History on Broadway! Outreach Series

A dynamic new approach to history education
This five-session residency uses songs and scenes from classic American musicals to deepen students’ engagement with American history and popular culture. Students build critical thinking by analyzing film clips and song lyrics along with primary sources. They then use role-playing and other dramatic exercises to consider the challenges faced by people in the past.

Each five-session History on Broadway! Program costs $600 per class for NYC schools and $750 for schools outside of NYC, plus a small planning session fee. All materials are included along with a curriculum guide.

The American Revolution: 1776
Recommended for grades 4–5 and 7–8
Learn about the political debates that shaped the Declaration of Independence, then explore the experience of enslaved people in New York during the Revolutionary War.
Songs: Sit Down, John!” andMolasses to Rum to Slaves.” 

The Gold Rush: Paint Your Wagon
Recommended for grades 4–5 and 7–8
Investigate the causes and effects of the United States’ westward expansion, then experience cultural conflict in a California mining town from the perspective of Latin American prospectors.
Song: On My Way 

Antebellum Slavery: Big River
Recommended for grades 4–5 and 7–8
Examine this musical adaptation of Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” for evidence about life in the antebellum ‘border states,’ then use artifacts to plan your own escape from slavery.
Songs: Do Ya Wanna Go to Heaven?and The Crossing”

Westward Expansion: Oklahoma!
Recommended for grades 4–5 and 7–8
Trace the steps by which the state of Oklahoma was created out of Indian Territory, then learn about the consequences of this transition for ranchers, farmers, and Indian tribes.
Songs:The Farmer and the CowmanandOklahoma!

Reconstruction: Show Boat
Recommended for grades 7–8
Learn about the changes to Southern life brought by Emancipation, Reconstruction, and Redemption, then explore the efforts of formerly enslaved people to live freely and determine their own futures.
Songs: “Cotton Blossom” andOl’ Man River

The Progressive Era: Fiorello!
Recommended for grades 7–8
Experience the collision of immigration, industrialization, and New York City politics through the life of Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia and his efforts to take down the corrupt Tammany Hall machine.
Songs: The Name’s LaGuardia and Little Tin Box.” 

The Great Depression: Annie
Recommended for grades 7–8
Discover how the economic trends of the 1920s contributed to the Great Depression, then create propaganda to demonstrate understanding of competing visions for how to end the crisis.
Songs: We’d Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover andTomorrow

World War II: On the Town and This Is the Army
Recommended for grades 7–8
Analyze the impact of wartime industrial production on the American workforce, then consider how African Americans responded to discrimination in the military and on the home front.
Songs: “New York, New YorkandThat’s What the Well-Dressed Man in Harlem Will Wear

Post-War New York: West Side Story
Recommended for grades 7–8
Explore the motivations and experiences of Puerto Rican migrants to New York, then investigate the impact of postwar demographic change on young people and their neighborhoods.
Songs: “PrologueandAmerica

To book a History on Broadway!  unit call (212) 485-9293.

Creative: Tronvig Group