Ahoy Maties! Junior Docents on the Go
During the Gibbes Museum renovation, we’ve taken our Junior Docent program on the road! Several local institutions, like the Charleston Museum, have helped out by providing rich resources for students to research and a venue for them to present their findings. Two Ashley Hall students share their experiences with this program, here and in the next post.
I’m Ainslee Newman, a seventh grader at Ashley Hall. This past December, we were assigned a project discussing what makes Charleston special. Throughout our research we discovered so many new things from the past, and I was surprised to find out that much of that history still relates to our community! Each girl in our class got the opportunity to tell about her subject and educate the people of town. After a couple months of preparation, we were ready to be junior docents at the Charleston Museum! However, our job wasn’t just putting our research into a paper and talking, it was also learning how to engage, entertain, and educate our audience. Engaging them meant understanding the appropriate time to ask questions, and getting the audience interested. Entertaining them meant knowing what fun facts to tell that might not be known by other people. Educating them meant teaching important information about our topic and the unique history of Charleston.
Once it was time for me to present, I was a bundle of nerves, but while I was speaking, I started to feel more comfortable, because I knew everything I was supposed to say and had plenty of information. Since my presentation was about pirates, I had to become an expert about them around Charles Town in the early 1700s. I was not the only one that had to learn a lot—my other classmates did too, so I was able to absorb in other topics as well!
From this Junior Docent project I learned not only about this remarkable city, but also the skills to make my pirate presentation and all of my future presentations their very best. This project was a great experience to be a part of, and the Charleston Museum helped me and my English class grasp special parts of history, and helped us engage, entertain, and educate not only our audience, but also each other.
—Ainslee Newman, 7th grader at Ashley Hall and a Gibbes Museum Junior Docent
Published February 25, 2016