Making History Come Alive

At Benchmark Elementary School we use innovative teaching models and the latest Core Knowledge and Singapore Math curriculum to raise the standard for K-6 education. But effective education doesn’t only embrace what's new: we also use the past to inspire and engage students. Our interactive history lessons take stories and ideas off the page and into every classroom at Benchmark Elementary. Here are some examples of how every age is making history come alive in our tuition-free charter school!


Benchmark Elementary’s youngest learners celebrate Lunar New Year with an annual Dragon Parade, making their own dragons to parade through campus along with a large dragon worn by one of the teachers. All classrooms watch the parade, and it’s a tradition that everyone enjoys! Our Kindergarten students also learn about and act in a play about Australia. New this year, they are reading “Balloons over Broadway”, the true story of the master puppeteer who invented the first balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and creating their own floats to be featured in our school parade. 

First Grade

Our first graders jump into US History with a classroom-based re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party that includes throwing tea over the edge of a student-made boat, and practicing the minute men’s ability to get up from sleep and be ready in one minute.

Students also learn about Ancient Egypt through a month-long learning unit that includes making Egyptian Masks, writing in hieroglyphics, creating Canopic Jars, learning about the sarcophagus, and making their own mummies out of fruit (Fruity Pharaohs). They end the experience by having a funeral procession around campus with their mummies and sarcophagus, dressed in Egyptian attire. Families are welcome to watch and enjoy this capstone event!

Second Grade

Our “Westward Ho” component brings pioneer life into the classroom as our second graders learn about westward expansion and celebrate Pioneer Days. From clothing to foods to crafts, there are lots of hands-on activities that engage every student. Stepping further back in history, we’ll also introduce students to great stories from Greek Mythology. Second graders will learn about Spartans and Athenians, and write and act out plays based on Greek Mythology. 

Third Grade

Benchmark Elementary third graders learn about Roman history and culture by making a large diorama of Rome and preparing for a special Roman Festival Day, which includes dressing up in Roman attire, staging a feast, catapult making, chariot races and more. After reading the book, third graders will also participate in an Alice in Wonderland outdoor tea party. 

Fourth Grade

A long history unit on Medieval Times engages fourth graders with many events and activities, culminating in a full-day festival. Students research and create castle replicas; dance around the Maypole; dress as a member of Medieval society at the time (peasant, serf, knight, etc.); reenact the Battle of Hastings; and even stage a pool-noodle joust! We also explore the Revolutionary War with special student-led projects. 

Fifth Grade

Our fifth graders will learn about US geography with a deep dive into states and capitals, including student-led reports on what makes our states unique. 

Sixth Grade

Our sixth grade history curriculum incorporates hands-on lessons alongside unique opportunities for leadership and creativity. Every Benchmark Elementary student is invited to visit our sixth grade classrooms for a “Prehistoric Walk” - a living diorama where students act out roles for the “patrons” who come through. Sixth graders also host a “Wax Museum”, where students prepare a board about a historical figure from any of the history they have studied throughout the year (including French Revolution, Latin Independence,  Mesopotamia, Ancient China, Egypt, and others), dress as their figure and pretend to be a wax figure in a museum.  The rest of the school is invited to come and “press the button” to get an oral description of the figure they choose. Sixth graders also participate in “Shakespeare in the Park”, performing adapted Shakespearian plays outdoors for their families and classmates.


History truly comes alive at Benchmark Elementary! Are you interested in learning more about how Benchmark Elementary can inspire a love of learning in your child? Contact us and enroll today for Preschool and Grades K-6.


About Benchmark Elementary

Benchmark Elementary is a Preschool and Elementary Charter School serving students in the Phoenix, AZ area. Benchmark offers tuition-free half-day K and 1st-6th grades, and tuition-based options for PreK and full-day K. Our foundational approach to academics inspires knowledge and develops character. Students are supported by a tight-knit community of caring teachers and staff and engaged families. Join Benchmark Elementary today! Enrolling now.