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Third-grade students at Centennial Elementary School in Streator recently took part in the annual wax museum project.
For this project, students chose a famous person they were interested in learning more about, completed research on that person’s life history, family and accomplishments, and memorized facts to present to the public.
For some students, this is the first time they have used resources to complete research on a topic. In order to create excitement about research, teachers go beyond asking for a five-paragraph essay, and rather ask the students to bring their famous person to life.
By dressing up in a costume as their chosen character, students become an exhibit of that person.
The cafeteria is then transformed into The Centennial Wax Museum, as parents, community members, and people from the school come and visit each exhibit.
A “button” by each exhibit activates the wax statue (student), and a memorized script of the famous person’s life history is told.
Students, parents and teachers look forward to this event each year.
Students love the opportunity to learn about a person in which they are interested. Eddie Devera, from Jenna Renken’s third-grade class, dressed up as Stan Lee.
When asked why he chose Lee, he replied, “I love Marvel superheroes and I thought it would cool to learn about Stan Lee. Before this project I had a few comic books, but now I’ve saved my money and was able to get 50 more comics. Learning about Stan Lee is something I will never forget.”
Other characters seen at the event included past presidents, athletes, musicians or actors, and famous people from history.
For teachers, this is an excellent way to encourage students to become active in the research and writing process. Getting children excited about writing is important, because it is included in the Common Core standard for third-grade students, who are participating in the PARCC exam for the first time.