Visitors might have thought they were walking into Madame Tussaud’s last week instead of into the library at TGU-Granville School.
Librarian Dawn Seopa and fifth grade teacher Pamela Tonnessen organized a “wax museum” display, with each fifth-grader dressed up as a historical or present-day famous person and pretending to be a wax figure in a wax museum. Visitors who pushed a lighted button in front of the “wax figures” were treated to an interesting fact or two about the character.
Raven Werle chose to dress up as Sakakawea, the interpreter on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
“We learned about the Lewis and Clark expedition last year and I wanted to know more,” she explained.
Raven was particularly impressed to find out that Sakakawea was so young when she became the wife of a French fur trader, had her baby son and guided explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their expedition. Sakakawea was only about 13 when she married Toussaint Charbonneau.
Cruz Juarez chose to dress up as Jackie Robinson, who became the first black baseball player to play Major League Baseball. Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
“He changed the face of baseball,” said Cruz, who said he was also impressed by Robinson’s record.
“He played 1,382 games in 10 years,” said Cruz.
Fifth-grader Lucas Webb dressed up as Leonardo da Vinci, complete with a long beard.
Da Vinci, explained Lucas, had a hard childhood. His parents abandoned him and he was raised by an uncle. The famous genius also created a design for a machine gun.
Fifth-grader Ryder Thompson, who portrayed Daniel Boone, acknowledged that he isn’t all that interested in any of the historical characters students had a chance to play. However, he did learn that Boone once buried his money where no one could find it.
Boone was a pioneer, explorer and frontiersman who became a folk hero in the United States.
Kendra Kuhnhenn, who hasn’t read the Harry Potter books, thought author J.K. Rowling was a man when she first heard the name. She quickly discovered that Rowling is a woman and a famous author.
Other children in the class dressed up as Milton Hershey, Davy Crockett, Abraham Lincoln and Elvis Presley.
Seopa said she got the idea for the wax museum from a similar presentation at TGU-Towner. Fifth-graders from Granville saw the display that TGU-Towner put on last fall. They also read biographies of their chosen characters in the lead-up to their own wax museum display.
Seopa said the lesson fits well into the new Common Core guidelines. The kids also had to do a lot of memorization about their characters.