. Also, when I was drafting the conclusion, I was a bit puzzled when deciding if I was going to include a lesson into it. I ended up including a lesson, it was ” I barely knew anything about Alexander Hamilton, but this show made me see all the amazing things he has done for our country and all the struggles he went through along the way. He started out as a poor orphan who was an immigrant and he ended up setting up our financial system and doing so much more for our country.”
My first body paragraph was about how Hamilton impacted children’s learning of American history. This paragraph was pretty easy to write because I interviewed my uncle, who’s an American History teacher, so it it ended up not taking me a long time to write it. In this paragraph I quoted my uncle a bunch of times so I ended up having some very strong pieces of evidence in it. Also in this paragraph, I quoted the other person I interviewed, Ariana DeBose. My second body paragraph was about how the musical also shed light on a lot of other historical figures besides Alexander Hamilton. I wrote about how the show shed light on Eliza Schuyler Hamilton and Hercules Mulligan. When writing this paragraph my site visit helped me a lot because the tour guide talked a lot about what Hercules Mulligan did for our country. This paragraph ended up being the longest one because I had so much information about Eliza Schuyler Hamilton and Hercules Mulligan. I’m very happy with how my essay turned out!
Did you know that the Broadway smash hit, Hamilton, has had a major influence on today’s society? Specifically, the musical Hamilton impacted children’s learning of American History, played a role in present day politics, shed light on other historical figures besides Alexander Hamilton, changed people’s views of Alexander Hamilton, and might impact future Broadway shows. I found this out as a result of research to answer my main inquiry, which is “What is the cultural impact of the show, Hamilton?” Of the many ways that Hamilton is impacting our society, I have decided to focus on its impact on children’s learning of American History and the way the musical shed light on other historical figures besides Alexander Hamilton.
Hamilton has had a massive impact on children’s learning of American History. For instance, the musical has given many children a better understanding of the man Alexander Hamilton and the time period that the show takes place in. Specifically, my uncle, Matt Etra, a 7th grade American History teacher on Long Island, said that students who have listened to the music or seen the show definitely have a greater understanding and appreciation of that period in history. Many students get excited when he mentions any character in the show and they ask thoughtful questions about information that isn’t included in the regular curriculum.
Another example of how the show has impacted students’ learning is that it has made history fun again! Ariana Debose, a member of the original Hamilton, stated in my interview with her that “approaching a historical story, rooted in facts, from the hip hop angle made a new generation sing along and dance while they were learning.” I can relate to that because while I’m enjoying the Hamilton music in the car I am asking questions and learning about different parts of history.
Also, on my site visit, which was a tour called Hamilton’s New York, the tour guide said that since the show opened, more and more people have been going on the tour, including children. This makes sense because my friends and I are all so interested in Alexander Hamilton since we started listening to Hamilton music.
The musical also shed light on a lot of other historical figures besides Alexander Hamilton. For example, I didn’t know who Hercules Mulligan was until Hamilton, and I bet most people didn’t either. I think it’s good that people can now recognize Hercules Mulligan because he did so much for our country. Specifically, around five times during the Revolutionary War he saved George Washington’s life. Since Hercules Mulligan was a tailor that a lot British troops went to, he found out a lot information by making small talk and noticing the type of clothing they asked him to make. For instance, he found out that the British troops were going down South (where the American army was) to try to kill George Washington. Then, he passed this information onto the American army so they could move North, instead. He would also know if the British troops were planning on moving North if they asked for heavy coats and winter clothing. He was a great spy for the American army.
Another historical figure that I learned about from the show was Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton. She did a great job protecting Hamilton’s legacy by interviewing all the soldiers Hamilton fought with and by speaking out against slavery. She also raised funds for the Washington Monument and established the first private orphanage in New York. In the last song in the show, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” Eliza sings, “I interview every soldier who fought by your side” and “I raise funds in D.C. for the Washington Monument” and “I established the first private orphanage in New York City.” This illustrates that the show, Hamilton shed light on a lot of other historical figures besides Alexander Hamilton.
Now it’s clear that there are several different ways that Hamilton impacted American society. Children across the globe are having fun learning about American history all because of the show Hamilton. I barely knew anything about Alexander Hamilton, but this show made me see all the amazing things he has done for our country and all the struggles he went through along the way. He started out as a poor orphan who was an immigrant and he ended up setting up our financial system and doing so much more for our country. As a result of all the show’s success, it will probably influence Broadway shows in the future – I can’t wait see what happens!