Tubman Film Provides US History Extra Credit


Jack Bunzel-Hardie, Staff Writer

US History teachers Molly Kerr and Lisa Herzig invited their students to view the film Harriet,  which is currently screening at the Orinda theater, for extra credit. Students were also required to write a 2-paragraph response to the debate over replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.

Herzig said that the film was a perfect addition to what her AP students are learning. “[In APUSH,] we recently finished with a unit about the Civil War, but I believe that themes like those displayed in the movie are prevalent throughout history,” said Herzig.

Junior Colin Hilkemeyer said that the film displayed strong female characters in history as “the movie showed how just 1 person can make a big difference in history and that is really powerful.”

Junior Jackie Artiaga said, “I think that this was a great way to encourage students to learn about America’s history and benefit in multiple ways.”

According to Hilkemeyer, extra credit opportunities are rare but beneficial. “By doing things like this, teachers are letting students show initiative and responsibility, all while learning about something relevant to their course and supporting local businesses,” said Hilkemeyer.

Herzig said, “these yearly opportunities are almost always well received and I often see students taking advantage of them.”

“…it is so important to remember these events while we study the history of our country for the rest of the year,” Herzig added. She was impressed with the write-ups done by students, as many applied history to modern events.

“With all the positive feedback and the learning experienced here, I don’t see how we couldn’t do this again later in the spring,” Herzig added.