Teacher incorporates nontraditional learning into class

Cohen assigns art project to teach European history


Emmy Pearson

Sophomore Oliver Smith turns in an extra credit project to AP European History teacher Jeffrey Cohen Oct. 24. AP European History students are given the opportunity to paint historically themed pumpkins for extra credit.

Sam Swisher

According to AP European History teacher Jeff Cohen, he hopes students will further their learning of European history by painting pumpkins for extra credit.

“I got the idea of using Halloween as a way for students to have some fun by dressing up designing and carving out a pumpkin representing a significant person, event or place that we have covered in the course thus far,” Cohen said. “And just to make a little fun of a sometimes dry topic.”

According to sophomore and AP European history student Gracia Rettig, she participated in the assignment because her friends were doing it as well.

“I did it because my friends were doing (it). We all got together to do it and I just wanted to get a few extra points in the class just in case I don’t do so well on some of the tests,” Rettig said.

Sophomore and AP European History student Mathea Bruns said she had a lot of fun and learned extra information about the person she chose.

“I had a lot of fun painting and I got extra learning about Queen Elizabeth I who was the person I did,” Bruns said.

Rettig said the additional written assignment helped connect the pumpkin and the coursework.

“Having to write the three paragraph summary about why the design I drew has to do with European history made me think more about (what) we learned,” Rettig said.

According to sophomore AP European History student Sydney Prince, the assignment was annice alternative for the bookheavy class.

“I like it because it’s not as much book work. (The) class is very book heavy so it’s nice to have stuff in between,” Prince said.

Cohen said he hopes the assignment will help the students learn more about one of the topics they will need to remember for the AP exam.

“I want them to learn more of one of the major topics that we cover,” Cohen said. “Again, it’s an alternative way to use some creativity and some fun to hit on some of the main topics they’re expected to know for the spring test.”