In this house we are huge fans of the musical Hamilton. We haven’t seen it but we have listened to the soundtrack countless times. R has developed a huge love for Hamilton and it isn’t rare to find her singing one of the songs from the show. She asked me if I would take the songs and help her to understand the history behind the show. I will be doing that for her in the coming weeks and I am excited to share it with you. I will be starting with the title song and working our way through the history behind each of the songs.
Alexander Hamilton Musical Unit Study
I know there are some sensitive subjects in the show. There are some I will be addressing and others I will not in these studies. I also know there are curse words in the show. If this is something you do not feel comfortable with, this show will not be appropriate for you. I do plan to address the cursing in future lessons but not in this one. All printables in this lesson will be free of swear words.
Alexander Hamilton is the first song of the show and it is a general overview of his life before coming to the 13 colonies. This song sets the tone for the rest of the show. In this unit, we are going to look at the highlights of who Hamilton was before the 13 colonies. We will also start our timeline. The goal is to have a timeline that will piece together the life of Hamilton and how he fit into History.
You will want to print the Hamilton Research Page I have put together. I am trying to teach R to safely search on the internet. This printable is my way of encouraging her to find some of the answers and set the scene a bit herself. In this printable, your child will need to research dates, locations, and important events in the life of Hamilton. It will be up to you as to how in-depth this portion of the unit is. R is very interested in this so she will be digging deep and spending some good time working on this.
Words to Know
There are some words in the show that will be foreign to kids. There are a few in this song that I am unsure if R will know. I wanted her to define them and use them in a sentence to get a better understanding. If these are words you already know, feel free to skip this portion.
There are two writing challenges I have for R. Both of these are intended to get her thinking and trying to relate to Hamilton and what he went through. The first is a challenge to write her own refrain. Your child will be challenged to do as Hamilton did and write a refrain. The second is a challenge based on the fact that Hamilton had to work hard to provide for himself. Your child will be challenged to think of what they would do in Hamilton’s situation.
Read Hamilton’s First “Refrain”
You can read the letter Hamilton wrote that earned him the scholarship on The Founders National Archives.
Hamilton’s life coincides with some amazing things in History. R will be challenged to create her own timeline showing the life of Hamilton and what went down in his lifetime in American History. This will be an ongoing project with each unit. For this project I will let R design each portion of the timeline herself in order to let her have fun with the artsy side of things.