After five weeks of collecting hundreds of boxes and dozens of rolls of packing tape, Mrs. Burns’ 7th grade social studies class brought the Berlin Wall, and the Cold War, to Keith Country Day school on Wednesday, February 6th.
As part of their Cold War unit, the class studied the political, social, economic, and symbolic aspects of the Berlin Wall that divided the city of Berlin from 1961-1989. As a capstone lesson, the class built a 45 foot long and 8 foot high replica of the Berlin Wall to divide the commons into “East” and “West” Berlin. The students also created their own graffiti to adorn the wall and simulate the actual artwork.
Construction started bright and early on Wednesday when fourteen students arrived at 6:45am to begin building the wall and dividing the commons.
After the wall was complete, the entire 7th grade class assembled in “East Berlin” to listen to President Ronald Reagan deliver his famous 1987 “Tear Down This Wall” speech. When President Ronald Reagan requested that “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”, the 7th grade class tore down their own Berlin Wall with great fanfare and much enthusiasm.
Please see the video below to show a representation of the students building the wall and tearing it down. In the background you will hear clips of President Reagan speaking and will also see clips of the actual speech at the Brandenburg Gate.