Community Projects:Voices of the Trail

Ninth grade honors students from Kennesaw Mountain High School wrote and performed a dramatic reading for Hayes Elementary School third graders. They based the work, entitled "Voices of the Trail," on Diane Glancy's novel, Pushing the Bear, which chronicles the Cherokee Removal from North Carolina to Oklahoma Territory. Students and teachers agreed that the project was a unique opportunity for community outreach.

Read Mimi Dyer's (KCAC co-director) overview of the Cherokee Removal, the original character sketches written and performed by her honors students, or her reflections regarding this project.

Voices of the Trail:
Student Reflections

"Even after walking on stage for fifteen minutes, my legs got tired. I can't imagine how it was on the Trail." ~Jenny Spinner

"It was a unique way to teach The Trail of Tears." ~Ashley Shearman

"It helped me understand more clearly each of the characters in the book." ~Phil Roth

"At first I couldn't believe we were actually going through with it. As we got better at it, my opinion changed. To see the looks of admiration on those kids' faces was a prize in itself. They enjoyed it as much as we did." ~Adam Tant

"The activity with Pushing the Bear was GREAT! Just performing it was something I learned from. Just walking the laps around the stage made us tired. It made me wonder how the Cherokee walked as far as they did! Also, listening to everyone made the characters come alive." ~Kimberlee Berkenkamp

"I really thought that the activity that we did was notably a lot of fun, but it also helped us to understand some of the characters that we might not have paid so much attention to. I also would recommend it because not only did we learn a lot, but we were exposed to a different type of education-the theater. I think everyone should have this experience." ~David Gluck

"The play introduced me to something new: performing. I also found out during the process of the play that I can do orations in front of a crowd." ~Chun Li

"It helped to visualize the Trail and see other people's views on the novel." ~Amy Gilleland

"Acting out the journey in a play made me realize how terrible the experience must have been." ~Ali Champion



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