In Young Chautauqua, a nationally-recognized Colorado program, young scholars portray historical figures. Through monologues and question-and-answer sessions, young scholars–in and out of character–engage audiences in lively discussions with people from the past, and then provide insight into historical study. Students in grades 4 through 12 throughout Colorado participate in our Young Chautauqua program.
In a series of Young Chautauqua workshops, coaches and students immerse themselves in the writings and lives of historical characters through research, rehearsal, and performance. A student selects an inspiring person in history who possesses the qualities, values, and often life circumstances that they can identify with in their own life, then researches the character, develops a monologue, and portrays the character’s personality and ideology, while telling the stories of life-changing events that molded their lives. This portrayal is presented in front of an audience of their peers.
Young Chautauqua raises student interest and knowledge of American history by providing opportunities to practice research and public speaking while being mentored by Young Chautauqua coaches. The program builds self-esteem and reveals insight into life choices and challenges.
Available statewide to grades 4 – 12. Currently developing an online version of the program with partners in Greeley, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, and Boulder. The book set Great Lives in Colorado History is provided to participating students. To learn more about these books, visit our page Great Lives in Colorado History.
Starting in the Fall of 2023 an online version of Young Chautauqua will be available to teachers and educators. Please use the link below to share your contact information if you are interested in participating. This program is free to participants and attendees, with a negotiational cost-share for schools who are interested in having in person coaches in addition to the online platform.