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Notable America Interviews

March 24, 2021 | Sam Martino

The third grade classes just wrapped up their study of Notable Americans. This is a multifaceted unit that requires students to think in creative ways. Classes spent the first few weeks learning how to read biographies and do research about a person’s life. As they learned more about their America’s life, students developed background knowledge about the time period they grew up in.

Some students decided to make a play about an encounter between their notable Americans.

Another important component of the unit is public speaking. Students prepared a speech as their Notable American and delivered it in front of classmates and parents. In addition to this, students were asked to field questions from the audience.

When asked about this process one student said, “I liked that people asked specific questions and follow up questions. It made me think more about my Notable American.”

Another student remarked, “Some questions were hard to answer so I had to think of answers that made sense or were connected to something we learned.”

Students needed practice and research to prepare  for what the Notable American might say. Using the puppets they made in art to acts things out, students interviewed each other as their own Notable American. This lead to some amazing encounters where Americans from different time periods were able to interact.

Students practicing a puppet interview.

Despite the distance, these classmate are still able to meet with each other.


It is amazing to see all the learning third graders have done over the past weeks to prepare for the Wax Museum.


Sam Martino

Teacher, Grade 8

Sam Martino is the 8th Grade homeroom teacher and Middle School Social Studies teacher. He graduated from Fordham University in 2014 with a bachelor of arts in history. Before joining the staff in 2015, Mr. Martino worked as a substitute teacher at Mustard Seed School. During his time as a substitute, he was able to work with every elementary and middle school class. Mr. Martino’s connection to Mustard Seed School goes back much further, however. He first connected with Mustard Seed in 1999 when he enrolled as a second-grade student. In 2006, Mr. Martino graduated from Mustard Seed School. His mother served as a member of the Board of Trustees, and Mr. Martino’s two brothers also graduated from Mustard Seed. A lifelong Hoboken resident, Mr. Martino is excited to continue working with students in a unique urban community. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, music, and movies. He can often be seen lugging instruments around town as he travels to and from practices and shows.

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