Recently, 3rd graders at Elkhorn’s Fire Ridge elementary had a chance to practice their research, public speaking, and acting skills by participating in a wax museum! The project is based on the non-fiction writing standards for EPS 3rd grade curriculum, but, the part students look forward to is how much fun they have in the process.
Prior to Christmas break, students choose from a teacher-designated list of individuals who truly paved the way for the world that we live in today to research and learn more about, anyone from historical figures to modern day athletes. Next, students dig into that person’s life story and learn everything there is to know about them. Once students complete the research, they begin to write out their speech, putting their non-fiction writing skills to work in the process by creating a biography of the individual’s life.
The speech is then practiced and memorized so that when the big day arrives to participate in the wax museum, students are prepared to dive into their speech at the snap of a finger or the clap of hands. Audience members at the wax museum are able to wander about and take in all of the history throughout the room as they hear the students’ speeches and review posters created by the students detailing their chosen person. In addition to researching and writing a speech, students also prepare a costume for their big night that depicts the individual so that audience members have a visual aid in learning about the person as well.
Mrs. Melanie Kennedy, Fire Ridge 3rd grade teacher, is certain that the lesson and corresponding activity are a highlight for all involved as students, teachers and families alike look forward to it year after year.