Wax Museum

For our last writing project, I decided to get a little bit more creative. While I was at Edith Bowen Laboratory School, the fifth grade teachers, Joan Kyriopoulos and Jan Farmer, had their students participate in a project termed the Wax Museum. I loved the idea and decided to incorporate it into my own classroom.

For this project, I had a bag full of names-influential people throughout history, that my third graders chose from. Using their name, they began to research about their person.

Here’s a list of the people we used:

  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Georgia O’Keefe
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Betsy Ross
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • William Clark
  • William Shakespeare
  • Rosa Parks
  • George Washington
  • Meriwether Lewis
  • Jesse Owens
  • Walt Disney
  • Elvis Presley
  • J.K. Rowling
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Michael Jordan
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Sacajawea
  • Albert Einstein
  • Pe’le

When researching, the kids were to answer a handful of essential questions. Who are you, and why are you important to history? Where were you born? What was your family like? What are some fun facts about you? 

I informed my kids and their parents five weeks in advance that they would be presenting a speech, making a poster, and dressing up like their “person.”

We wrote personal speeches that the kids memorized by our presentation date.

The kids made paper “buttons” that people pressed, bringing my students to life on the day of the presentation. This prompted my students to present their speech and move around, freezing in a special pose at the end of their speech.

For example: Betsy Ross sewed a flag during her speech, Georgia O’Keefe and Pablo Picasso painted, and so forth. 

Parents went ALL OUT with dressing up their kids. I mean it when I say, all out!

This was one of my favorite memories of the year, and the kids absolutely LOVED it!

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