West U Students Bring History to Life
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.
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!”
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!
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