Hi! I’m Jennifer from Pages Of Grace, and I am thrilled to be a guest blogger for One Stop Teacher Shop! I am an upper elementary teacher and mom to two young girls, so I enjoy both early childhood and elementary education topics J This post is about a fun project that I do with my 4th and 5th graders.
One of the highlights of our year is the wax museum! This is a fun biography research project that incorporates history, reading, writing, art, and lots of creativity! It is also an event that brings together the entire school and the students’ families. Students research a person who has had a major impact on history (state, U.S., or world) and portray that person as a “wax” figure. The classroom is transformed into a wax museum, and the entire school and students’ families are invited to walk through the museum. This project is sentimental to me, because I participated in a wax museum when I was in fifth grade. It is one of my fondest memories of fifth grade, so when I started teaching, I knew that this was a project that I wanted to do with my students. I’m excited to show you how I do the wax museum in my class!
Choosing a Date
I like doing the wax museum at the end of the year. It can certainly be done any other time, but the end of the year works well for two reasons:
- The students have learned about many different historical figures throughout the year, and they have lots of ideas about which people they would like to portray.
- Testing is over! This is a fun project to dive into and allows the students to let loose and be creative after several busy weeks of reviewing content and testing.
Doing the Research
After choosing the people, we get to work on the research. I schedule a few days in the library and the computer lab to allow students time to collect resources. I provide my students with a packet to take notes, which is organized by topic. This helps guide them as they are looking through their resources by giving them specific information to look for. We spend a few days in class going through resources and taking notes, and then we begin writing the essay. Typically, the students write the essays in class, and I schedule 2 days in the computer lab to type the final copies.
Making the Display
There are 4 elements that make the display: the backdrop, an acrostic poem, costume and props, and the student posing as the person.
- For the backdrop, I give students a large piece of white butcher paper (about 6 ft long). The backdrop should either be a setting in which the person would be or it can be something that strongly represents the person if that is more appropriate. I hang the posters around the perimeter of the room and down the center to create two aisles.
- Students make an acrostic poem using words that describe the person. The purpose of the acrostic poem is to give guests a good understanding of the person’s character. The poem is displayed next to the student at the museum.
- Students put together a costume similar to something the person wore and choose props to hold or display.
- Students choose 2 different poses to hold.
The Big Day
After all of the work is done, it’s time to show it to the guests! Students, staff, and families attend the museum. I make invitations, sign up sheets, and confirmation notes for my colleagues so attendance at the museum is organized and flows well. We hang a welcome sign on the door, and if I am teaching a combination class, I hang a poster on each aisle (one for U.S. and one for the state). We spend about half of the day on the museum. Everyone has a great time and creates lasting memories!
If you would like to do a wax museum in your class, check out my Wax Museum product on Teachers Pay Teachers. It has everything you need to plan and
execute a great wax museum!
execute a great wax museum!
Thanks for reading! Check out my blog and Pinterest page to see lots of great ideas and resources! You can also follow me on TeachersPay Teachers to be notified about new products and giveaways.