Wax museum wows

Mar. 29, 2014 @ 11:01 AM

Several well-known historical figures gathered at Ephesus Elementary recently. Sort of.

The third-grade wax museum at Ephesus didn’t have actual wax but it did bring together the Wright Brothers, Jesse Owens, Madame CJ Walker and others who have made a positive mark in history.
The museum was the culmination of the students’ biography unit. After learning what makes up a biography, the students had to choose a historical figure to research and pose as for the museum.
“They had a list of people to choose from, and then based on their interests some were assigned,” said third-grade teacher Kristin Ducanis. “They have been very interested in it. A couple of them have came and told me that they had study-play dates and … did their own outside research.”
In Ducanis’, Gretchen Capps’ and Caroline Nisbet’s third-grade classrooms, 60 students were wax until someone came to their desk and pressed the button to start the exhibit.
As part of the project, the students also had to dress as the person they were representing. In some instances, the students also spoke as the person.
At each exhibit, students gave information about their person. Many had video links for visitors and they all had online posters up to show. Parents and families roamed through the three classrooms from exhibit to exhibit but so did the other students in the school.
“It makes me really happy,” Ducanis said of the students. “It’s incorporating so many aspects of our curriculum. Watching them being able to put it all together and seeing the students taking on their own education and being excited about it is great.
“Especially with the technology, they didn’t need much teacher support,” she continued.
Jennifer and Dewey McCafferty were amazed by what they saw.
“The kids did such a fabulous job putting together the information, their speeches, the costumes, and it’s multimedia,” Jennifer said. “It’s amazing how much they learned.”
The pair said that they saw two students presenting as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., reciting his famous “I Have A Dream” speech, imitating his voice and acting as the famed civil rights leader.
Of course, they enjoyed their son Dillon’s performance as Michael Jordan, and Dewey said that he was impressed by the Greensboro Four.
Omarion Dean, James Green, CJ Creamer and Carl Sjoelin presented as Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell A. Blair Jr. (now known as Jibreel Khazam) and David Richmond, the four college students who sat at the Woolworth’s lunch counter waiting to be served.
“It was a great experience,” said Creamer.
“I liked the research,” Dean said.
“And it was great to be the Greensboro Four,” Sjoelin said. “And we got to know each other and how it feels to be famous.”
The students said they enjoyed meeting all the people that came to their exhibit but after about an hour of repeating themselves, they all were ready for a break.