Provo students have their eyes on history through ‘Hamilton’

May 6, 2018 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Students at a Utah high school are learning about U.S. history through the tunes of the hit musical “Hamilton,” while also getting an opportunity to see the show during its Utah stop for just $10.

Ethan Wilford, who teaches history at Provo High School, has his students participating in the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s Hamilton Education Program, which has students analyze primary source documents during the Founding Era and American Revolution to get involved in history, the Daily Herald reported .


The students end the school portion of the curriculum by writing and performing a poem or song about a Revolutionary War topic they have researched.

The students in the program traveled Friday to Salt Lake City to see the musical.

The school covered the cost of the $10 tickets and the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts covered the costs of transportation.

“My goal is to help kids see that history is more than just boring textbooks and black and white documentaries,” Wilford said.

Claudia Campbell, a sophomore at Provo High School, has been a “Hamilton” fan since nearly the beginning. She was speechless when Wilford told her she would be able to see the show.

“I had been wanting to go for such a long time and I never had the money,” Campbell said. “I thought it was an amazing opportunity.”

The Tony-winning production, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, chronicles the rise of Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. treasury secretary, and his death in a duel.

Campbell wrote a song about Maria Reynold’s life before her affair with Hamilton as part of the curriculum.

Jessica Thurman, a junior in Wilford’s class, cried when she heard she would be able to see the show.

“I didn’t know anything about the Revolutionary War before I listened to the musical,” she said. “But now I’m an expert.”


Information from: The Daily Herald,