My daughters absolutely love musicals, and singing, and dancing. We hear a lot of soundtracks in our house. It can be annoying, but it is also pretty amazing. I love the stories that musicals can tell, and the many lessons that can be learned from seeing or listening to them. Hamilton is one of those musicals that sticks with you.
What is Hamilton?
If you haven’t heard of Hamilton: An American Musical, it is a Broadway musical that became the biggest hit of this generation! This musical is so popular that there was a lottery type waiting list to get tickets. The only way it could be seen was on Broadway, or when it finally went on tour. There were virtual queues to wait hours to snag tickets.
This musical is a hip-hop and rap, production of the life of Alexander Hamilton, written by playwright, composer, and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda. Set in the time of the American Revolution, it a period piece with a modern flair. What is so unique about Hamilton is that it has modern language, lyrics, song and dance. It seems to really draw in the young crowd, those who thought history and musicals were for nerds. It excites them about music and about history at the same time.
Since we homeschool, I absolutely love finding something that my kids are interested in and turning it into a learning experience. Hamilton the musical is perfect for this. It covers a major historical event and key historical figures, so you can easily incorporate this into your homeschool.
It is now available to watch for free on Disney + for the first time ever. This has really made it come alive in our home, now we don’t have to stress about trying to travel to see it, or to wait in line for tickets that are really expensive. Many more people are getting the opportunity to watch it and learn more about history in a fun way.
I was excited to find a ton of resources to make a really awesome unit study out of this musical!
*Please note that this isn’t necessarily family friendly, though many families enjoy watching it together and discussing the content in an informed and open conversation. It has a PG-13 rating, there are some strong curse words, and an affair that happens. Most of the language is used to bring strong emotion to what is happening. The music is extremely fast, and at times hard to understand, so the words may most likely go over your children’s heads.
Articles about how to use Hamilton in your lessons:
Unit Studies, Printables and Web Resources:
Teaching History with Hamilton is a free, digital Humanities education project that is a one stop resource for all ages. There is information from museums, historical sites and archives to help the musical come to life. You will enjoy resources for teachers, teens, children and fans.