Meadowlark 5th Graders Bring History to Life with Living Wax Museum
May 1, 2019
On Thursday, April 18, the fifth graders at Meadowlark Elementary held their Wax Museum in the school's gymnasium. A sizable crowd gathered to see the presentation of Heroes and Heroines who had made an impact on United States history.
Each student in turn approached the microphone and delivered a brief narrative in which he/she gave the historical figure's name and birth date. Then, these heroes or heroines shared something interesting about themselves or their lives, a detail about how they would like to be remembered, and a Did You Know fact.
After the oral presentations, the students of Mrs. Lesa MacLeod and Mrs. Jill Paulsen took their positions around the gym's perimeter and posed as their living wax figures while the audience meandered from station to station, taking pictures or reading the students' reports and banners of information. The event had a "gallery walk" feel to it, as students had created period specific costumes and gathered props in order to lend a historical relevance to their selected personality. Many had also crafted written presentations to capture the essence of the historical figure's life journey and achievements.
Students portrayed some typical candidates, such as explorers and inventors, musicians and athletes, rodeo greats and activists. But there were some unique choices, too, such as Clinton Anderson, an Australian clinician, horse trainer and horsemanship competitor portrayed by Fletcher Anderson; and Jay Pyette, the founder of Montana Actor's Theater in Havre portrayed by Mara Edwards. The following heroes and heroines were represented-some living and others deceased:
Kylee Green - Pocahontas
Koleman Anderson - Daniel Boone
Balen Adair - Meriwether Lewis
Noah Pomeroy - Wild Bill Hickok
Emma Klingaman - Crazy Horse
Hunter Brewer - Buffalo Bill
Ayden Alisch - Billy the Kid
Falyn Cecrle - Annie Oakley
Carson Kelly - Wilbur Wright
Sara Chaffin - Helen Keller
Eleanor SeRoy - Eleanor Roosevelt
Tayla Richman - Amelia Earhart
Maeve Guarsci - Walt Disney
William Morrow - Charles Lindbergh
Griffen Crowley - John Wayne
Olivia Bartlett - Dorothy Height
Tucker Crawford - Jackie Robinson
Camdyn Thompson - Elvis Presley
Kegan Green - Muhammad Ali
Kirbey Hofeldt - Reba McEntire
Britt Powell - Lane Frost
Mara Edwards - Jay Pyette
Fletcher Anderson - Clinton Anderson
Owen Davies - J.B. Mauney
Brooke Fetter - Bethany Hamilton
Neva Lowe - Amberley Snyder
According to MacLeod, the goal of this project was to showcase historical figures who have made an impact on United States history or who have made the world a better place in one way or another. "Any historical figure was fair game so long as the individual had or has made a lasting and positive contribution to his or her field or to humanity in general. The students themselves decided what they considered that contribution to be," MacLeod said.
The Living Wax Museum demonstrated evidence of the students' learning not only about various historical figures but about poise under pressure and about how much they can accomplish when given the power to choose.