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History comes alive with Heritage’s ‘wax museum’

Third-grader Aubrey Blomeley decided to portray Helen Keller for the ‘wax museum’ at Heritage Elementary School.

Blomeley chose Keller because “she lived in Alabama, became famous, wrote several books and met presidents.”

Heritage third-grade teachers wanted to relay “a little piece of history by having them learn about a hero of their choice and rehearse a short speech based on the hero’s life,” Melanie Eubanks said. Other third-grade teachers are Tanisha Austin, Sheila Holt and Michelle White.

Hayden Clift portrayed Florence Nightingale and learned “she became sick when nursing for people. She was known as ‘The Lady with the Lamp.'”

Kourbin Hall said his character, Thomas Edison, “invented many things like the light bulb and phonograph. He saved a three-year-old boy from a steamroller.”

Other wax museum characters included U.S. President Barack Obama (Donovan Mitchell), Princess Diana (Taylor Metcalf), mathematician Benjamin Banneker (Preston Malone), Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody (Faith Price), Rosa Parks (Taylor Wilson), astronaut Mae Jemison (Abby Ryder) and basketball player Dwyane Wade (Bryan Brooks).

In this unique experience, each student dressed up as their chosen hero, completed a writing project and then memorized and recited a speech for parents and visitors.

Heritage students wrote scripts for their PowerPoint shows. Teachers compiled the information to create a master presentation to deliver to parents and visitors.

For the third-graders, the wax museum animated history lessons. “Students got into the action and it helped them to be engaged in their learning,” Eubanks said.

One student used his own money to buy a George Washington costume, and other students recruited relatives to sew costumes.

The event also was an exercise in public speaking. “Many students were nervous about presenting in front of guests, even after all the practice. However, each went out there and did it,” Eubanks said.

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