From Mother Teresa to Dolly Parton, from Abraham Lincoln to Genghis Khan, from Marie Antoinette to Babe Ruth, a hall of fame spanning ancient times to today came into being when Kuemper’s Catholic fifth graders presented their annual wax museum on Friday May 7th.
The 75 students in the four sections of fifth grade chose people from all walks of life – religion, entertainment, sports, the arts, government and more.
The students viewed biographies and chose a person they would like to know more about. The students read a biography and wrote a book report describing the chosen famous person. The report was to include important facts, a brief summary of that person’s life, life accomplishments, a timeline of events, and student reflections. The students explained why they had chosen this person.
Each student created a tri-fold poster board with facts and pictures. They wrote a brief summary of the person’s life, which they memorized and presented to visitors attending the event in the gymnasium at the Kuemper St. Lawrence Center and at the Collison Center at St. Lawrence Church. By improving the presentations, each student came up with costumes to represent their characters. Some students made their costumes at home or at school, others borrowed them from the Carroll Community Theater, and some ordered them online.
Teacher Anna Gingery said of some of the costumes made at school: “It’s amazing what you can create with a sewing machine and a hot glue gun.”
Gingery said of the assignment: “This project meets many standards for literacy classes. Students research information from a variety of sources, and they go through the entire process of drafting, reviewing, peer reviewing, and final work with the teacher. It also involves a lot of computer skills for finding information, finding reliable websites, and word processing in Google Docs. “
Professor Nicole Larsen said: “The students are so nervous at first, but by the time of the real live wax museum they are pros. They were so confident. The students were able to make it their own with additional personal touches. This project assesses many of our oral, written and linguistic standards. Due to the pandemic, this year’s wax museum gave our students something “normal” in an otherwise abnormal year.
Gingery said, “The experience benefits students in many ways. They learn valuable reading, writing and research skills. They worked together, helping each other with ideas for bulletin boards and costumes. In addition, this project took a long time, and children had to be responsible for meeting certain deadlines on certain dates. To be a responsible learner is to be ready for the years to come in your education.
Of the students in her class, said Larsen, Madigan Hoyt, who represented Marie Antoinette, loved wearing her big wig, as well as researching and learning about a new person she had never heard of; Carson Wiederin, who portrayed Ronald Reagan, appreciated the different experience of language arts; and Will Behrens, who played the first astronaut on the moon Neil Armstrong, enjoyed learning new things about his subject, then putting it all together with his props and tri-fold poster.