Spring Study & Live Action Role Play (LARP)
At the end of every school year, spring comes to a glorious conclusion with a school-wide Spring Study. The Spring Study is an interdisciplinary, multiweek study of one big topic. Previous Spring Studies have included Slavery & The Abolitionist Movement; Food Justice; and Class & Workers’ Rights in America, with a focus on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911.
The final shared project of every Spring Study is a LARP (Live Action Role Play). A LARP offers a multisensory opportunity to jump into a dramatic engagement with a topic, and brings the entire student body and staff together in a playful, exciting culmination of a study of complex ideas.
Spring All-School Study: Class and Workers' Rights in america
If you walked into BFS on June 1, 2017, you entered a door saying “Today is June 1, 1921. Come on in and join our Live Action Role Play.” The building was buzzing with two factories at work employing bagel makers and candy makers, a newsroom, and a union hall. Inspectors were asking for ID cards and checking immigration status, agitators were encouraging workers to strike, workers were fired for mentioning labor action, meetings were being held in the union hall where rousing speeches were made and songs were sung, and reporters were covering all the action. Workers struck and marched around the block, finally meeting with their bosses, who agreed to meet all their demands. The owner of the BFS Daily Press (who it turns out was also the owner of the bagel factory) did not allow reporters to cover the strike action, so some reporters left that paper and opened the Brooklyn Free Press. In a final gathering, Marcus Garvey encouraged everyone to work for themselves, leading the bagel factory manager and newsroom manager to leave their jobs and join the revolting workers. The day's Live Action Role Play (LARP) drama was supported by weeks of reading; talking; taking trips; and learning about work, labor, unions, immigration, and New York City 100 years ago and all the people who were here. Our research came alive at school.