My History Day group, under the category of Taking a Stand in History, decided to do a group performance on Napoleon Bonaparte. Our performance is a little rough around the edges, but we're able to pull it all together. Here is the link to our script if you wish to read it yourself.
History Day Script
The thing that I enjoyed most about doing this project was trying to act out our script. Although it isn't the greatest performance, it still is very enjoyable to perform. Another reason this was the most memorable part for me is the fact that I LOVE acting. I also believe that the message is conveyed easier verbally better than it is sitting on a wall of cardboard.
The main fact that I learned and intrigued me the most was how Napoleon conquered Egypt, Belgium, Holland, much of Italy, Austria, much of Germany, Poland, and Spain. This definitely caught my eye since I only knew Napoleon as a great general. I never realized he was that good! The other thing that I thought was interesting was how he had two wives, Joséphine de Beauharnais and Austrian Princess Marie Louise. Not entirely why this had my interest, but it sure is interesting.
The hardest part of this project was writing the script. It seemed as though it would be simple, and quick, but we quickly found that turning our facts into a reasonable script is much more difficult that one might think. We had two weeks to write a script, but we only came up with about a seven minute script. This may not sound bad, but we were supposed to aim for about ten minutes. On the bright side though, we were able to make a pretty smooth play.
As a student, I improved by proving to myself that avoiding the topic and not procrastinating. This is definitely a lesson relearned because I began to slack off a bit, and our project began to slide downhill. I hope that this time it will finally stick in my head.
Between now and the actual History Day, I hope to improve on tying Napoleon's long-lasting impacts into our performance. I also hope to add in more primary resources. Overall, we just need to improve on our acting skills. These become the very being of our project, so they are very important.
The part of this project that I am the proudest of is the script. It may not be long, and it may not be the best of skits, but the biggest isn't always the best. The script had a lot of effort put into it, and I just like the way that it sounds. It definitely had the most effort put into it, so it gets most of my fondness.
Napoleon Bonaparte relates to this year's theme because he took a stand against the original French government. You know, the one that took over Corsica, his home, in 1768. He didn't stop after he overthrew the monarchy, however. He rose all the way from the lower ranks of soldiers working in the artillery, all the way to becoming Emperor to ensure that Europe was ruled in the way he believed it should be. He also took over most of modern day Europe, and he was a much beloved leader.
Number one thing that I recommend students do in the future with projects like this is to use as many primary sources possible. I also recommend that you don't get too far off task when you're gathering info. And also, best of luck to all you (Break a Leg for Performances) kids and people doing History Day.
That's all for now! Signing off.