Freshmen and sophomores, who have been conducting extensive historical research, recently worked with renowned performance coach Karen De Mauro to enhance their presentation skills and prepare for their upcoming schoolwide National History Day competition.
Thanks to a grant from the Bronxville School Foundation, De Mauro – artistic director and founder of The Acting Center in New York City – worked with the students during two introductory sessions on Dec. 19 and 20 as she provided them with individualized strategies and targeted feedback.
“She’s amazing and skilled,” social studies teacher Dana Landesman said. “She knows how to keep the students’ attention, and she works with each of them to improve the skills that work for them and doesn’t try to change them to fit a certain mode.”
Through their work with De Mauro, the students honed their delivery, focus and vocal variety skills, as well as phrasing and body positioning, and practiced how to make a good first impression. De Mauro will return to the district to continue her work with the students and focus on different types of skills during sessions in January and February.
This year’s National History Day theme is “Triumph and Tragedy in History,” and students will display their authentic work in one of five ways – website, documentary, paper, performance or exhibit. As part of their research, which allows them to further explore their interest in a specific topic, many of them would contact experts in the field, analyze the evidence and data they’re collecting and develop theses that address the National History Day theme.