On February 18, 2016, Mrs. Maher’s second grade class at Winding Waters K-8 transformed themselves into historically significant figures from the United States. Parents, administrators and school board members came face to face with “wax” impersonations of Neil Armstrong, Elizabeth Blackwell, Jonas Salk, Benjamin Franklin and many others.
Mrs. Maher explained that the students picked the figure they wished to portray in the beginning of the year and have completed numerous projects related to their individual. She described the project as a cumulative learning experience. They didn’t just pick a person and memorize a speech.
Each child played their role with remarkable concentration. With the wax museum format, students lined the stage and parents came through to “press their buttons.” When a student’s button was pressed, the student would recite his or her speech. The students spoke clearly and didn’t seem to be too distracted by others reciting their speeches nearby.
I tested Mr. Franklin’s concentration by asking him if he could tell me the secret of his unique hairdo. Not even a smile. Perhaps the real Benjamin Franklin would have had the same reaction.
Mrs. Maher has been incorporating the wax museum project into her curriculum for about ten years for both 2nd and 4th grade. It was a pleasure to see the children learning about history in a fun and unique way.