By Amelia Eno – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … History came alive for Mile High Academy as tenth grade students were divided into American Revolution groups–Loyalists and Patriots.

The sophomores studying the Revolutionary War were tasked with researching and forming arguments for a debate. Students were to face off as Loyalists and Patriots from 1776 by putting themselves in the shoes of our founding fathers and revolutionary fighters.

The question: Should the colonies fight for independence or stay loyal to Britain?

Language arts teacher, Jenni Eno, instructed the class about different ways of speaking, and history teacher, Rebecca Berg, directed students on how to find sources and to build a solid argument.

“Jenni and I had spoken about a cross-curricular project such as this and were excited to finally make it happen. We were very proud of our students, the hard work they put in, and both the knowledge they gained and their sharp debate skills,” said Berg.

The debates began with the students finding holes in the opposing team’s arguments and passing written points of argument to teammates. Each student addressed their classmates with passion and pride when it was their turn to debate.

The exercise concluded with the pupils voting for the winner, choosing the Loyalists, who utilized strong information and an emotional speech element called “pathos”. The Loyalists may have won, but the Patriots left with their spirits high.

The class expressed excitement to have held such an amazing debate and to have finished it with such success.

MHA sophomore and Patriot team member Seth Waller said, “It was exciting to see all of the different arguments people came up with. I had fun!”

Click on one of the following links to view the debates: Debate #1 and Debate #2.

Amelia Eno is in the tenth grade at Mile High Academy; photo by Rajmund Dabrowski