Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Our Biography Wax Museum!

Today was the big day!  My kiddos came to school dressed up like famous historic figures, and it was a TOTAL HIT!  We had lots of guests today!  In fact, four different classrooms toured our classroom! We also had visits from two parents (a teacher and principal), a janitor from the middle school, our reading coach, and a few Title I teachers! I really wanted to make the wax museum an evening engagement, but so many of my kiddos are involved in sports this time of year, so it didn't work out.  I used my Flip camera to record their speeches though, and those clips will become part of a larger compilation that will go home with my little peanuts on June 9th.  I could post so many pictures, but it could get out of control really quickly!  Instead, I'm just going to upload a few pictures to give you a sense of how the day went.  :)

To recap, the kids chose their historic figures from books that we received from Donor's Choose.  Then, they began to conduct research using a booklet from my Wax Museum Biographies packet.  After that, they used their information to create posters about their historic figures (also using forms from the packet).  Then, they began to write speeches as though they were giving an autobiographical account in first person.  While I conferenced with them about their speeches, the kids began to plan their costumes.  (I gave the parents about a week to plan this.)  Then, after a few days of practicing speeches, we were ready for the real deal!  We worked on this project for 30 minutes a day for about 3 weeks, and I am pretty happy with the end result.  Check it out!

George Washington

Clara Barton

Abe Lincoln

Harriet Tubman

Amelia Earhart



  1. What a great idea!


  2. Wow...this looks like so much fun! I love Amelia Earhart and Harriet Tubman...my firsties learned all about them in March.

  3. Awesome! I have also done this a couple of times with my grade 4's for "famous Canadians." It is always so much fun and such a great learning experience for the kids!

    Teaching in the Early Years

  4. My daughter read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books in Kindergarten and this year in 1st grade had a chance to do the wax museum as her. She dressed up as Laura and did the research project to go along with it. Her school had an evening program (she was picked to recite her speech on stage), then everyone lined up in the hall with "buttons" (sticker dots) on their hands. Parents walked by and pushed the button of the famous American they wanted to learn more about. It was fun!


  5. So adorable! I did this a few years ago with third graders and we grouped into similar time frames or accomplishments. We used older students as tour guides who led small groups of parents and other classes to each "exhibit" where each historical figure gave a little presentation and answered questions. It really was an awesome event. I highly recommend trying it out! Your resource packet is a great idea!

  6. This is so adorable!! How fun for the kiddos :)


    Frenzy in First

  7. Wow! What a great idea and I loooooooooove the costumes! Another great way to make their learning come alive. They won't forget this when they get older. I still remember my costume for Black History Month in the 3rd grade! haha, TINA TURNER!
    I even sang What's Love Got to Do With It to my class! OMG the flashbacks are coming to me know! Dear God!

  8. I'm soooo stealing, I mean borrowing, this idea!!! Too precious! Thanks for sharing!
    Good luck with your writing presentation this summer!