Glen Head parents were saved a trip to Madame Tussauds’ last week when third grade classes put on their own wax museum. The annual, interdisciplinary study gives children the opportunity to embody a famous person in history who worked to make the world a better place.
“This has been a tradition in the third grade for a number of years, and it’s really the highlight of the year,” said Principal Lori Nimmo. “It’s an authentic experience for them to practice the skills that we’re teaching.”
The third-grade students each selected a famed person from history to portray in the wax museum. They did research in books and online, took notes, and examined how their person impacted the world in a positive way. Each child created a tri-fold poster detailing the person’s background, life events and character traits, and also wrote speeches to share at the event.
The children dressed up as their person of choice and posed like a wax figure in front of their tri-boards. At the push of a button, they shared their memorized monologues with guests of the wax museum.
“Today is an exciting culmination of all that work that the children have done,” said third grade teacher Jovanna LeMonda. “The children really got a chance to understand the people that they studied, and their challenges in life. They needed to see how these people overcame those obstacles.”
LeMonda’s students portrayed titans of every industry, like Bill Gates, Neil Armstrong, Jane Goddall, Dr. Suess, Raven Wilkinson, Helen Keller, George Lucas, and Jackie Robinson. The students said each of their chosen figures had one thing in common — the will to persevere.
Nimmo said that the study coincides with the district’s Shared Value Outcomes, which deems communication as an essential learning tool. “They had to commit to themselves and persevere, because public speaking is not an easy thing to do,” she said.
Before the museum opened, the third graders met with an elocution expert who taught them breathing techniques, pacing and volume, and other public speaking strategies.
“The kids were poised and prepared, and I think that’s the idea too,” Nimmo added, “you’re preparing them for life.”