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West U Students Bring History to Life

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First graders

"Walt Disney" hanging out with some famous ladies (pictured, from left): Frida Kahlo (Charlotte Lam), Elizabeth Blackwell (Anya Bharadwaj), Coco Chanel, Sally Ride (Meg Dillinger), Jane Goodall (Gabriella Chumpitazi), Jackie Kennedy (Olivia Jones), Mae Jameson (Marilu Carlisle), Princess Diana (Emma Goldstein) and Walt Disney (Addison Cao). 

Martin Luther King, Jr. chatted with Thomas Edison and Jackie Robinson about their favorite video games. Albert Einstein showed Louis Armstong and Abraham Lincoln his new basketball shoes while Charles Darwin described the fight scene in the new Star Wars movie to Alexander Graham Bell.

Has someone created a working time machine? No, it’s just first graders at West University Elementary preparing for their “A Living Museum” presentations.

Sophie Ackerman, Emma Goldstein

Nadia Comaneci (Sophie Ackerman) and Princess Di (Emma Goldstein) proudly displaying their gold medals and diamond crown.

 

At the annual event, students bring historical characters to life. First graders research a famous person, write a report and create an informational tri-board poster. On the day of the project presentation, the pint-sized "Who's Whos" come to school dressed as their famous person.

Situated in the cafeteria, the students wait for guests to visit their station. Each student has a dot sticker or “start button" on their hand. Families come “push the buttons” which causes the characters to “come to life” and share a little bit about themselves.

WUES first grade teacher Becca Smith says, “I love this project because the kids get really excited about who they research and feel proud of what they learn.” The students are able to do most of the research independently (with the help of parents and teachers), she says. “By the end, they are full of knowledge about not only the ‘history maker,’ but also about the era and events that happened around the person’s life. The students often learn much more than they can even include in their presentations because they get very into it and read every story about their ‘history makers’ that they can find!”

Smith says she’s seen a wide variety of choices throughout the years including presidents, actors, scientists, fashion icons, saints, religious leaders, athletes, engineers, doctors, and more. “The costumes really make the presentations come alive!”

Aiden Yoon

Leonardo Da Vinci (Aiden Yoon) patiently waiting for his first visitor. He hope no one pulls at his beard!

 

VIPs for Ms. Smith’s class this year included Abraham Lincoln (Beau Smith), Jackie Robinson (Clement Ding), Sally Ride (Meg Dellinger), George Washington (Miles Royston), Babe Ruth (Bennett Parker), Jackie Kennedy (Olivia Jones), Louis Armstrong (JJ Jones), Leonardo Da Vinci (Aiden Yoon), Martin Luther King, Jr. (Kailash Balan), Elizabeth Blackwell (Anya Bharadwaj), Princess Diana (Emma Goldstein), Jane Goodall (Gabriella Chumpitazi), Frida Kahlo (Charlotte Lam), Thomas Edison (Nicholas Brasher), Mae Jemison (Marilu Carlisle), Walt Disney (Addison Cao), Alexander Graham Bell (Oscar Williams), Albert Einstein (Jayden Do) and Charles Darwin (Aditya Tandon). 

Sounds like an amazing guest list for a dinner party guaranteed to have fascinating conversations!

  • Miles Ryston

    George Washington (Miles Ryston) is excited to tell people about being the first president of the United States.

     

  • Bennett Parker

    Batter! Batter! Swing! Babe Ruth (Bennett Parker) thinks the New York Yankees are the best but he never had to play the 2018 World Series winning Houston Astros.

     

  • Miles Ryston
  • Bennett Parker

More photos

Miles Ryston

George Washington (Miles Ryston) is excited to tell people about being the first president of the United States.

 

Bennett Parker

Batter! Batter! Swing! Babe Ruth (Bennett Parker) thinks the New York Yankees are the best but he never had to play the 2018 World Series winning Houston Astros.

 

Schools in this article: 

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