Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Collection of Learning, Thanks To "Hamilton", From The Perspective of A Seven Year Old

This post is part of the Slice of Life March Challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

Check it out and join us.

Hamilton is a favorite in our house. (Musicals, in general, rank way up there in our listening pleasure.) In the past year my seven year old has learned lots of things, all thanks to Hamilton.

Number one!
Political roles. 

"If George Washington goes from being a General to the President, do all Generals become President?" 

"What's a senator?"

It was especially interesting to be having these conversations as America was in the middle of an election cycle. Since we aren't there most of the time we weren't immersed in the campaigning. All of our family political conversations were a result of Hamilton.

Number two!
U.S. History. 

"Now that he is President, when will he become King?"

Now that we understood the roles we had to talk about why the war that is an overarching theme in Act One happened historically.

Number three!
Words can express attitude, nuance, and double meanings.

This lead, naturally, into understanding why the King George songs are written as love songs and why they are so funny. The conversations continued, in age appropriate ways, to point out the brilliance of Lin-Manuel Miranda's writing.

Number four!
Love of hip-hop as a music genre.

To say, "my daughter has spunk" is an understatement. She also loves the stage and is happy to ham-it-up (pun intended), especially for an audience.

Having this new genre of music to dance and lip-sync to has added all kinds of umph to that already present attitude.


What does a fish say when it runs into a wall?

I used that joke to explain the different meanings of a word that has a prominent place in the opening number of the show. We then had many conversations about what is and isn't appropriate to be said/sang/repeated-for-any-reason at school, etc.

Censorship had to be discussed next - Why would we even allow her to listen to this stuff?!

Number Six!
The power of song.


Every. single. time. Hamilton dies - both of them.


I noticed a comma in the middle of a phrase. It changed the meaning. Did you intend this? 

As the shift of possibilities is explained in the lyrics of "Take A Break" she became more aware of punctuation choices authors made in what she was reading, and then in her own writing.

Number eight!
The passing of time.

"What's Burr doing now?"

To quote the show, completely out of context; "He's super dead!"

Number nine!

She perused the humongous atlas until she found the Carribean. She looked at the ocean and distance A.Ham would have traveled as he was "headed for a new land".  New York City is now on top of her travel destinations as it is, "The greatest city in the world!" (We shall see what she thinks after we spend Spring Break there in 2018.)

Number, ten paces, ready...


  1. I read and appreciated your post for both reasons. Talk about a context for learning! Better hit repeat on my favorite music!

  2. So many wonderful take aways from Hamilton. It's still on my list to see! And yes, sometimes I have to look around and say "what building am I in" or "should I be playing this here" as the music cycles through.


  3. I think the Hamilton Remix album from last year is one of the best that came out ... I am thinking about how I might be able to use the Hamilton idea for a summer camp option for middle school kids at a National Park Site .... got time to muse ...

  4. I love Hamilton! I have two students who are obsessed and their month of slicing is arranged around the titles of Hamilton sequential order. WOW! I love all of the things learned from Hamilton. It is amazing!

  5. I noticed about halfway through that you structured your post around the ten duel commandments, and had to smile and scroll down to check! Loved your post :) I was extremely lucky enough to see the musical in New York last January (with Lin!) and was completely blown away, and still am every time I listen to the soundtrack.