Third graders at Sevastopol Elementary brought more than 40 different historical figures to life in their seventh annual Living Wax Museum at Sevastopol School on April 15.
Students from both my class and Mrs. Kim Thomas’ class completed their projects that began six weeks prior. Their end result was a presentation for staff and students of the Sevastopol School District as well as for family and community members.
Thomas acknowledges how big the event has become.
“Each year the Living Wax Museum gets a lot of traffic from parents, students and community members. This year the traffic was at an all-time high!” she said.
The project began with students researching historical figures who have made a positive impact on the world. Students narrowed their choices down to their top selection before beginning research on their individuals.
Through books, articles and videos, students gathered information on their chosen historical figure that would serve as the foundation of their project.
In the weeks that followed, students created a poster board, which was decorated with drawings of artifacts related to their historical figure. Students then created a stamp to honor the individual and wrote an essay highlighting important moments in the life of their historical figure.
The last steps of their project involved dressing up as their historical figure and memorizing their speech to present to audience members. Student costumes varied from being purchased to being put together from homemade and reused items from various sources.
The project challenged students in many academic areas in addition to studying history. Students learned about writing informational reports, researching nonfiction texts, and presenting to audiences. Students also incorporated their art skills with their posters and costumes.
“The students’ enthusiasm stayed the same throughout the entire program and their hard work paid off,” Thomas said. “The students spent many weeks working on these presentations. I am so proud of all their hard work.”
Darrel Lautenbach, 9, portrayed Bass Reeves, who was one of the first black U.S. deputy marshals. Reeves was known for capturing more than 3,000 felons in the late 1800s.
Lautenbach said he enjoyed the experience.
“My favorite part was getting the costume together,” he said.
His costume included a leather hat from his grandpa and clothing that he and his mother put together.
“I felt really good about the project and had lots of fun doing it. I picked Bass Reeves because I thought he was a really cool person,” Lautenbach said.
Darrel’s twin brother, William, also participated in the event as Leonardo da Vinci. He enjoyed the process.
“I knew a little about (Leonardo da Vinci) and I wanted to learn more. My favorite part was researching,” Lautenbach said.
He also had luck finding items for his costume with help from family members.
“My mom found a beard and a wig for me. My grandma helped me find other items. I had fun,” he said.
Landon Frank, 8, chose American inventor and businessmen, Thomas Edison, for his project.
“I picked Thomas Edison because he was an inventor and I think inventing is sort of cool,” Frank said.
“I liked putting the costume together and typing my report. My Mom and I found a lightbulb and printed off newspaper articles that I put on display. We found some items at the thrift store for only a couple cents.”
It was another successful year for third grade students to showcase their Living Wax Museum projects.